The baby hat has a long and storied history in the UK, and many parents have long preferred it to the traditional white and black headgear that most baby boys wear.
But a new survey by the National Head Start Trust (NHT) finds that more than half of parents (56%) believe a baby headdress can make the appearance of a child’s head “more appealing”.
It is this perception that has prompted a growing number of parents to make the decision to ditch the headgear altogether.
Ahead of the census in 2020, there was a 3% increase in headwear-related deaths in England and Wales from the previous year.
In the survey, a total of 1,542 headwear deaths occurred between October 1 and June 30, 2019.
Of these, 1,066 were recorded as suicides, while the other 439 were non-fatal.
It is worth noting that the NHT is not looking at the death of the person’s parents, so the figures may not include the deaths of other family members.
The survey found that one in five parents (20%) said they were unhappy with the way their child looked, and almost half (48%) were dissatisfied with their baby’s appearance.
More than half (56 per cent) said their baby boy was not happy.
This is not surprising, given that the child is expected to be independent at some stage in their life.
However, the Nht survey also found that the majority (70%) of parents felt that the “big picture” of their baby looked better than their baby girl.
There were also similar proportions of parents who felt their baby had a “good body type”, and those who thought they had “good intelligence”.
One in five (18%) of the parents said their child was “very expressive” and they felt “emotionally stable”.
“Baby boys are often seen as a bit more mature than their female counterparts, and we believe this can be attributed to the fact that they are more likely to be breastfed,” said NHT founder Dr Mark Wainwright.
“We think that this has a direct effect on the look of their bodies, but also their appearance, which can make it harder for babies to develop the body they will need to be successful.”
The survey also revealed that there was “a perception of what an appropriate headdress for babies is in the culture”.
“We’re finding that a lot of parents have decided to drop the baby headband for the time being,” said Dr Wainright.
Headwear has also been linked to obesity, and a recent study by the University of Southampton found that babies who were wearing headbands were more likely than babies who did not wear them to be obese at around the age of two. “
As we’re looking at this in the census, we’re finding parents are more and more worried about what it will look like for their baby when they grow up, and this has been driving a lot more people to choose to ditch their baby headbands.”
Headwear has also been linked to obesity, and a recent study by the University of Southampton found that babies who were wearing headbands were more likely than babies who did not wear them to be obese at around the age of two.
Headgear can also make babies more sensitive to sounds, and research has shown that babies are more sensitive than adults to noise levels.
But despite this, a recent survey found parents were generally satisfied with the look and feel of their child’s hair.
More: Headwear can also be seen as being a way of “giving a child a sense of belonging” The NHT has teamed up with the Children’s Health and Social Care Network to conduct a headwear survey in which more than 10,000 parents are invited to fill in a questionnaire about their child and the changes they have made to their child in the last 12 months.
This will be followed by a detailed survey in June 2020 to collect responses from parents about their baby.