Properly sizing a baby headband is the basic starting block of creating baby headbands. It’s possibly the most important step. It’s also a bigger process than just making sure the headband can wrap around baby’s head.
The first issue in sizing a baby headband is comfort. The little darling in your arms cannot tell you if the headband is uncomfortable, pinches her head, irritates her, or is too tight. The only clue she can give you is a glassy eyed look and a good loud cry. There are other clues you can watch for however. The biggest is the ugly red indentations that are left behind when you remove a tight, uncomfortable headband. Poor baby! That was obviously uncomfortable! I noticed them on my babies almost every time I used a store-purchased headband. It’s almost impossible to create a one-size-fits-all headband. Almost impossible unless you use the right materials, and then you can come pretty close.
The second big issue in sizing a baby headband is how well it will stay in place. A good baby headband with lots of stretch (very important) will fit snugly around baby’s head, and while causing no discomfort, stay properly in place. If a headband is a bit too big, it will slip up the back of her head and eventually fall off into her face. Or it will loosen as baby turns her head from side to side as she sits back against a carrier or seat. She then notices something is there, and turns her head more quickly. Pretty soon you will find it twisted around funny or off to the side of her head. Or, you’re driving down the road and hear baby start to whimper and cry. You pull over to check on her and find her headband down over her eyes! Who turned out the lights?! (This one may be unavoidable as soon as baby can reach up, grab that pretty bow on top of her head, and give it a fun little yank!)
To accurately determine the correct size of headband for your baby do the following:
- Measure the circumference of baby’s head.
- Subtract one inch from circumference.
That should be the size of the headband your baby is wearing if it is has low to medium stretch. On a side note, the less stretchy the headband, the more important it is to be made from comfortable material, as it will fit tightly with very little give.
If the headband is made from very stretchy materials, it can be 2” smaller than baby’s head.
A good way to check the “stretchiness” of a headband is to measure the circumference, then grasp the opposing sides of the headband and give it a good pull. How far will it stretch? After releasing the headband, does it snap right back, or did it stretch out some? Be careful doing this with a Nylon headband. While they are excellent stretchers, they do not stretch back all the way. No need to ruin a good headband with a test.
My favorite “stretchy” headband is the Cotton-Lycra Microfiber headband. It is the champion of stretch. The fabric is so soft, it is absolutely luxurious. After “stretching it out” very hard, it grows 2” in circumference! That is so nice for a growing baby! It also holds its stretch very well. After laundering the headband, it will go back to its original size and still look new.
If you have created a braided Cotton-Lycra Microfiber headband, it will also stretch a great deal. Be aware that if you give it a good “stretch-out” it may not stretch back as nicely. It is more delicate than the nice wide original headband.
The time you spend sizing baby headbands will be surprisingly short, and very valuable to your precious little dolly. Because she really isn’t a dolly at all!