How to dress your baby for every season

Becoming a parent for the first time is the most joyful, life-changing but quite challenging experience. Once you bring your bundle of joy home from the hospital it’s easy to second guess every single thing that you do. Your life takes a turn and you are exposed to new things every single day- including how to dress a newborn. Are they too cold? Are they too hot? Or just the right temperature?

Baby’s come from a very warm and cozy place in the mother’s womb. Imagine stepping out from all that warmth and then the cold air hits you, eeek no! This is why you see nurses and midwives wrap the baby up with a blanket and put a hat on as soon as the birth takes place, it’s to help warm them up and regulate their body temperature as quickly as possible.

Typically, a baby’s temperature should be somewhere around 36c to 37c. Whether the temperature dips to freezing, or it’s in the triple digits, it is all about dressing in layers that you can add or remove when needed. Chances are if you are cold your baby is cold, and if you are feeling hot, well, you know the drill.

Here is everything you need to keep in mind and be prepared for any weather scenario to ensure your new baby is safe and comfortable

 From cozy head to toasty toes. Here is how your baby can fight the chill

 Unlike grownups, infants and toddlers have a weaker immune system, so they are more vulnerable to the cold especially during the first year after birth. There is so much more to a protective winter baby dressing than simply throwing on a hoodie or a jacket and calling it a day.

Babies don’t have the ability to regulate body temperature that is why in order to stay warm, they require warmer clothes regardless of the temperature around them. That is why it is extremely important to dress your baby appropriately before leaving the house.

 Dressing a baby for the cold requires special attention, it might take you ridiculously long to get your child ready, but my goodness, there is nothing cuter than your baby all wrapped up and ready to rock his first winter. Here are some expert tips to keep your baby warm and safe this winter...

 Layers, layers, and layers

When the temperature drops, it’s always best to make sure the baby wears a few layers, which traps heat in between. The general rule of thumb is to make sure the baby wears one additional layer than what you are wearing. For example, if you are wearing a shirt, a jacket, and pants, put your little one in a thin sleeper onesie, a shirt, a sweater, and pants. If you are opting for a parka or a heavy coat, make your baby wear a snowsuit or layer with a couple of minky blankets.  But remember, it is equally important to layer down inside.

Your baby will be as glad to cool down in a warm house as they were to stay warm in the cold weather. When you are indoors, something like a full sleeve onesie, covered by another warm layer like a receiving blanket or a swaddle will be enough to keep the baby’s body temperature just right.

 Head and hands.. ooh my!

Ok, now for the equally cute bit. Your little ones' heads and hands need to be protected from the frosty weather. A cozy insulated hat or a woolie with ear coverage is a wonderful option for maximum warmth and extra cuteness points. Tug mittens on your baby’s hand if they’re exposed, though it can be tricky to keep them on for long (to say at least) blankets or bodysuits with tiny hand covers at the cuff can also do the trick well.

 Use up most of the winter clothing accessories

If you are heading outside, be sure the baby is covered from head to toe.  We are talking mittens, a snug-fitting hat, warm boots, thick socks, or booties (be careful that they stay put, any mama can confirm that tiny booties are notorious for falling off).

 Use blankets outside

There are high chances that your little one will require the comfort and warmth of their home environment wherever they go during their first years. To help them feel comfortable and assure their temperature remains constant, wrap them up in a blanket to keep in some heat.

 Car seat safety

Never put your child in a car seat with a snowsuit or coat. Make use of a blanket placed over the buckles and straps.

 Light and airy- here is how to dress a baby for summer

You are probably assuming that dressing your baby during summer is a piece of cake but overheating isn’t just a cold-weather condition- hot and humid days can also be dangerous for babies and summer dressing is just as important and complex as in the winter. Unfortunately, if your baby is not appropriately dressed for the weather he can overheat, get sunburned, get dehydrated, or even suffer sun damage. Here is how to dress your baby for the summer that will help them stay safe and comfy throughout the season

 Bye-bye layers

While layering may be perfect for colder days when the temperature is over 75 degrees, a single layer should be enough for the baby to keep them feeling good.

 Put a hat on it

If you are out in the sun or somewhere else soaking up some vitamin D your baby’s head is exposed to a lot of heat. Choose a hat with extra coverage such as a broad-brimmed sun hat for your baby that provides extra comfort and keeps the sun off their eyes.

 Light, thin clothes. Yes, please!

When it is warm outside, use lighter clothes. A white cotton onesie is the one universal piece every baby has in their closet. They can be worn alone or you can add a layer like cotton shorts or a lightweight sundress.

If you are carrying your baby in a sling, be sure the material is light and breathable so your little passenger stays comfy

Stay hydrated

Even if your baby isn’t sweating, they can still become hydrated in the scorching heat. Signs of hydration include a flushed face, rapid breathing, and feeling warm to the touch and appearing restless. Ensure they are getting enough fluids by breastfeeding/ formula feeding and offering plenty of water.

Your baby should be wearing one more layer than you. An easy way to check your baby’s temperature is by placing your hand on their chest, belly, or by touching the back of your baby’s neck

 Watch out for the following signals which make it clear that your baby is feeling hot

  • A flushed faced
  • Crying, super fussy, or presentation of short-tempered behavior
  • Sweaty and clammy
  • Changes in the breathing pattern (rapid breathing)
  • Body that feels warm to the touch

 

What should your baby wear to sleep?

 Your baby should be dressed in one to two layers to sleep- never cover your baby’s head and make sure there are no strings attached to the clothes. A blanket swaddle or a sleep sack can be one of those layers until the baby learns how to roll on his own.

Keeping your baby from becoming too hot is especially important when he is sleeping- once your baby masters the art of rolling, stop swaddling immediately for safety reasons.

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