What Are the Best Hooded Baby Towels?

What Are the Best Hooded Baby Towels?

If you ask scientists about the most important activities for babies, you might be surprised to hear that bath time ranks high. It goes beyond making sure your baby is clean and has healthy skin. Baths are a full-body engagement of all the senses, so it's a wonderful time for babies to learn and engage with different sights, sounds, and sensations. Baths with calming skin-on-skin contact can even help babies physiologically relax, which prepares them for a night of better sleep.

Lots of elements go into making bath time bonding, fun, and relaxing. Experts recommend warm (but not hot) water, introducing toys that make the bath stimulating, and having cozy towels nearby. Setting up your baby for a good night's sleep is an extra perk for some, but the ultimate goal is to make sure your baby loves bath time and has positive associations with it. With the right hooded baby towel, you can do precisely that with a fun and functional towel that invites imaginative playtime, offers comfort, and makes every bath time enjoyable for both of you. 

Keep reading to learn a bit more about the scientific benefits of hooded bath towels and how to pick the perfect towel for your little one.

Make Bath Time More Fun With a Hooded Baby Towel

Different babies react to bath time in different ways. Some love splashing in the water and clapping at bubbles, while others hate the sensation of water on their faces. A great strategy is to move bath time to when babies are already happy, especially when they're well-rested and newly fed, such as right after nap time or breakfast. This turns the traditional bath-time-bed-time pattern on its head, but some parents see a lot of success with it.

Another strategy is to make bath time fun. If baths are abrupt or too noisy, they can be frightening or unpleasant. But bubbles, singing, and bath toys lighten up the experience and can even turn it into a one-on-one playtime that babies enjoy. 

One toy that can really help end the bath on a high note is a hooded bath towel. A cute and unique hooded bath towel is like a fun costume that's uniquely theirs. If you can find one that matches their security blanket or favorite stuffed toy, that's even better. Before we discuss the development and emotional benefits of switching from a standard towel to a hooded one, here are some of the functional benefits:

  • A warm transition: Hooded towels help babies snuggle up and stay warm after getting out of the water. In particular, they help warm your baby's head, restoring their baseline body temperature, heart rate, and oxygen levels. This is critical for newborns, who are particularly sensitive, but it remains important for infants as they grow. So a conventional towel is often not enough—a hood protects their heads while the rest of the towel can be wrapped around them.
  • Routine: Much like how a familiar security blanket can soothe babies when they're anxious throughout the day or night, a hooded towel provides that same familiar comfort after bath time. Seeing the towel waiting nearby as they're in the bath can help them stay calm and happy because they know they'll soon be wrapped up in the cozy fabric.

Now let's get to the fun!

Turn Bath Time Into an Imaginative Adventure

Baby brains are primed for learning, and bath time offers a lot of experiential and imaginative play opportunities. They can splash in the water, see how the water moves, and see how washcloths or cups float in the water. Talking throughout the bath helps them to learn, as well. You can also make bath time a place for make-believe play, by making animal sounds or animal faces. You and your baby can quack like a duck, growl softly like a bear, hoot like an owl, or trumpet like an elephant. 

Then, when bath time is over, you can keep the game going by wrapping up your baby in a hooded towel that matches those animals—duck, bear, owl, elephant...the possibilities are endless. This helps babies associate the sounds and sights of their favorite animals together, which is a great way to boost their development and memory.

Make Bath Time and Bedtime Something to Look Forward To

Creating games and having an adorable towel that's just for bath time makes the bath something to look forward to instead of something to avoid. It can also be a distractingly fun game if your baby is a little iffy about bath time but loves animals. 

Over time, the positive associations of playing with the towel and playing with you will carry over to the bath itself. The playtime can even become more sophisticated as your baby develops, so you can start describing the towel and the animal together, create stories, and continue to play straight through bath time and onto bedtime without any tears.

Related: A Quick Shopping Guide For Baby Towel Wraps

What Features Do the Best Hooded Baby Towels Have?

The best hooded baby towels make for the best bath times and transition to bedtime. Whether you're looking for a cute gift idea or you want to start off a new bathtime routine on the right foot, look out for towels that have the right fabrics and style to become a beloved toy. The best hooded baby bath wraps will have:

Developmentally Appropriate Designs and Colors to Spark Engagement

A plain hooded towel is functional, but it isn't necessarily fun. Instead, opt for animal designs that are far more engaging and can help set the stage for development and imaginative play. Why are animal hoods the best?

  • They can pretend to become the animal: Some babies and young toddlers hate having their heads covered. It's a miserable end to an iffy bath time. But pretending to be a dog, pony, or other favorite animal with a hood that looks the part is much more fun.
  • They are pastel or natural colors: When bath time comes right before bedtime, you might be looking for more sedate play. Pastel colors and muted hues are less stimulating than bright primary colors and neons. You can also more easily transition from pretending to be an animal into going to sleep (all animals sleep!) than you can if a towel looks more like a superhero cape.

Soft Fibers That Won't Irritate Sensitive Skin

After a bath is when a baby's skin might be at its most sensitive. Even gently warm water and baby-rated soaps can sometimes be a bit irritating, and baby moisturizers need a bit of time to truly sink into the skin. So be sure to steer clear of harsh fabrics, synthetic blends, and scratchy fibers. Instead, look for 100% cotton velour terry cloth. This material is absorbent, soft, and warm without being too warm. It can also be tumble-dried, so it helps reduce total laundry time.

Also, look for fabrics that aren't packed full of bright, harsh dyes that can transfer to skin or be an allergen or irritant.

A Big, Roomy Hood

Hoods need to be loose and spacious. After all, no baby wants to feel like their head is trapped. Make sure the hood can be easily put on and taken off while accommodating ears and hair. If the hood can slightly flop over their forehead and foster imaginative play, that's even better.

Matching Toys, Books, or Accessories

If you see a lot of different towels that meet these criteria, then look for a theme or animal that could be a perfect fit for your baby's interests or collection of toys. If they love dogs, you might pick a dog hooded towel. If they're interested in unicorns and fairy tales, or have a unicorn stuffy that they enjoy at night, find a unicorn towel. Creating a theme can help reinforce routines and ensure babies love their new tool even more.

Related: The Best Baby Shower Gifts For Any Budget

This also makes a towel the perfect gift idea for friends and family. Whether you're looking for a baby shower gift and you know someone has already gotten a stuffed animal or a cute baby blanket or the holiday season is approaching and you know the new parents are looking for bath time solutions, you can give the gift of a more fun and enjoyable bath time.

Make Bath Time Better With Hooded Baby Towels From Elegant Baby

Creating a fun and engaging routine around bath time is one of the best strategies for turning bath time from a fight into playtime—or making bath time enjoyable for your baby from the start. At Elegant Baby, we've carefully designed our selection of luxury hooded baby bath wraps so they're cozy, durable, and cute for babies aged 0 to 24 months. Browse our high-end collection today and find inspiration for a new bathtime routine.

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