I watched a mom with two young children – an infant and a 3-year-old recently as she put their hats on before going out into the nippy fall day. The older child’s hat was charmingly hand- knitted and the mom told me she had only recently finished it. I mentioned I’d been thinking a lot about hats lately.
My sisters and I often reminisce about being young moms and our own mother always reminding us to put a hat on our babies and young children. She couldn’t crochet fast enough to make sure all heads were covered. Friends of ours with babies that our mom would get to meet would also soon have a hand-made grandma hat to wear.
To be honest, it was often frustrating and we sometimes felt, what is it with the hats?
Well, I now have come full circle. I’m not creating a hat for every baby I meet, but I have to admit, I do notice – and comment often to my husband – when we’re out, passing babies and young children on a cool evening walk – “That baby needs a hat”.
Infants and young children have not developed the self-regulation necessary to know they are unhappy because they are too cool or it is too windy so they depend on attentive, caring adults to help them feel warm, calm and safe by dressing them to be most comfortable. Since 50% of our body warmth escapes through the head, it’s a smart way to keep toasty.
That said…we are all too familiar with the frustration we see in young children who will not wear hats – who pull them off again and again. This can certainly be a dilemma. What can we do?
Comfort needs to be a real consideration when we are choosing a hat for anyone – fit, feel and perhaps fun. Searching for the right hat might well be worth the time. There are cute little animal hats out there that could win over some particular toddlers. I know one little guy who was very attached to his duck hat for many years. Of course, expectation and consistency helps. “We wear hats to keep us warm.” “If you want to play outside, you need to wear your hat.”
For me, it’s more about the warmth and coziness and feeling of comfort that a hat provides to those who wear one. I adore the feeling my own favorite hat sends when it envelopes my ears and I feel warm right down to my toes.
When your body is content, cozy, feeling a sense of well-being, we feel in tune with the world and those around us.
I think a hat can help this along.
Hats on to all of you!
Watch for the hat and mitten tree at The Parenting Place that will be set up in the beginning of December. These hand-knitted items are donated to us by the senior citizens at RSVP and they are free for any to take. I’ve seen many a reluctant toddler choose a hat from the tree and willingly wear it with a smile.