Tips for Dressing Baby Safely This Winter
One of the challenges of being a new mom is knowing exactly how to dress your baby. My youngest always refused to wear coats and be bundled up and I hated chasing after him with a sweater, but I was worried he would catch a cold or worse. The truth is that different babies have different tolerances to certain temperatures, such as excessive heat or cold. Generally speaking, though, dressing a baby doesn’t always come naturally to a new mom – it was definitely a learning curve for me! So I’ve put together some tips on how to dress your baby in the winter so that he’s safe, warm and happy.
Babies lose body heat four times faster than an adult. This is why babies need one more layer than you do at all times. The best way to check if your baby is cold is to touch her hands or cheeks; if they feel cold to you, add another layer and maybe even a hat and/or gloves, too.
Dressing in layers is key. Babies who are old enough to run around can get overheated with too many layers so it’s always good to allow them to take off their coat for a little while if their face is flush from running.
As soon as you get indoors remember to take off your baby’s coat, hat, mittens, etc, just as you would take off your own so they do not overheat.
With a newborn, it’s almost always a good idea to keep a little hat on their head, even indoors. You can use the little hat from the hospital for the first couple of weeks.
Scarves are a choking hazard for babies and are unnecessary. Most coats and snowsuits can zip up all the way to cover their neck just fine.
When walking outdoors with the stroller, a blanket is a must, even if you have a snowsuit, especially on really cold days.
On very cold or blustery days, a plastic stroller cover is important to keep the heat inside the stroller and to prevent the wind from blowing directly on your baby.
For a baby that is not yet walking, a snow suit is best. Older babies that are beginning to toddle will be better off with snowpants or snow overalls and a down jacket.
If you’re wearing your baby in a baby carrier your body will generate more heat so you may not need as many layers. I used baby carriers all the time with my kids and even if I didn’t put on a coat on my kids I always had some sort of blanket or a baby carrier cover in the front to protect against the wind. Be sure their head, hands and feet are properly protected with a hat, mittens and warm shoes or booties.
For bedtime, be sure to keep your baby warm enough but avoid blankets. A sleepsack is a good idea instead. If you are co-sleeping your body will generate extra heat so take that into consideration.
Stay warm and cozy this winter!