9 ways to get kids to keep their hats on - without superglue

Date Posted:19 March 2019 

Sometimes, superglue seems to be the only solution to keeping hats on heads! But give these other ideas a whirl before whipping out that tube.

Some kids are born loving all thing hats, masks, bows, blankets and tiaras on their heads. Others have a highly sophisticated invisible alarm system that alerts them to fact it’s hat time before you’ve even picked it up and will do the runner. If your child is of the latter variety, we thought the best people to share tips for getting kids to keep their hats on was other frustrated mums just like you. We hijacked a thread in our We Love Our Bedhead Hats Facebook Group page and got some mothers of our lovely little brand reps to chime in with their experiences too. And we've illustrated it with a whole bunch of happy hat wearers in the hope it all rubs off on your family. Good luck!


1. Choose the right style for your child

Each of our three collections has a series of hat styles that kids work their way through as they grow. Some will overlap a little and you really need to work with your child’s preferences to work out the best hat for that overlap stage.

Legionnaire/Baby Flap Hat style: Best suited to newborn and young babies and is ideal for wearing in prams and carriers as the flap lies flat as baby does. The brim on these is also less invasive in and around their faces, making them ideal for fuss-pot youngsters who are old enough to be aware of this.
My daughter never tolerated bucket hats, only legionnaire hats (still) as she can’t see the brim in her peripheral vision as much. Consistency will pay off, eventually!” Kirsty Lawrenson

Toddler/baby buckets: The right time to move up to toddler buckets is when they’re up and about on their own exploring – they need that extra protection all around their head and shoulders that the brim of a bucket hat will provide.
“Style of hat can make a difference. I started my son in legionnaires as I prefer the style, but we recently discovered part of his issues with hats is that he doesn’t like the flap at the back touching his neck. Changed to bucket and he is happier.” Melissa Richards

Kids buckets/broadbrims Bigger kids get to graduate to the larger bucket hats which really just have a slightly different, more grown-up shape to the crowns. The broadbrims have more upright and deeper brims which provide more coverage to shoulders and chests. Both Bedhead styles have anti-flop brims which combats one of the biggest causes of kids not liking hats – because they flop in their eyes and annoy them!


2. Start them early – no matter what season they’re born

When babies wear hats, headbands or beanies from a very young age, they are much more inclined to be happy-hat-wearers throughout their childhood.
“We have a happy hat wearer over here. Obinna was born in winter so has had a beanie on since birth and then it was an easy transition to a hat for summer.” Nneka, @nneex

3. Be persistent + consistent

Don’t take no for an answer – let them know they HAVE to wear a hat whenever they go outdoors. Keep putting it back on every time they take it off and adopt the “no hat, no play” rule that schools and daycares have. They’ll eventually either learn to love it - or just give up on fighting with you about it!
“Just keep putting it back on and be consistent – if you’re outside there needs to be a hat on his head.” Fiona Hall

4. Be a good role model

Just like when they blurt out those swear words, kids copy. Everything! So if you make it a habit to put a hat on when you go outside, your mini me will too. Role models extend to other close family members, so ask grandparents to wear their hats when minding your children and get older siblings to show littler ones the ropes too.
“When our daughter Lexi came along, she saw Flynn wearing his hat whenever he left the house, in all weathers and all seasons. She not only accepted her own hats, but wanted to wear her brothers too!” Vicky, @my_sweet_lexi

5. Make it fun

Put their hat on your head. Put your hat on their head. Put it on backwards. Or inside out or back-to-front. Put undies on your head and ask if they like your hat? When they laugh and say it’s not a hat, ask them to help you find the right hat and “while we’re at it, let’s find yours too!” Make it a game and make hat time = fun time so they can associate wearing a hat with good things. Maybe it means they’re going to the park, or outside to make mud pies or for a walk along the river to get an ice cream. A lot of fun stuff happens when you wear a hat!
"One of Everly's favourite games has been "Baby Koala" which is quite a simple game - she tells me she's a baby koala and climbs up on my back when I'm sitting down. Those times she might be fussing about wearing her hat, I pull out the koala print hat and ask if she wants to play "Baby Koala". It works every time!" Jess, @allabouteverly

6. Trick them with good old-fashioned distraction

Sometimes it can be the only way to get them started on their hat wearing journey! Do it while they’re snacking, or playing their favourite game, or deep in conversation with their dolls. Or, tell them if they can keep the hat on for the count of 20 they get to do x, y or z. By the time you get to that number they might be so excited by what they get to do, they’ll just not bother taking the hat off!
“I don’t tell my daughter what I’m doing, I just put it on when she’s doing something else and she doesn’t realise it’s on. Try to get it right the first time though cause if it gets in their way they’ll notice it!” Karina Parker

7. Make sure it fits (and sits) correctly

It’s not just the style you need to get right, but the size too. Always measure your child’s head before purchasing a hat to ensure the right fit. Too big can impede their vision and too small will slide off the top of their head. This is annoying and will cause kids to rip hats off. Ponytails can also be an issue – our ponytail bucket and broadbrim hats take care of that! For sizing advice, check out our sizing page.
“I found with Chloe if it didn’t fit well and annoyed her in any way, she would take it off. Like the ponytail not fitting under a normal hat would annoy her. I also now make sure her ponytail is the right height for when she puts her hat on.” Lisa, @when.chloe.met.hudson

8. Include them in picking the hat

Not just the initial purchase (although it helps to give them an edited selection to choose from!), but give them a choice of what hat to wear when you’re going out too. Maybe they want to wear the swim hat today even if you’re not going to the beach, if you start redirecting them when they’re still getting used to wearing hats, they might abandon ship altogether. Let them pick their outfit the night before – hat included. That way it’s already part of their outfit and there is no harm in them wearing a hat inside.
“Harper was hard work! She would never keep a bow or hat on. Now though I let her pick up the hats and put them on herself – even indoors. I found that actually really helped with her adjusting with something on her head and liking it. We have no problem with her keeping a hat on her head now.” Jess @raising_our_girls

9. Use a chin strap

They not only keep them in place, the chin strap makes it a little more complicated for little ones to pull their hats off. All Bedhead Hats come with chin straps with adjustable toggles. They can be removed without compromising the quality of the hat, however, many have found them to be the way to keeping hats on heads!
“My twin grandsons would pull their hats off, but when we put the Bedhead Hats on them and tightened the straps, they tried to pull them off but couldn’t. After a while they got used to them and now wear them whenever they’re out in the sun without a problem. I think the straps solved our problem.” Doris Lim

If all else fails, there is also the way in which Inuit's teach their children to keep their hats on in winter. They tell their children that if they go out without wearing a hat, the northern lights will take their head off and use it as a soccer ball! Maybe you have a less-extreme way of keeping hats on heads? We'd love to hear it!

{Image credits top to bottom: @bloomshomeschooling; @rebeccalittle_; @raising_our_girls; @my_sweet_lexi; Bedhead Hats; @georgwolfe; @when.chloe.met.hudson; @my_sweet_lexi; @allabouteverly}

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