Winter Weather

How To Dress Your Baby In Cold Weather — Without Overheating Them

How to get that temperature just right.

Originally Published: 

Dressing your baby in winter so they’re right in the Goldilocks zone — not too hot, not too cold — is an art. Infants and toddlers are less able to regulate their body temperatures, so they’re more vulnerable to the cold, but you also don’t want them to overheat. Here’s how to do it just right.

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Layers, Layers, Layers

The key to dressing a baby appropriately for cold weather is layering. Layers provide excellent insulation and can be added or removed in order to find the right comfort level. Babies should have at least as many layers as their parents.


Seriously, All The Layers

A thin onesie, then a few long-sleeved shirts and pants, then a sweater or a sweatshirt, and a coat or snowsuit is a good start. Adjust as needed to suit the temperature.


Don’t Forget The Feet

If it’s cold enough out that you’re dressing your baby in footie pajamas, add socks underneath to keep their toes extra toasty.

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Extremities Need Extra Protection

“Always have gloves or mittens, a hat, and boots,” says pediatrician Alison Mitzner, M.D. “Every child — and adult — needs a hat in the winter weather. You lose a good percentage of your body heat from the head.”

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Shed The Coat In The Car Seat

Puffy jackets make a baby seem like they’re tightly fastened when really there’s a ton of room in the car seat straps. So take off the coat for the car ride and opt for blankets for your baby instead. Heat up the car before your ride for optimal comfort.

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Have Extra Dry Clothes On Hand

Since wet cotton doesn’t insulate worth a damn, one poorly fastened diaper or wet blowout can quickly turn all those layers into liabilities. So if you go anywhere during winter, have extras packed of every layer you could need.


Know The Signs Of A Too-Cold Baby

Get your child inside right away if they start shivering or if their hands, feet and face are cold and red or abnormally pale. Fussiness, lethargy, and sneezing can be other signs they’re too cold.

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Know The Signs Of A Too-Hot Baby

If your baby feels warm to the touch, has reddened skin, or a rapid heartbeat, you may have taken the layers message too seriously. It’s time to shed a few.

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