Tips for Dressing Babies Warm for Winter

Unlike adults, babies do not shiver to stay warm when they’re cold, so properly dressing babies warm for winter is an important parental responsibility. Not enough warm baby clothes will result in a chilled baby. Too many clothes and baby can overheat. Here’s some advice for dressing babies warm for winter.

Layering for Warmth

Layering is essential for dressing babies in the winter, as you can remove or add layers as you go in and out of doors. As a rule, the baby should wear one more layer of clothing than the clothing you’re wearing. So, if you’re wearing a sweater, pants, and winter coat, your baby might wear a long-sleeved bodysuit, pants and sweater, with a snowsuit or layer of blankets on top.

Socks, booties, mittens, and snug-fitting hats with chin straps help baby stay warm as well. When layering, remember stroller covers count as a layer, as they keep the wet and cold out while trapping the baby’s body heat.

The Toes, Tummy, and Back Test

Not sure if you’ve used enough warm baby clothes? Try the toes, tummy, and back test. When you come in from the cold, feel these three areas. The toes should be cool but not cold, and tummy and back warm but not sweaty. If the back is sweaty or the baby feels hot, you’re using too many layers.

If the toes, back, and tummy are all cold, the baby is seriously chilled. Hold the little one close for warmth, and add layers when the baby is warm again. If a baby ever fails to warm up, has swollen pink hands and feet, or seems lethargic and droopy, he may be suffering from hypothermia. Seek medical attention immediately.

Winter Woolies and Car Seats

Dressing babies warm for winter can include so many layers they interfere with car seat safety: the extra layers of snowsuits and blankets can leave the seat straps too loose. Instead of strapping a multilayered baby into the seat, it’s safer to take off the snowsuit, strap her in, and then snug blankets around her after she’s safely buckled in.

Inside? Layer off

Babies have difficulty regulating their own body temperature, and are as susceptible to overheating as they are to the cold. When you get inside, remove a few layers of clothing and check baby’s temperature before adding more.

Dressing babies warm for winter isn’t really that difficult. Once you get a feel for how many layers you need, you and your little one will be snug and cozy as you go in and out this winter.