Bonnets to Bear Hats: Baby Headwear through the Ages

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Baby hats are an adorable and essential part of any fashionable baby’s attire, as they have been throughout history. Here is a brief guide to a few of the styles that were popular historically, and some which have enduring appeal.


Bonnets were popular throughout the middle ages and well into Victorian times, including a huge variety of hats. However, over time the definition of a bonnet became more specific, with the word ‘bonnet’ later used to refer more specifically to hats tied under the chin which covered the back of the head but not the forehead. While bonnets reduced in popularity in the latter part of the 20th century, in recent years they have made quite a comeback, offering a timeless look and good levels of shade – great for summer!

Knit Caps

Knit caps encompass a wide range of headwear that initially became popular for adults in 17th and 18th century northern Europe. Also known as “beanies”, these hats are tapered at the top and hug the head to keep the cold out, perhaps explaining why they are extremely popular in Scandinavia. While we can’t say for sure when knit caps became popular as hats for babies, during World War I, there was a large campaign for members of the public in Britain to knit large quantities of clothing and accessories, including hats, to supplement troop uniforms. Knitting subsequently became a craze that swept over Britain, with knitwear becoming extremely fashionable in the 1920s. Since that time, families around the world have often knitted their own caps for their children and in many countries, there is still a tradition for grandparents to knit little caps for their newly born grandchildren.  

Headbands and Turbans

While the origins of these kinds of headwear are difficult to pin down, evidence suggests that headbands may have originated in ancient Greece or Rome, while turbans have featured throughout middle Eastern and Indian history. Headbands (and specifically ‘Alice Bands’) are thought to have become very popular with the publication of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through the Looking Glass’ which featured illustrations of Alice wearing an elegant horseshoe-shaped hair accessory that held the hair in place at the front while letting it hang freely at the back. These days both these kinds of headwear are extremely popular for baby girls, with many beautiful and intricate designs available. Just one word of caution though, always remember that anything within reach of your baby is likely to end up in their mouth, so it’s really important to avoid anything on turbans or headbands that may come off or choke them – no matter how pretty the design is.

Adorable Dinosaur Hats

Fast-forward to the 21st century and technology is allowing us to create designs and styles of baby hats that parents from centuries past could only dream of. If Victorian parents knew that in the year 2020 you could make your baby look like an adorable little dinosaur, they would doubtless turn green with envy (maybe!). Here at Little Blooms Baby Gifts, our hats are designed for maximum cuteness, comfort, and safety. So regardless of whether you are a fan of bonnets, knit caps or ornate turbans, perhaps it’s time to add an adorable new dinosaur hat to the collection, for a level of cuteness that is simply ferocious.