Bows & Babies

October 29, 2012

By Gabrielle.

Okay. I have a silly question for you today. I’d love to hear your thoughts on babies plus bows. I’m talking about new babies. New baby girls. Baby girls with little or no hair.

Tell me: Have you ever stuck on a little bow?

I used to love doing this with Baby Maude and Baby Olive. I would tie a tiny bow with a bit of satin ribbon and “glue” it on their head with a drop of corn syrup. It wouldn’t last very long, but I thought it looked sweet! And since I enjoyed dressing my babies in blue, it would prevent strangers from assuming my girls were boys. Which was a particular pet peeve of mine at the time.

But with Baby Betty and Baby June, I no longer seemed to be bothered at all when they were mistaken for boys. And (possibly related) I also stopped using stick-on bows. I wasn’t opposed to them, I suppose my life was a bit fuller with 5 and 6 kids and it was harder to make time for those happy little details. Here’s Baby June on her blessing day. No bow.

What’s your take? Do you like the little bows, or do they bother you? I’ve heard people get really upset about them, and the whole idea of “decorating” your baby. Do you have an opinion on the topic?

By the way, the felt bows pictured are here. They’re bigger than I prefer for a baby, but I think they’d be adorable for a toddler.

P.S. — Instead of corn syrup, some people suggest KY, but that never seemed to work for me. I’ve also heard girlie glue keeps a bow — or fake mustache! — in place all day long.

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim Q October 29, 2012 at 11:55 am

Personally, I am not a fan of bows. I particularly dislike the ones that are bigger than the baby’s head! :o) But to each their own, I say.


2 Eliza October 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Uh oh! I love bows on everything, especially babies, and the bigger the better!


3 Victoria October 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Agree! I love bows and there is no such thing as too big in my opinion!


4 Megan A October 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I think bows (especially the headband ones) look so stupid on babies with no hair! When girls develop enough hair to use them, that’s when you bring out the clip on bows.


5 Lynn October 29, 2012 at 11:56 am

I’m not crazy about the idea of “glueing” something onto your child but the corn syrup idea seems harmless enough and thsoe little felt bows are pretty adorable.
I have more of a problem with those super tight headbands that go all the way around a baby’s head. It looks painful and gives me a headache just looking at them, lol.
All of that being said, I never did bows or the headbands with Talula but I always dressed her in pretty girly clothes so it was a moot point.

PS. Love your children’s names, so sweet! :)


6 WhippleStTracy October 29, 2012 at 11:57 am

Corn syrup! What a great Idea! I didnt even think about that. I think the little bows are so cute !


7 Design Mom October 29, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I can’t remember where I learned the corn syrup trick. Probably my mom or one of my older sisters.


8 Danielle November 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Love these, Would really like to buy some of these!! If possible please email me :)


9 Nikki October 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm

A little bow or a head band… seriously. It seems to me that parents and people now a days are just super sensitive. I feel like when I was growing up these were never issues. No one would be caught dead discussing or outward expressing their opinions on the way others were parenting. I feel (no offense moms) that many moms these days feel like because they had children they have the right to comment and remark on the way other people raise their children. Live and let live!


10 Louise October 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm

4 girls here and no bows. Not a fan.


11 findingmagnolia October 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I’m one of those tacky people who likes the giant bows and flowers. I think, though, that it depends on the baby. Some babies look great with little (or big) extras, and some don’t, just like as grown-ups there are certain styles that work better or worse for each individual. I think babies with more delicate features do better with a small bow or no bow, whereas babies with stronger features can go bigger. Both of my kiddos have strong facial features, and sometimes a giant bow or flower has brought more attention to their beautiful eyes and lips, whereas if they had more delicate features, big accessories would overpower them.


12 Sarah October 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I like a little feminine touch too!


13 Norah October 29, 2012 at 12:24 pm

My 2.5 year old daughter JUST got hair. She still only has enough for the tiniest cutest little pig tails. Now we have been putting bows in her hair but only at her request. I don’t know why, but I’m just not into them. Especially not those huge headbands with gigantic flowers on them. It also never really bothers me when people think my daughter is a boy, (as evidenced by her halloween costumes here but that is probably because she is not at an age where it would bother her. It’s funny how people get really apologetic and sometimes defensive when they say “Your son is so cute” and I casually say “Thank you, she’s a girl though.”


14 Colleen October 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Love tiny bows, HATE huge ones.


15 Peggy October 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I am one of the people who does not like it, actually not AT ALL!
I like babies all “natural”, they are so soft, delicate and beautiful… a bow looks out of place to me xxx


16 Meagan October 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I’ve got a little boy, but I suspect if the next one is a girl, I’m just too lazy for bows. I don’t see any harm though. I don’t know why people would get bent out of shape about “decorating” a baby… For a baby, anything beyond a diaper an a blanket is just “decoration.”


17 Jill October 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Girlie Glue Does work better than anything else I’ve tried. It is All-natural made from stuff in the kitchen and literally lasts all day. Washes right off with water. So great! It is my favorite new baby product!


18 Design Mom October 29, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I’ve never tried it. So glad to hear from someone who has! I’ll have to keep it in mind as a baby gift for my bow-loving friends.


19 Mel October 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I love it too. I got it for a shower gift recently and it is the best! I don’t like huge bows so it holds darling little flowers or cute bows on all day then comes right at the end of the day. She can wear all blue and still look feminine!


20 Jayne October 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I’m a big fan of Girlie Glue! My daughter is 9, and terrified of getting her ears pierced. We made some felt earrings and she glues them on each morning. She has been so pleased to have fun accessories to wear! My son is Mario for Halloween and we made a felt moustache and put it on with Girlie Glue. We love it!


21 mandi@herbanhomestead October 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm

What a fantastic idea about the earrings! My daughter feels the same way about ear piercings as yours, but I bet she would love this idea! Thanks for passing it on!


22 Erica October 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I occasionally put bows on both of my daughters when they were babies. All three of my children were born with little to no hair, and they were very slow to grow hair. My two year old daughter still has very little hair. I do and did grow tired of people assuming that my daughters are boys due to their lack of hair, and that is part of my motivation for putting bows in their hair. I also think that small bows are very sweet on baby girls. I never did use glue. I do think it is really funny when people put gigantic bows on their daughters heads that are disproportionately large. I see that quite often here in the South, and I think it is really funny.


23 Barchbo October 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I have a 7 week old girl but no bows for her. I just don’t care for the aesthetic. I rather someone think she’s a boy than make her a bowhead. Also, I’d rather not set the early standard for being high-maintenance about her hair!


24 Design Mom October 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Hah! I am the worst at doing my hair. I hear you on the high-maintenance!


25 Kimberly October 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I like the sweet little satin ribbon bows on infants. We did it with all our foster newborn girls. I don’t care for the enormous flower-lace-bow combos larger than the actual baby, but a small bow just seems the right thing to do! We used karo syrup.


26 Design Mom October 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Yes. The tiny super simple bows are my favorite.


27 Megan M. October 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I have two girls who both had hair since birth, but I never used bows or headbands. They either get pulled off or fall off, and who needs to worry about that when they have to carry around eight million other things for their babies? My sister-in-law, however, puts giant bows and tutus on her baby every day. I admit it’s cute on her, but sometimes I think… no. It’s too much.

What bothers me more than seeing bows or headbands are the kids who have their barely-there gathered into on thin “ponytail” that sticks straight up on the top of their head, a tiny wispy thing. I’ve seen that a few times and thought, really? They really needed to keep their five strands of hair out of their face? But that’s just me.


28 Lauren K November 1, 2012 at 8:20 am

Oh I think those little wispy ponytails are adorable! Nothing to do with keeping it out of their face – it’s just the adorableness of how tiny and precious it is.


29 Lisa October 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I used to think it was strange seeing a tiny baby with a huge flower on her head. My firstborn is my son, and he is all boy, so those type of feminine adornments seamed especially silly to me. My secondborn is a girl, and my feelings on bows have completely changed! She is not quite 3 months old yet, and she a dozen very decorative headbands already. The truth is she looks totally cute in them! The headbands are soft, stretchy, not tight at all, and they are adorned with huge flowers, bows, and even feathers. She has a few with small dainty bows as well. My son was 6 when my daughter was born. I think after 6 years of boy clothing (even though my son is well-dressed!), it’s just so fun to dress my new little girl in the girliest apparel and accessories I can find. Now, I must say, the one thing I do not like to see on little babies is earrings! There is no way I will get my baby’s ears pierced! I will allow it if she wants them, but she is not old enough to make that choice right now, and I’m not going to make it for her. When the day comes that she tells me she wants to wear earrings, then I will take her to get them pierced. Until then, she’ll just wear big pretty bows! They’re not permanent, they’re not a whole in her body! Of course, if the day comes that she doesn’t want to wear bows, that’s completely fine with me. I think it’s great for children to have and know their own style likes and dislikes.


30 Design Mom October 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Isn’t it funny how opinions change! I remember being sure I wouldn’t like pink, and then loving it when my girls arrived.


31 Lauren K November 1, 2012 at 8:23 am

I always hated earrings on babies too, until I had a girl finally. Got her ears pierced at 5 months old! But that could be because we now live right against the Mexican border, and around here the doctors pierce their ears before even leaving the hospital. So after living here for a while, it just became the cultural norm to me so I did it as soon as she had all the right vaccinations! I LOVE them on her too, so precious. Just itty bitty tiny little gold balls.
I always thought it was cruel to do it to a baby – but then I realized, vaccines hurt more. And I had only pierced my ears 3 years ago, and remembered it didnt even hurt at all after the sting of the gun faded. She cried about having her head held still, as soon as we let her head go – she stopped crying and was smiling at everyone right away.


32 Betsy October 29, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Little bows are fine with me, but I’ve never used them on any of my four girls. I just HATE those huge headband bow/flower things that are bigger than the baby’s head. Babies are so perfect and gorgeous without all the decoration and with those huge flowers, that’s all you see. Major pet peeve. Can’t wait until that trend passes.


33 Dee October 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I never stuck bows on, my kiddos were all born with a ton of hair. My flair for all things theatrical makes me firmly #teambow, but they never stayed in my older daughter’s hair when she was a babe. My younger daughter, on the other hand, had perfect bow hair from birth. See?


34 Design Mom October 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm

“My flair for all things theatrical makes me firmly #teambow”

That made me laugh!


35 Chrissy October 30, 2012 at 8:03 am

She DOES have perfect bow hair!!! It frames the bow but still draws the attention to her cute face. Love it!


36 julie r October 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm

i was never a fan of bows with my two girls – i put hats on them instead! all three of my kids wore Hanna Andersson pilot caps for months after they were born (the Northwest is cold and rainy 2/3 out of the year anyway) :) . we’ve ended up with several sizes in several colors and have always gotten so many compliments on them!


37 Design Mom October 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I have one of those caps! They are adorable.


38 Hayley October 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm

We use clips around here, instead of bows. Those bendy ones that just snap in. She pulled out bows and headbands when she was little, so it wasn’t worth the hassle. I am a terrible hair fixer and can’t practice because my daughter fights hair brushing. So, we’re a “little girly bob and clip” type of family. She is still as precious as can be!


39 Stephanie October 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I love the idea of bows on baby girls! I have tried so many different things to keep bows on my daughters head, from KY to honey. I have been using Girlie glue and I love it!!!
Girlie Glue keeps my baby girls bow in her hair all day, and she is an active little thing. When I get her ready for bed I use a bit of water and the bow comes right out.
I would recommend this product to anyone!


40 Meggan Hayes October 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I think small ribbon bows look adorable on newborn baby girls. What I can’t stand….huge overwhelming flower headbands. I have never really put either on my girls (of which I have 4) because I am just too practical but I love seeing them.


41 tn October 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I make my bows on barrettes for babies or if absolutley no hair i add an elastic headband.

But im one who adores tutus and other girly things for my little miss!


42 Nic October 29, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I plan on putting bow ties on onesies regardless of baby’s gender. I mean, have you seen them? They’re ADORABLE.


43 April Louise October 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm

love the bows, they are fabulous in all the colours! You could further decorate them with polka dots. Fabulous idea!


44 Linda October 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I am more than 70 and my baby pictures include tiny ribbons somehow stuck to my bald head so I guess it is an old habit!


45 Heidi October 29, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I like a little bow/accessory in my baby girls hair, my prob is that I lose them all because nothing holds good enough(ie; ky, cornsyrup, maple syrup etc…). But I have actually tried the girlie glue it ROCKS. LOVING the stuff, it is way overdue!


46 The redhead October 29, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I’m expecting my first little girl to arrive any day now and after having two boys I am ready for all the little female adornments (and I’m not even all that girlie myself). I prefer simple though . . . and small. Size should be relative to the size of the child. A little delicate bow in my opinion looks lovely on babies, not, however a bow or flower as big as their head.


47 the emily October 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I really like teeny tiny bows, but the big huge head squeezers look ridiculous to me. My baby girl didn’t have hair ’til well after she was one, and I loved how feminine it made her look to have a small bow on her head.


48 Jennifer October 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm

my baby girl (half-korean) had a little mohawk when she was a baby and i loved it, so no bow in her hair. i don’t mind bows in baby’s hair but not a fan of the headband.


49 Sarah October 29, 2012 at 10:20 pm

All of my girls have had little to no hair when they were born and my 14 month old still has very thin hair. I just found girlie glue online and ordered a number of tubes for myself and as gifts. I just got some in the mail and have used it almost everyday. I love it and it is easy clean up…I love that! The website is


50 Azure October 29, 2012 at 10:35 pm

My first daughter was bald, so no bows. I tried headbands, but they never stayed on. My second daugher had a full head of hair, so I got to go straight into little ponytails with bows!

Note that when they got older, my first daughter could never tolerate more than minimal brushing, whereas my second daughter let me put all sorts of braids and ponytails in. I attribute this to the fact that my first daughter never felt the tug of a brush until age 2, whereas my second daughter had it from the beginning.


51 Kendra October 30, 2012 at 1:10 am

after 4 boys, you better believe i put a bow on my daughter’s head! i love the felt bows…i don’t do anything too overpowering, but usually larger than a small satin bow. It’s just fun. I think it’s cute…and her brothers all like to ohhh and ahhh over her when she has one in her non-existant hair. And if i’m being real here….the bow usually just stays on for a few minutes before it’s pulled off and i shove it in my purse. but it’s cute while it lasts.


52 Mali October 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Not a fan of bows, I have three girls and there’s never been a bow in the house. I like kids to be kids, comfortable clothes in gender-neutral colors and fabric that’s designed for playing. I don’t mind pink and I’m not strict, but I try to be aware of the structures that you can change yourself. So I guess decorating your baby would be something I would avoid.


53 Bonnie October 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm

In theory I don’t have a problem with hair accessories. The key is PROPORTIONS. I can’t stand the GIANT bows (and especially flower headbands) that are so popular. Maybe it’s because I had a boy first, but now that I have a little girl (with lots of hair!) I still don’t put a bow on her head, despite owning several. It looks a lot like decoration to me.


54 Lori @ Montessori MOMents October 31, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I must say, I was surprised (at the very least) to open up one of my favorite blogs to find a picture of my baby on it! That’s my sweet little Lila at 1 week old. The photo is taken from this post on my blog:

Obviously, I love bows and my baby had so much hair from the beginning that it just begged for a bow. I found toothpaste works the best at holding them in place, but it’s a little funny to breath in a minty scent when kissing a newborn. :)

-Lori @ Montessori MOMents


55 Lauren K November 1, 2012 at 8:29 am

I adore bows on babies heads. Adore them! I bought 20 some bows on the day I found out she was going to be a girl! Then she was born bald – saddest day ever! Then a friend made me a headband that has a little loop in it, so I could clip the little bows to the headband!!! Genius. She is 5m old now, still bald and beautiful, and still sporting her now growing collection of over 50 some beautiful bows. I have a few different bows to match every outfit she has LOL
I used to love the HUGE bows on babies heads, and got a few of those for her too… put one on her and changed my mind. It just does not work for this little girl, she needs little tiny bows on her bald head!


56 Maike November 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm

There is no such thing as head bands and bows for little baby girls in Germany, at least, I have never seen one. I live in Berlin, which is the capital city of hand me downs, second hand and gender neutral clothes for kids and since I am heavily influenced by my Irish in-laws in terms of clothes for my daughter, I already got a lot of snoddy comments about her wearing dresses and skirts and silver ballerinas in preschool. I am sure they would call in an extra parents meeting if I would glue on a bow. :-)
Anything girly is for some reason the absolute end of everything.
I myself grew up like that – secretly liking pink and dresses and anything ballet and horses but officially trying to be as boyish as can be, so I learned that real freedom means that there is nothing wrong with being super girly or boyish or whatever. My kid loves skirts and Leotards. And crowns and anything glitter. And I let her wear it.
I would not dare to glue on a bow though. Seriously.


57 kirstin @ kojo November 2, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Love the bows. Seriously, love.
My daughter JUST got hair (she’s two and a half) and, it didn’t matter if she were dressed entirely in pink ruffles, people still thought she was a boy. Unless she was wearing a bow/headband. Love those things.


58 Eva November 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm

My youngest girl is four but I found a teeny tiny bow sitting in a corner of my laundry room just a few weeks ago.
I love the itsy bitsy bows but really have no love for the giant ones.


59 AnneStrawberry November 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I’m kind of on the fence about these, a big bow is alright occasionally but I prefer little bows over flowers most of the time for my daughter (and will surely for my next daughter coming in the spring).

These are the best posts I’ve read about headbands and flowers in forever. A must read!

And I’m off to order some Girlie Glue, sounds amazing!


60 Dani September 2, 2013 at 11:07 pm

I’ve tried Girlie Glue and it works GREAT! Super easy to apply and lasts all day, washes off easy with water. It lasts all day even at disneyland on my nieces.


61 Darcey January 27, 2014 at 11:39 am

I have a little boy with my first baby girl due in 5 weeks. I’m busily making lots of little tiny bows and headbands for her! Most are very similar to these but slightly smaller. I’m not a fan of the bows and flowers that seem to take over and are more like giant hats. I’m also not a fan of piercing an infant’s ears, but I am a fan of cute little bows!


62 Melissa March 5, 2015 at 2:33 pm

I have a 6 week old baby girl and I always have a great big bow on her head! She has very little hair and I think the bows give her a cute feminine touch. What I hate is when other people take it upon themselves to remove her hair accessories. I took my time picking out just the right one to match her outfit for the day and I want her to wear it! Granted, I have 2 boys before her so I was ready for a more feminine feel in the house.


63 Britt October 12, 2016 at 3:03 pm

If you are in the UK and looking for hand made bows for you girls please take a look at my site http://www/ , I’ve been building this business up and would love to hear from anyone with new idea’s about what I should create!


64 Britt October 12, 2016 at 3:03 pm

If you are in the UK and looking for hand made bows for you girls please take a look at my site , I’ve been building this business up and would love to hear from anyone with new idea’s about what I should create!


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