Toddler Winter Hats

Earflap hat
A classic earflap hat.

Toddler winter hats are an important aspect of your child's winter wardrobe. Since heat escapes from the extreme points of the body, equipping your little one with a cute winter hat is an integral step in keeping him warm. Since most toddlers are not fully adept at walking, they may still spend a significant amount of time in a stroller. When confined to a stroller, your toddler's lack of bodily activity only serves to lower heat production. Hats, gloves, and scarves can make these stroller walks safer and more bearable for your child.

Purchasing Toddler Winter Hats

Once stores start stocking their fall and winter apparel, hats become commonplace in most children's shops and boutiques. You can expect to see winter items appearing on the racks as early as mid-August, though the heavy duty winter items will probably show up once the fall season has begun.

There are so many types of toddler winter hats that most parents overlook the individual features of such items. However, some styles and materials used are more appropriate for specific climates.

Beanie Hats

Beanie hats are shaped almost like colanders. For the most part, they cover the entire head. Some beanies are large enough to cover the ears, particularly the slouchier beanie types. Still, since it is difficult enough to get a toddler to keep his hat on, slouchy beanies are not usually manufactured for toddlers. Beanies are typically made from knitted materials; wool often dominates the winter season. These types of hats are practical for mild to moderately cold climates. Colder climates may require supplemental earmuffs to fortify the protection factor.

What is the downside of beanie hats? If a beanie is made from wool, the quality of the wool will determine the comfort of the hat. Wool can be itchy. Though it provides more warmth than other knitted types of fabric, your toddler will be less likely to enjoy wool varieties that are not finely knit. Unfortunately, finely knitted merino wools and cashmere fabrics are more expensive, usually require professional cleaning, and are therefore less practical for toddlers.

Trapper Hats

Trapper hats are an excellent choice for severe winter climates. These hats are lined with fur and offer complete protection for the ears. Thus, the need for supplemental ear muffs is eliminated. Many trapper hat styles for toddlers will feature ties that secure the hat under the neck, which makes it more difficult for busy toddlers to throw off their hats.

This style is a little too overwhelming for mild winter climates, but it is excellent for heavy snows and environments that feature a formidable wind chill factor.

Earflap Hats

Earflap hats are valuable for all winter climates, as they combine the features of both a trapper hat and a beanie. These hats are usually made from materials similar to a beanie, but they feature the earflaps offered by trapper hats. The advantage of a knit earflap hat over the trapper variety is that the hat is lighter and more breathable than a Sherpa-lined trapper. However, for the most extreme winter environments, the trapper will usually be the better choice.

Where to Buy

Toddler winter hats are ubiquitous during the fall/winter seasons. You can find these items at large "everything" stores such as Walmart or Target. Department stores and designer boutiques such as Janie and Jack and Baby Gap will also stock a selection of winter hats. Most prominent brands have online stores to supplement their mall locations, which makes the act of shopping in harsh winter climates significantly easier.

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Toddler Winter Hats