Helpful Tips

How to Dress a Baby in the Summer: Keeping them Cool and Happy

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Learning how to dress a baby in the summer is important for both their health and comfort. During the hotter months of the year, families spend more time outdoors enjoying the sunshine and social events with family and friends.

Knowing the right way to dress your baby can ensure they remain cool and comfortable in the hot summer sun. Your infant’s health and safety will play a role in the type of clothing you choose because too much heat can cause overheating and too much exposed skin can make them susceptible to sunburns. Additionally, hot weather can increase sweating which can result in a heat rash.

Learning how to dress a baby in the summer will keep them happy and healthy when you’re trying to beat the heat. An infant should be dressed in layers, beginning with a onesie. You can add a lightweight dress or a pair of shorts to provide further protection from the sun. Babies should also wear hats whenever outdoors, which can provide much-needed additional protection from the sun. If your infant is over four months of age then remember to apply a layer of sunscreen to any exposed skin, thirty to forty-five minutes before you head outdoors.

Keeping Cool

Considering you’ll be spending more time outdoors if you have twins I recommend using the best double umbrella stroller equipped with a large canopy, which can protect your children from the harmful rays of the sun. Models such as the Delta Children City Street LX side-by-side stroller can provide better than average protection from the sun and can even allow you to recline the seats, so your little ones can catch a much-needed nap.

But aside from using a stroller to provide much-needed protection from the sun, you’ll also need to dress them appropriately based on the day’s weather prediction. The rays of the sun hitting your infant’s delicate skin can increase their risk of skin damage or sunburn. Ensuring your child remains safe and comfortable will involve a balance of cool clothing and appropriate coverage for whenever you leave the home and plan on spending a day outdoors.

Base Layer

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Dressing your child in a cool base layer made out of white cotton material is a great start. Most moms and dads recommend using a onesie which is basically a t-shirt with snaps that fasten at the crotch. Next, you can choose light colors that will help to keep your child cooler if they’re playing outdoors. Wearing a onesie also allows moms and dads to add another layer and take that extra layer off if necessary if the weather heats up. This added layer will also provide more protection from the sun.

More Coverage

Adding a sundress, skirt, or a pair of shorts over a onesie can provide more protection from the sun. You also have to keep an eye on how warm they feel with this added layer, considering even lightweight pants will promote increased sweating, which can result in a heat rash.

Outdoor Time

Taking your child outside during the summer months, when the air is cool and the temperature is around eighty degrees can allow them the opportunity to stretch out their legs and practice taking those precious first steps, outdoors. If you don’t already have the best baby push walker, take a look at the BRIO 31350 – Toddler Wobbler, a model that’s stable and designed to handle a variety of terrain types. This type of walking assistance device will give your child the confidence they need to take those first independent steps and will definitely have them looking forward to outdoor time.

Air Conditioned Environments

If you plan on heading to a friend’s house or Grandma’s house and staying indoors and the air conditioner is on, then you may want to add a long sleeve shirt or a type of lightweight sleeper to prevent your child from getting chilly. If your baby’s feet feel cold when you’re inside, make sure you also add a pair of socks.

At Night

For most new parents it can be hard to leave their infant sleeping in just a lightweight onesie, considering at this age your child will be unable to use a blanket on their own once they begin to feel a little chilly during the night. If you’re concerned that your baby may be too hot or too cold when they’re sleeping then use a type of lightweight nightgown or a sleep sack. If you don’t have air conditioning and you’re concerned they may overheat during the night you can use fans and allow your infant to sleep in a lightweight onesie. A nice tepid bath before bedtime on a hot night can also help to keep them feeling cool and comfortable. To learn more, read my article on how to wash a baby.

Best Summer Clothes for Infants Four Months and Up

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All babies need extra protection from the sun. Most parents tend to stick with onesies for newborns since babies of this age tend to outgrow their clothes quickly.

For older infants, I recommend stocking up on sundresses, sleepers, skirts, lightweight pants, and shorts. Of course, onesies will be a staple in their summer wardrobe. Make sure you purchase at least 6 to 8 onesies so you’ll have extra onesies on hand for laundry day.


You should never head outdoors without first applying a generous layer of sunscreen on your baby’s sensitive skin. Make sure you apply sunscreen at least 30 to 45 minutes before you head outdoors. Some types of sunscreen need to be reapplied every two to three hours, so make sure you read the product’s label carefully before use. If your infant is under the age of 6 months, then you should avoid applying sunscreen according to the USFDA.

Instead, provide a newborn with plenty of shade using canopies or umbrellas. If you’re not able to avoid the sun and your infant is under the age of 3 months, then you can try testing a small area of their skin in order to see how their sensitive skin responds to the sunscreen. I recommend using a sunscreen with a 15 SPF rating.

Dressing a Newborn for Hot Weather

Newborns have very sensitive skin and can easily be prone to sunburn or overheating if the necessary steps are not taken. Unfortunately, overdressing or underdressing a newborn is a common problem with new parents. Most pediatricians recommend dressing a newborn in the same number of layers that the parents are wearing, plus one layer. When you’re dressing your newborn always think in terms of layers. Just like older infants, dressing your newborn in a few layers of clothing will allow you to remove or add clothing based on the indoor and outdoor temperatures.

  • Unlike older infants, newborns generally don’t tolerate sunscreen well. Because of this, most pediatricians recommend covering them up from head to toe instead. However, you should beware of overheating your newborn, which can be caused by wearing too many layers of clothing, in addition to using blankets.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, then do your best to keep your infant cool during the hot hours of the day. Shoot for a temperature of around 75 to 78°. Use ceiling fans or portable fans appropriately. Never have the fan constantly directed at your infant in order to avoid discomfort or cause dry eye symptoms.
  • At nap time, if it’s hotter than 80° then you’ll want to skip using blankets. Dress them in a lightweight nightgown or onesie instead.

Go-To Outfits for Newborns

Overheating can be common in both cold and hot weather. However, hot days seem to be the most dangerous for newborns who are unable to regulate their body temperature. You want to keep your newborn safe and comfortable and remember to remove layers once the temperature reaches over seventy-five degrees.

When you’re Outdoors you should also have them wear a type of lightweight hat which can protect them from too much sun.

If it’s very hot outside use lightweight fabrics only, especially at night time. A night, they may still require an additional layer, which can include a thin weight sleep sack or a thin onesie.

Related Questions

How Hot is Too Hot for an Infant?

Ideally, you should keep the indoor temperature around seventy-two degrees. For outdoor playtime, seventy to seventy-five is still relatively comfortable. However, any hotter and you’ll want to limit your infant’s time outside.

How Do You Swaddle a Baby in Hot Weather?

You don’t. While swaddling is a great technique that can help your infant to fall asleep, swaddling them in the summer can lead to overheating or a heat rash.

Final Thoughts

Depending on where you live and the climate, learning how to dress a baby in the summer can be tricky. Just keep an eye on their color, how their skin feels, and note whether they’re sweating.

If your infant is too hot then they may look sweaty or flushed and they may be breathing rapidly. Being too hot while also cause them to be more irritable and cranky. If your infant seems too hot then remove one or two layers of clothing and stay indoors.