It’s that time of year when there is a chill in the air and the nights are only getting colder and damper. That means it’s time to pull out the winter gear and dress in the extra layers. For parents of newborns, however, dressing for winter isn’t always so straightforward. If you find yourself feeling confused about what’s too much or too little to dress them in, what the key essentials are, and how to build a complete winter-appropriate wardrobe for your newborn – then this guide is meant for you.
Here we’ll take an in-depth look at how to dress a newborn in winter and take all the confusion out of the process.
It's All About the Layers
One of the best tips that takes all the guesswork out of dressing your newborn is to adopt a layered approach. Layers allow you to add or take away depending on the temperature in the house/room. But how many layers do they need? While it's true your little one may be more sensitive to the cold than you, generally speaking just add one more layer than you're wearing. Whatever clothing you feel comfortable in, they'll need one more layer.
If you’re out and about which has you leaving the house and perhaps visiting shops and travelling by car, the layered approach will also work. Simply add or take away as your environment changes.
One thing you may be hesitant about is removing or adding a layer if it means waking your little one. We’ve all heard the phrase “never wake a sleeping baby”, but unfortunately sometimes it’s for the best. Even a quick jaunt outside from the house to a waiting vehicle is enough to give them a chill. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and remove/add the layer. Remember, babies have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so that's what the clothing is meant to do.
Opt for natural and regulating fabrics
The material that you choose for your little one can make a big difference in their comfort and their temperature. Materials made from natural fibres, such as bamboo, cashmere or wool help your baby regulate their own temperature according to their surroundings so you can have a little more flexibility.
Avoid synthetic fabrics where possible, which don't allow your baby's skin to breathe and regulate their temperature effectively.
Don't Forget to Cover Their Hands and Head
You don't want to forget about your newborn's hands and head. Both of these can get cold very quickly, even indoors. Should you leave the house, make sure to put a warm insulated hat on your newborn. Many parents find the style of hats that also cover their cheeks to be especially useful in the cold months.
In terms of mittens, you'll need warm ones for outdoors but even in the house, you may want to keep lightweight cotton ones on them. These offer a double benefit in that they can help prevent your little ones from accidentally scratching themselves with their nails.
Finding the Perfect Nap and Nighttime Clothing
Another area that can seem rather confusing for new parents is what to dress a newborn in for bedtime during the winter. We all know it’s not safe to put a blanket over them, so how do you keep them warm enough?
There is plenty of research to back up the fact that babies are better off being a bit cool than too hot. This means going easy on the nighttime layers and instead using something like a sleeping bag to keep them warm.
Sleeping bags or tog sleeping bags are safe to use, add extra warmth, still allow your little one to move, and you can purchase different fabrics that offer varying levels of warmth. These sleeping bags are so handy that many parents use them up until 36 months of age.
Signs to Watch for That Your Newborn May Be Too Hot
In your quest to keep your newborn warm and comfy during the winter, it’s natural to wonder if you’re going too far. Is your baby too warm? You certainly don’t want them to overheat so what are the signs to watch for?
Start by feeling their feet or their hands. They shouldn't feel hot or clammy. Newborns' feet and hands often feel a bit cold to the touch, and that's considered within the norm. Another place to check is their tummy, which shouldn't feel hot or sweaty. If they show any signs of being hot, be sure to remove a layer immediately.
Generally speaking, it's best to keep the house at a temperature of 16 to 20 degrees Celsius as this is the best way for newborns to stay at a consistent and safe temperature when dressed properly.
Keeping Your Newborn Comfortable During Winter Doesn’t Have to Be Tricky
Thanks to these tips, the cool winter weather won’t cause any confusion when it comes to dressing your newborn. You’ll be prepared both indoors and outdoors, ensuring you’ve always got the right clothing on them.