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When Should Babies Start Wearing Hats?

Little Hotdog Watson Kids Cub Hat with Neck Flaps in Panda Pop 


We're Little Hotdog Watson, and we make cool, fun hats for kids. In this blog we're discussing when babies can start to wear hats! Come say hello over on Instagram!

Here at Little Hotdog Watson, our range of hats combine cool styles with practical and innovative design, with sizes from newborn to age eight. As a family business, we know the importance of quality products that allow you to focus on what’s most important: spending time out in the world with your loved ones.

Not only are hats an adorable accessory for newborns, but they can protect their delicate skin the sun, and provide warmth on chillier days. However, it’s important to consider when is safe and appropriate for a newborn or small baby to wear a hat. So let’s dive in and answer some of the questions you may have about babies wearing hats!

When can babies start wearing hats?

Babies can start wearing a hat as early as newborn, provided they are outside and you follow some further safety tips that we will cover in this blog. When outdoors, our hats are suitable from birth. Even from newborn, if you’re out in the sun it’s best to keep little ones head covered. Little Hotdog Watson summer hats feature a UPF 50+ rating, which protects from harsh UVA and UVB rays that can occur even on cloudy days.


What hat is best for a newborn baby?

A babies very first hat when they're brand new to the world and extra smoochable should be soft and breathable for babies comfort.

Hospitals in the UK recommend a hat for a newborn: baby has transitioned from a warm, cosy home of the womb into the big bright world, and they need the extra warmth.

Natural fibres are best for breathability and comfort; double check the fabric label to see if it states wool, merino wool, cashmere or alpaca.

Knitted hats allow for a great fit for a newborn, as it can fit comfortably and not cover their eyes as they try to make sense of this new world they've joined! 

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Little Hotdog Watson Arctic Cub Hat in Panda Pop  

What types of hats can babies wear?


Knitted hats are great to provide warmth and comfort and a great fit when your little one arrives. Look for a natural fabric and something lighter weight.

Baby Summer

A floppy or bucket hat is great for a range of weathers: lightweight, breathable and keeps the sun out of little ones eyes. These are particularly great for prams and buggies and you can turn the brim up. Little Hotdog Watson bucket hats for babies come with a chin strap for a more secure fit.

Is your baby a little older and starting to hold their head up (using their neck strength)? Consider a cap with a neck flap, this will provide extra protection as they move around more. Little Hotdog Watson caps have the option to wear the flap up or down for more versatility.

Baby Winter

If it is very cold a trapper style hat offers an extra level of protection and warmth for the ears. This prevents wind chill and works well in a baby carrier as well. Little Hotdog Watson trappers have the option to fasten the ear flaps up or down for multi ways to wear.

Can a baby wear a hat when asleep?

To keep baby safe and to not risk any overheating, it's best for babies not to wear any headwear while they're asleep. This includes even if baby is sleeping in a pram or carseat: it’s best to remove any headwear or bulky clothing for the journey.

The head is one of baby's best heat regulation tools, which is why it is not recommended for them to wear headwear while sleeping. If you need to check your baby's temperature, you can feel the back of their neck or their tummy to see if they're too warm or cold.


Little Hotdog Watson Pioneer Floppy Sun Hat in Pineapple Punch


Do hats protect babies from the sun?

For babies under six months, SPF cream is not recommended, and it’s best to keep baby out of the sun altogether. After six months, use an SPF of at least factor 30 and on sunny days stay out of direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day, from 11am to 3pm. 

Aside from a sun hat, rash vests or UPF clothing is a great option to protect not only babies that are too young for SPF, but also children and infants.  

Four tips to keep a hat on a baby

1. Comfort is key. Look for natural fabrics and a great fit, like Goldilocks and the three bears, not too big or too small. Just right!

2. Starting little ones wearing their hat early is a great way to get them used to hats, and will help them wear them more and more as they grow up.

3. Chin straps are a great way to keep baby's hat on: all of our winter hats feature chin straps, and in our summer range of children's hats  have chin straps up to size 18-36 months.

4. Little and often is a great mantra for a number of parenting challenges, and so it also goes with hat wearing. If baby is reluctant or uncomfortable wearing a hat, just keep going with short bursts of wearing one.

On that point, perseverance and patience is the biggest tip to get babies and children to wear their hats: keep at it and keep them safe and comfortable!

For tips with getting bigger kids to keep their hats on, why not check out our blog here?

Little Hotdog Watson Arctic Cub Hat in Leopard Neutral 

How can I tell if my baby needs a hat in winter?

A great rule of thumb is to give your baby one more layer than you do. In winter if you’re in a big coat but don’t need a hat (but why give up the chance to complete the look with a hat?) then consider putting a hat on your little one.

If you’re babywearing or regularly using a sling, your baby may be a little warmer. As we discussed previously, check your baby isn’t overheating or too cold by feeling their tummy or the back of their neck.

Did you know we also have a range of adult hats? With styles for all seasons, you can twin with your little one in your own Little Hotdog Watson hat!


baby eating ice cream in dungarees and hat

Little Hotdog Watson Kids Baseball Hat in Multi Colour 

How to choose a baby hat and safety tips

1. Choose a hat in the correct size. Too small and it will be un-comfy, too big and it could fall over the eyes. Try it on you should be able to fit your little finger between the hat and the head. Follow Little Hotdog Watson's size guide.


2. No strings or ribbons to fasten. This is a choking hazard. For any fastenings look for velcro. It might be traditional to tie in a bow but it's just not as safe as velcro.

3. Look for natural fibres. Natural fibres allow the head to breathe and helps to keep temperature regulated.

4. Look to see if a hat has been tested. Just because it's a hat doesn't mean it's sun safe. Look for UVA and UVB labelled to show it's been tested. Look for factor 50+ for the ultimate sun protection.

By following these simple tips, you can help your baby stay cool, comfortable, and safe while they begin to explore the world around them. 


Shop Little Hotdog Watson hats.


Emma Watson, Owner, Little Hotdog Watson

After growing up in the North-west of England, Emma’s love of travel and style saw her career move to London with a fashion + business degree,  first working as a trend researcher then menswear buyer for some of the most famous stores in the UK. 


In 2015, having had her first baby she moved to Norwich to explore a family life closer to beaches and the countryside. Becoming a parent she found herself in a world of kidswear that didn’t look good or perform for the type of fresh air fun as a family so she set about creating her own brand. Little Hotdog Watson was born in 2016. The summer and winter hats for kids and adults, jam-packed with innovative protective technology have gone on to win awards, grace the pages of magazines, like Vogue, Grazia, Independent, Mother and Baby and celebrities alike. 


Emma had another daughter in 2019 and became a lecturer in Fashion and Business at Norwich University of the Arts.  She continues to design hats at her dining room table and share her passion to help families get outside more and explore the world. Here is one of her favourite outside blogs; 15 games adults will love playing with kids 


Email her anytime at; or find her on Instagram.


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