Here come the cold weather months! Dressing babies for cold weather is tricky-they can’t tell us when they are too hot or too cold. Here are some tips for keeping your baby comfortable throughout the fall and winter.
1. The Plus One Rule: As a rule of thumb, you should dress your baby in one more layer of clothing than you would dress yourself to stay warm. For example, if you are wearing a shirt, light sweater, and jeans, dress your baby in a long-sleeve bodysuit, shirt, sweater, and pants.
2.Layer, Layer Layer: A couple of layers is always better than a thick fleece. If you start with a bodysuit or onesie, then you can add a thicker one-piece with feet. If you’re dressing your baby with pants, try putting socks under the booties to keep the piggy toes warm
3.Sleep Smart: Overheated babies don’t sleep well and are at greater risk for SIDS. Staying on the cooler side is better, keeping the thermostat in your baby’s room between 65 and 70° F is best. On the other hand, if your baby is too cold, they will not sleep well and will wake frequently. Swaddle your baby in a cotton blanket like a burrito or, if your baby does not like swaddling, putting them in a sleep sack is another good idea. Remember; loose bedding of any kind is a no no!
- Co-sleepers Need Less: If your baby sleeps in bed with you in a co-sleeper, they benefit from your body heat and don’t need as many clothes as babies in bassinets and cribs. A long-sleeve bodysuit and leggings or a fleece sleeper might be all they need when snuggled with mommy.
- Touch the Toes; One way to tell if your baby is warm enough, especially when coming in from outdoors, is to feel their toes and belly. Their toes should be cool, but not cold. The belly should be warm. If the toes and belly are warm, your baby is overdressed. If the belly is cool, your baby is not warm enough and may need another layer.
- Be Car-Seat Safe: Do not use puffy coats, snowsuits, or loose blankets in a car seat under the straps. Connect the snaps around your baby and then place a blanket over the baby never under the straps!
- Zipper into a Stroller Bag: Stroller bags are a great way to keep your baby warm and dry if you’re taking a walk and want to put your baby in a stroller. They are fleece lined and have straps that thread through and buckle. The top even zips off to control the temperature and allow easy access to your baby.