Helpful Tips

How to Dress a Baby in the Winter: The Dangers of Overheating

Baby in stroller

Learning how to dress a baby in the winter can be a challenge, especially if you’re dealing with snow and temperatures in the low 20s. But did you know that your infant is more at risk of overheating in the winter than they are in the summer? This is because parents tend to overdress their infants. Since your child cannot speak it’s hard to determine whether or not they’re comfortable or even know when you’re overdoing it.

I’ve included some great tips that will teach you how to properly dress your infant during the colder months of the year and what signs to look for that can indicate that your child is too warm.

Learning how to dress a baby in the winter is simple. Head outdoors and check the weather. If you feel nice and warm, take into account how many layers of clothing you’re wearing, then dress your infant in as many layers as you’re wearing plus one. Of course, it’s also important to ensure that you do not overdress your child. When you’re out and about if you notice that your child’s cheeks are flushed, they’re breathing rapidly, or they’re sweating excessively, then you should remove a layer or two of clothing immediately.

Keeping them Comfortable

New parents often worry that their infants will catch a cold if they’re not dressed appropriately for the weather. This is a bigger concern during the winter months. Below, I included some helpful tips that will teach you how to dress your baby to ensure that they remain comfortable and happy when you’re out and about during the winter months.

Layering

During the colder months of the year, you want to make sure that you don’t overdo it when you’re getting your child dressed.  But how many layers are appropriate? I recommend dressing them in as many layers as you’re wearing plus one additional layer. You can start off by using a onesie, then adding a pair of pants and a sweatshirt or long sleeve shirt. If necessary you can use a sweater and/or a jacket as the finishing layer.

Nighttime Wear

Sleeping newborn

Night is usually the time parents seem to worry the most that their children are going to feel cold and uncomfortable. This mainly because their infants are simply too small to know how to cover themselves up when they begin to feel cold. Dressing your infant for the night without overdoing it will be important. The best way to go about it is to use a sleep sack. These are basically long nightgowns that are closed at the bottom, and they can be a great alternative to piling on the blankets. In a sleeping sack the infant’s body heat will help to keep them warm without overdoing it.

It’s important to prevent your baby from overheating during the night since it’s one of the suspected causes of sudden infant death syndrome. This is also why blankets are not recommended for crib use. If you don’t want to use a sleep sack you can also use a bodysuit with feet or a long sleeve onesie. Your decision should be based on the temperature of the room.

Before you head off to bed make sure you check on your little one and ensure they’re not sweating. This can be a clear indication that you have dressed them too warmly for the night, in which case you’ll want to remove a layer

Co-Sleeping

Whether or not co-sleeping is safe is often a major subject of debate. But here, we’ll discuss how to appropriately dress your infant if you are currently practicing co-sleeping. If your infant is in bed with you then they are definitely benefiting from your body heat and don’t need to wear as many clothes as they do when they’re sleeping alone in their crib. Just a long-sleeved bodysuit and a lightweight pair of leggings should work fine.

How to Tell If Your Baby is Too Warm

If you’re not sure whether or not your baby is warm enough make sure you feel their stomach and toes as soon as you enter the room. The goal is to have their toes feel cool but not cold. Additionally, their belly should feel nice and hot to the touch, but not sweaty. A sweaty hot belly and hot feet will indicate that your baby is overdressed. If your infant’s belly feels cold this means that they’ll need another layer to stay warm.

Staying Warm Outdoors

happy family

If you’re feeling brave and want to take your little one outdoors with you then ensuring that they stay nice and warm will make for a more peaceful and enjoyable afternoon outdoors. Use the best double umbrella stroller, one that comes equipped with a large canopy in order to protect your child from snowfall, wind, and rain.

Getting a little exercise will not only help promote muscle development, but it can also keep your toddler nice and warm. Use the best baby push walker, such as the Pidoko Kids Ride On Fire Truck, which doubles as a riding toy, or the Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon for longer outings since it doubles as a push walker and a wagon.

Protection from the Sun

A large canopy can provide much-needed protection from the sun. In terms of sun protection, learning how to dress your baby in the winter is much the same as learning how to dress a baby in the summer. Even on cloudy days they are still at risk sun damage caused by harmful UV rays. If your child is going to be outdoors for more than an hour and they’re older than four months of age I recommend applying a thin layer of sunscreen forty-five minutes before heading outdoors. If you’re looking for a double stroller that comes equipped with a canopy that’s large enough to provide adequate protection, I recommend the Chicco Echo Twin stroller.

Hats

Also be sure to cover their head with a nice thick warm cap before going outdoors. You are infant’s hands will also need to be protected from the cold. You can use small mittens for the hands if they’re exposed. Additionally, you can also find some bodysuits that will have tiny hand covers sewn in, which will help protect them from the cold.

Final Thoughts

How to dress a baby in the winter is as simple as dressing them in the same number of layers that you’re wearing, plus one. Always make sure that they’re also wearing a thick hat and mittens if you’re outdoors for more than an hour. For longer outings, use a stroller that comes equipped with a large sun canopy to protect them from the harmful rays of the sun. If your infant begins to sweat excessively their cheeks look flushed, or they’re having a hard time breathing, then you should remove a layer or two immediately.