How to Get a Toddler to Wear a Hat: Tips and Tricks for Parents

Getting your toddler to wear a hat can be a challenge for many parents.

Whether it’s the summer sun or the winter chill, hats are an essential accessory to protect your toddler from the elements.

However, toddlers can be stubborn and resist wearing hats, which can make outings a struggle.

In this article, we will provide tips and tricks to help you get your toddler to wear a hat comfortably and confidently.

Understanding the importance of a hat is the first step in getting your toddler to wear one.

Hats provide protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.

In colder weather, hats help keep your toddler warm and prevent heat loss through their head.

By choosing the right hat and making hat-wearing fun for your toddler, you can encourage them to wear a hat and stay protected from the weather.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the importance of a hat is crucial in getting your toddler to wear one.
  • Choosing the right hat and making hat-wearing fun for your toddler can encourage them to wear a hat.
  • Ensuring the hat fits properly and dealing with resistance to hat-wearing are essential in getting your toddler to wear a hat comfortably and confidently.

Understanding the Importance of a Hat

As a parent, you want to protect your toddler from the harsh elements of the weather, especially the sun. One of the best ways to do this is by ensuring that they wear a hat when they are outside. A hat can provide protection for your toddler’s head and face against the sun, wind, and other weather elements.

Wearing a hat is particularly important during sunny days as it helps to protect your toddler from harmful UV rays that can cause skin damage, sunburn, and even skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “UV radiation is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.” Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your toddler wears a hat to protect their delicate skin from the harmful effects of the sun.

In addition to sun safety, a hat can also provide warmth during cold weather. Toddlers lose heat faster than adults, and their heads are more prone to heat loss. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that they wear a warm hat during cold weather to prevent hypothermia.

It is also important to note that toddlers are more prone to heatstroke than adults. Therefore, wearing a hat can help regulate their body temperature and prevent heat-related illnesses during hot weather.

In summary, hats are essential for protecting your toddler’s head and face from the sun, wind, and cold weather. They can also help regulate their body temperature and prevent heat-related illnesses. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your toddler wears a hat whenever they are outside.

Choosing the Right Hat for Your Toddler

When it comes to choosing a hat for your toddler, there are a few things to consider to ensure that they will wear it comfortably and willingly. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:

Consider the Style

There are many different hat styles to choose from, but not all of them will be comfortable for your toddler. One popular style is the bucket hat, which provides good coverage and protection from the sun. However, some toddlers may find the brim too wide or the hat too heavy. It is important to choose a hat that your toddler will feel comfortable wearing for extended periods.

Look for Comfortable Materials

When shopping for a toddler’s hat, it is important to consider the material. Look for hats made of soft, breathable fabrics that won’t irritate your toddler’s skin. Avoid hats with rough seams or scratchy materials that could cause discomfort or make your toddler less willing to wear the hat.

Get Your Toddler Involved in the Choice

Toddlers love to feel like they have a say in things, so involve them in the process of choosing a hat. Let them pick out a few different hats and try them on to see which one they like best. This will help them feel more invested in the choice and more likely to wear the hat.

Consider Different Hat Designs

There are many different hat designs to choose from, each with its own unique features. Some hats have chin straps or adjustable bands to help keep the hat in place, while others have wide brims or built-in visors for extra sun protection. Consider the different designs available and choose one that will work best for your toddler’s needs.

Don’t Forget the Cute Factor

While it is important to choose a hat that is comfortable and functional, it is also important to choose one that is cute and appealing to your toddler. Look for hats with fun designs or bright colors that will catch your toddler’s eye and make them excited to wear the hat.

By considering these factors when choosing a hat for your toddler, you can ensure that they will wear it comfortably and willingly, providing them with the protection they need from the sun.

Making Hat Wearing Fun for Toddlers

Getting toddlers to wear hats can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a battle. By making hat-wearing fun, toddlers are more likely to want to wear them. Here are some tips to make hat-wearing enjoyable for toddlers:

1. Make it Fun

Make wearing a hat a fun experience for your toddler. Encourage them to choose their favorite hat and make it a game. For example, you can tell them that they are going on an adventure and need a hat to protect them from the sun or the rain. This can help them feel excited about wearing a hat.

2. Role Model

Be a role model for your toddler. Wear a hat yourself and make it look fun. Toddlers often want to emulate their parents, so if they see you wearing a hat, they may be more likely to want to wear one too.

3. Distraction

Distraction can be a useful tool when trying to get your toddler to wear a hat. Engage them in an activity that they enjoy, such as playing with toys or singing songs, while you put the hat on their head. This can help distract them from the fact that they are wearing a hat.

4. Make it a Game

Make putting on a hat a game. For example, you can tell your toddler that they need to catch the hat before it blows away. This can make the experience more enjoyable for them.

5. Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement can go a long way when it comes to getting toddlers to wear hats. Praise your toddler when they wear their hat and give them a small reward, such as a sticker or a treat, to encourage them to continue wearing it.

By making hat-wearing fun for toddlers, you can help them develop a positive association with wearing hats. Remember to be patient and consistent, and eventually, your toddler will be happy to wear their hat.

Ensuring the Hat Fits Properly

When it comes to getting a toddler to wear a hat, ensuring that the hat fits properly is crucial. A hat that is too tight can cause discomfort and irritability, while a hat that is too loose can easily fall off and not provide adequate sun protection. Here are some tips to ensure that your toddler’s hat fits properly:

Measure Your Toddler’s Head

Before purchasing a hat, it’s important to measure your toddler’s head to ensure that you get the correct size. Use a fabric tape measure or a strip of paper or fabric to measure the circumference of your toddler’s head just above the ears. Round up to the nearest centimeter and refer to the sizing chart provided by the hat manufacturer to determine the appropriate size.

Check for Comfort

A hat that is too tight can cause discomfort and irritability, making it less likely that your toddler will want to wear it. Make sure that the hat sits comfortably mid-forehead above your toddler’s eyebrows and does not obstruct their view. The sweatband inside the hat should provide a snug fit, but not a tight fit. If your toddler feels any tension or has deep red marks on their forehead, consider a looser-fitting hat.

Use a Chin Strap or Elastic Band

A hat with a chin strap or elastic band can help keep the hat securely in place and prevent it from falling off. However, make sure that the chin strap or elastic band is not too tight and does not cause discomfort or irritation. Encourage your toddler to wear the hat with the chin strap or elastic band, and make sure to adjust it as needed for a comfortable fit.

By ensuring that your toddler’s hat fits properly, you can help make wearing a hat a comfortable and enjoyable experience for your little one.

Dealing with Resistance to Hat Wearing

Getting a toddler to wear a hat can be a challenging task for many parents. However, it is an essential step to protect them from the harmful effects of the sun and keep them safe from cold weather. Here are some tips that can help you deal with your toddler’s resistance to wearing a hat:


  • Offer choices: Toddlers love having control over things, so offering them choices can help them feel empowered. You can offer them a choice of different hats to wear, or let them choose between wearing a hat or a headband. This can help them feel more comfortable and willing to wear a hat.



  • Make it fun: Making hat-wearing a fun activity can help your toddler feel more excited about it. You can play games with them, such as “hat matching” or “hat parade,” or sing songs about hats. This can help them associate wearing a hat with something enjoyable.



  • Lead by example: Toddlers often learn by imitating their parents, so if you wear a hat, it can encourage them to do the same. You can also make it a family affair by wearing matching hats or hats with similar designs.



  • Explain the purpose: Explaining the purpose of wearing a hat to your toddler can help them understand why it is important. You can tell them that hats protect their head and face from the sun’s harmful rays, or keep them warm during cold weather. This can help them feel more willing to wear a hat.



  • Avoid power struggles: Power struggles can make toddlers more resistant to wearing a hat. Instead of forcing them to wear a hat, try to offer choices and make it a fun activity. If your toddler still refuses to wear a hat, try not to make a big deal out of it and move on to something else.


In summary, dealing with your toddler’s resistance to wearing a hat can be challenging, but it is essential to protect them from the harmful effects of the sun and keep them safe from cold weather. By offering choices, making it fun, leading by example, explaining the purpose, and avoiding power struggles, you can help your toddler feel more comfortable and willing to wear a hat.

Protecting Your Toddler in Different Weather Conditions

As a parent, it is important to protect your toddler from different weather conditions. Whether it is hot or cold, sunny or cloudy, there are ways to keep your little one safe and comfortable. Here are some tips to help you protect your toddler in different weather conditions:

Hot Weather

When it is hot outside, it is important to keep your toddler cool and hydrated. Here are some tips to help you keep your toddler safe in hot weather:

  • Dress your toddler in lightweight, breathable clothing.
  • Choose light colors that reflect the sun’s rays.
  • Put a wide-brimmed hat on your toddler to protect their face and neck from the sun.
  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to any exposed skin, and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
  • Keep your toddler in the shade as much as possible.
  • Offer your toddler plenty of fluids to drink, such as water or diluted fruit juice.

Cold Weather

When it is cold outside, it is important to keep your toddler warm and dry. Here are some tips to help you keep your toddler safe in cold weather:

  • Dress your toddler in layers, so you can add or remove clothing as needed.
  • Choose clothing made from materials that trap heat, such as wool or fleece.
  • Put a warm hat on your toddler to protect their head and ears from the cold.
  • Put mittens or gloves on your toddler to protect their hands from the cold.
  • Put warm, waterproof boots on your toddler to protect their feet from the cold and wet.
  • Limit your toddler’s time outside when it is very cold or windy.

Sunny Weather

When it is sunny outside, it is important to protect your toddler’s skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Here are some tips to help you keep your toddler safe in sunny weather:

  • Dress your toddler in lightweight, long-sleeved clothing that covers their arms and legs.
  • Put a wide-brimmed hat on your toddler to protect their face, neck, and ears from the sun.
  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to any exposed skin, and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
  • Keep your toddler in the shade as much as possible, especially during the hottest part of the day.

By following these tips, you can help protect your toddler from different weather conditions and keep them safe and comfortable.

Additional Tips for Getting Your Toddler to Wear a Hat

When it comes to getting your toddler to wear a hat, it can be a challenge. However, there are some additional tips you can try to make the process easier and more successful.

Choose the Right Hat

Choosing the right hat is crucial for getting your toddler to wear it. Look for hats that are comfortable, lightweight, and made from breathable materials. Hats with wide brims can help protect your child’s face, neck, and eyes from the sun. If your toddler has sensitive skin, consider hats with UPF protection to prevent sunburn and other skin damage.

Make It Fun

Making hat wearing fun can encourage your toddler to wear it. Let them choose their own hat from a selection of options. You can also try decorating the hat with stickers or letting your child draw on it with fabric markers. Another idea is to make a game out of putting on the hat, such as pretending to be a firefighter or astronaut.

Use Straps or Pockets

Hats with straps or pockets can help keep the hat on your toddler’s head. Look for hats with chin straps or adjustable straps that can be tightened to fit your child’s head securely. Hats with pockets can also be useful for storing small toys or snacks, which can help distract your child and make them more likely to wear the hat.

Be Patient

Getting your toddler to wear a hat may take time and patience. It’s important to be consistent and keep encouraging your child to wear the hat every time you go out. Try not to get frustrated if your child resists wearing the hat at first. With time and persistence, your child may eventually get used to wearing a hat and even start to enjoy it.

By following these additional tips, you can increase the chances of getting your toddler to wear a hat and protect them from the sun’s harmful rays.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some tips for getting a toddler to wear a hat?

One of the best tips for getting a toddler to wear a hat is to start putting hats on them early, ideally from a very young age. This will help them get used to the sensation of wearing a hat and make it feel more natural for them. Additionally, allowing your child to choose their own hat can give them a sense of control and make them more likely to wear it.

Which type of hat is best for a toddler who hates hats?

When it comes to choosing a hat for a toddler who hates hats, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the material of the hat. A soft, comfortable material like cotton or fleece may be more appealing to a child than a scratchy or stiff material. Additionally, hats with chin straps or ear flaps can help keep the hat in place and make it more difficult for a child to remove.

How can I keep a toddler’s hat on their head?

Keeping a toddler’s hat on their head can be a challenge, but there are a few strategies that can help. First, consider using a hat with a chin strap or ear flaps. This can help keep the hat in place and make it more difficult for a child to remove. Additionally, distracting your child with toys or games can help take their mind off the hat and make it more likely that they’ll forget about it.

What are some strategies for putting a hat on a resistant toddler?

Putting a hat on a resistant toddler can be frustrating, but there are a few strategies that can help. One approach is to make it a game, such as pretending that the hat is a superhero mask. Additionally, distracting your child with a toy or game can help take their mind off the hat and make it easier to put on.

Are there any psychological reasons why a toddler might refuse to wear a hat?

There can be a few psychological reasons why a toddler might refuse to wear a hat. For example, some children may have sensory issues that make certain materials or sensations uncomfortable. Additionally, some children may be going through a phase where they are asserting their independence and refusing to comply with requests from adults.

What are some good brands for toddler hats that stay on?

When it comes to finding a good brand for toddler hats that stay on, there are a few options to consider. Some popular brands include Sunday Afternoons, Outdoor Research, and Janie and Jack. Additionally, hats with chin straps or ear flaps can help keep the hat in place and make it more difficult for a child to remove.

About the author
Daisy is a writer, mom, and expert on all things toddler-related. As a parent of three young children, she's experienced the highs and lows of parenthood firsthand, and she's passionate about sharing her insights with others. Through her website, The Toddler Life, Daisy offers practical advice and tips on everything from potty training to picky eaters. She's not afraid to get real about the challenges of parenting, and her honest and relatable writing style has earned her a loyal following of readers.