Updated: December 2023,
Hats and bonnets keep the sun off your baby’s tender scalp
Of all the articles of clothing in the baby’s layette, none may be as vital to include as a cap, hat, or bonnet for those times when you take your little Steve or Edie out for a mid-morning stroll. The rays of the sun can be very damaging even to adult skin and anyone who has ever received a sunburn on his or her scalp can attest that it is not much fun at all. Because babies have skin that is far more sensitive than that of an adult or older child, it is vital that baby’s head be protected as much as possible whenever outdoors.
For this purpose there are several styles of baby hats, caps, and bonnets available for parents to choose from. From the simple cotton cap that the baby wears while in the hospital to the most stylish bonnet or quaint little ball cap (a popular item with boy’s fathers all over the country), infant headwear can be found anywhere that baby clothing is sold. Hats, caps, and bonnets for babies may be purchased by themselves, but often come with matching outfits. They’re available for boys, girls, and in unisex or gender indifferent styles.
Babies’ caps are some of the “cutest” headwear items available. Styles in these range from simple knit or cotton pull-down caps (similar to snow caps or ski caps) to caps designed like baseball caps (with a far smaller bill) and sailor’s caps. These are found in styles for both boys and girls, as well as unisex designs, but are often favored by the parents of little baby boys.
The bonnet has been associated with babies for as long as most people can remember. In fact, the popular Easter song notwithstanding, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who is not an infant wearing a bonnet of any kind in this day and age. Baby bonnets cover the entire head, offering maximum protection, and usually tie beneath the chin or are held on with an elastic band. While the protection the offer is good, the fastening device can make them uncomfortable for the baby. Some newer bonnets are held on with elastic that encircles the front of the bonnet and these seem like they may be more comfortable. Like caps, bonnets are designed for both sexes and in unisex styles, but due to the generally effeminate appearance of the bonnet itself they are favored by parents of girls.
Babies’ hats come in nearly as many styles as those for adults do. Usually worn for show as part of an outfit rather than for practicality, they can be designed like top hats, cowboy hats, and even captain’s hats, along with any other style imaginable. They are designed for boys and girls, but there aren’t many styles that can be considered to be unisex. These are far less common than the other designs in infant headwear.