Dressing Baby for Colder Temps

By Jennifer Jensen

Winter brings cooler temperatures, even to our area, and dressing your little one so they stay nice and warm might seem challenging at first.

A great rule of thumb for babies and children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than you would wear in the same conditions, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Make sure to dress both infants and children warmly. Several thin layers work best to keep them dry and warm. Don’t forget about their little hands, feet and heads. Be sure to have mittens, gloves and a hat ready for colder temperatures.

If your baby is going to be riding in a car seat, opt for several thin, snug layers rather than a bulky coat. Try long-sleeved bodysuits and leggings, then layer on warmer bottoms and a sweater. You can also add a thing fleece jacket. A bulky coat can make it hard to safely secure baby in their car seat, not to mention, it might be uncomfortable for them.

To keep your baby warm when they are sleeping, the best bet is to use one-piece sleepers, sleep sacks or wearable blankets. Blankets, quilts, pillows, bumpers or any other loose bedding should never be placed where an infant is sleeping, according to the AAP. These are associated with suffocation deaths.

Now that your baby is all snuggled up, you might be concerned about them overheating. Not too worry. It’s fairly easy to determine if your baby is getting too hot. Simply touch their neck or ears. If they feel warm or you notice sweating, flushed cheeks, heat rash or rapid breathing, start to remove layers too cool your baby down. You can also try and cool the room down.

If your baby is too warm, they might also become restless. And that’s not good for anyone. Just be sure to not overdress them. If you do need to cool baby down, try offering them fluids, move them to a cooler room or dress them in lighter clothing. If your baby’s symptoms do not improve, or if they have a fever, rapid heartbeat, are lethargic or unresponsive, vomiting, or seem dizzy or confused, seek medical treatment.

Watch out for signs of overheating:

  • Feels warm
  • Sweating
  • Flushed cheeks
  • Heat rash
  • Rapid breathing

The big thing to remember is that babies cannot regulate their body temperature, so they need your help to avoid extreme hot or cold.