Winter… Most children adore it for the possibility to actively run in the snow, fall down in it, and play snowballs. While parents are mostly concerned if their child is cold and try taking them back home where it is warm and cozy. We understand that every parent wants all the best for the child. However, there is nothing better for the lungs than an active pastime in the cool winter air. That is why we have prepared a guide on choosing winter clothes and rules of dressing babies for cold weather. Read on and you will finally calm down when you go out with your child the next time.
Basic Rules on How to Dress a Baby in Winter
Before we proceed to the rules and tips, it is important to mention that every child is different. Some kids feel comfortable without a hat in October, while the others cannot be exposed to the wind in spring without being dressed in warm babies winter suits. There are various reasons for this, however, one of them is how parents used to dress their baby from the very first days. If you have a newborn, you still can raise a child who is not afraid of air drafts. Here are the rules of how to dress baby in winter wisely:
- The main rule to follow: if your baby sleeps in a stroller, stick to the rule of plus one layer. Dress your child like you and put on a blanket above or place your baby in a sleeping sack. The latter is a very comfy solution that provides a cozy environment for sleeping, as well as protects against the wind.
- Regularly check your baby to understand the comfortable amount of clothing. This rule is applied not only to children who sleep in their strollers but also to active strollers. Check the neck, not nose or cheeks. If it is warm, well-done. In other cases, think of what can be changed.
- Find out how your newborn regulates the temperature. In the first weeks, a baby adapts to the new changing environment. That is why the reaction to the same temperature level may differ. The optimum temperature in the room should be not higher than 64-66 °F. As the air is quite cool, check the reaction of a child to the number of clothes you put on.
- Getting to the destination, uncover your packed baby. If you have decided to grab a cup of coffee in a cafe and have taken the stroller inside, do not forget to take off the blanket and unzip an overall. You can easily overheat a baby even in five or seven minutes that will take you to grab a coffee-to-go. Going outside with an overheated passenger inside the stroller is much more dangerous than forgetting a blanket at home.
How to Dress a Newborn in Winter: At Home & Outside
Before selecting a home wardrobe for a newborn, every parent should put effort to ensure a healthy environment for their baby in the nursery. The temperature of 64-66 °F and the relative humidity of 40-60% are the optimum conditions, even in summer. How to achieve them? Use air conditioning and humidifiers for this purpose (follow all the rules of correct servicing, maintenance, and replacement of filters). If these conditions are met, that is great.
Staying Inside: What to Put On
With a fresh humid air at home, get a couple of onesies for your newborn, and a sleeping sack for the night’s sleep. Use a blanket only when you go out. Covering a baby with a blanket in the crib increases the risk of SIDS. For the daytime, opt for girl or boy sweaters and hoodies and pants that will your child warm in the room temperature of 64-66 °F.
Another tip, while you are staying inside, is to undress a child and do exercise or massage. In such a way, you will improve the circulation of the blood and motivate your child to move and therefore develop the muscles and bones. Do not be afraid, your baby won’t catch a cold if it moves during this process. So, the most important is how to dress newborn in winter is to provide the optimum ambient conditions and check the reaction of your baby to the different number of outfits you put on.
Going Out with a Stroller
In winter, children tend to sleep way better in strollers. The reasons are obvious: the air around is cool and fresh, while their stroller rocks them to sleep. What can be better? It is necessary to properly prepare for going out in winter:
- Remember about the rule of plus one layer;
- Do not forget that a stroller and its winter cover create a barrier against the wind, that is why too many layers are unnecessary;
- Remember to dress warm enough for staying three hours outside.
As a suggested baby wardrobe for a winter stroll: 1st layer — diaper and cotton onesie, 2nd layer — fleece overall (alternatively, you can put on one of the baby boys or baby girls sweaters and hoodies + warm pants), 3rd and 4th layers — a winter overall and a stroller sack.
In a Car Seat: Nothing Should Compromise Safety
Traveling by car in winter can be stressful, especially when the outside temperature drops. When you place your child in a car seat, follow the most important safety rule: a baby should not be dressed in an overall. It creates the barrier between the body and safety belts that should be tightly fastened and keep your child secured in the case of an accident.
That is why you should put, let’s say, a cotton onesie and a fleece overall, then place a baby in a car seat, secure the belts, and cover your child with a blanket over. You may leave mittens and hat on so that to make sure that your baby won’t cool down.
Additional tip: even if the design of your car allows you to place a newborn car seat in front, you should better avoid this. You will use the heater that is drying the air. Dry hot air is harmful to your child. If you can install the seat far from the heater, choose this option. Besides, keeping the temperature inside as low as you can feel comfortable in is always better than overdrying the air inside the car.
Taking a Baby in a Carrier: Cozy & Quickly
The choice of carriers nowadays is abundant. Lots of parents even prefer them to strollers as it is very fast to put it on and place a child inside than go out with a stroller. This is an all-in-one solution: your baby in a carrier feels the warmth of a parent and feels secure as well as breathes fresh winter air.
When it comes to the choice of outfits for your baby and you, it is important to remember that both of you will heat each other. That is why do not put an extra sweater on. Put on a cotton onesie + a fleece overall on a child and a long-sleeve jersey on yourself, then fix your baby in the carrier. On top of both of you, put on your winter coat, and that’s it. If you manage to carry your baby all winter like this, you won’t even need to buy an overall for your little one. Of course, it is up to parents and their lifestyle to decide.
Selecting Winter Clothes for Toddlers
When your baby grows up and becomes more active, you will spend even more time outside in winter. It becomes harder to make your baby tired and hungry and go home. While your baby is running and playing snowballs, parents are worrying all the time if they are not too cold. The rule of plus one layer should not be applied to toddlers. It is even on the contrary, you should better apply it to yourself. While you are supervising your baby, you move not so actively. That is why putting on an extra sweater won’t make you go home after 30 minutes outside.
The choice of winter clothes for toddlers completely depends on the temper of your baby and the way he or she reacts to cool temperatures. It makes sense to check the neck of your toddler to find out if you have not overpacked your baby.
The important consideration is to make sure that your baby is comfortable to move in winter clothes you put on. If your toddler is very active, choose thermal overalls that are thin but warm. There are plenty of collections so, you won’t experience difficulties in finding one for your active toddler.
Any Weather Restrictions?
When it comes to going out in winter, one of the most frequent questions is related to weather restrictions. The truth is that most parents are looking for an excuse not to go out if it is snowing or raining. That is why to answer this question, every parent should honestly weigh if the benefits from going out are more important than spending half an hour on dressing yourself and a baby. While most pediatricians do not restrict winter strolls even if the temperature is 13 degrees, it is better to wisely approach the matter.
If it is windy and unbearable outside, it is better to stay home and open the window to let some fresh air in. In freezy sunny weather, it is more comfortable to go out with a thermos of hot tea. Stay smart and reasonable when it comes to going out in winter and dressing your baby for strolls.