Dressing a baby for winter can be a chore and a challenge. The little ones do feel changes in temperature far more keenly than adults, so it’s important to keep them warm – without overheating their little bodies. Don’t think just because you’ve picked up a nice snowsuit or bunting that your baby has all the clothes he needs for winter. What should the well-dessed winter baby be wearing?
The key concept in dressing babies for winter weather is layers. Several thin layers will keep baby far warmer than one bulky snowsuit – and make him feel far less like a stuffed sausage. In addition, you can regulate his body temperature by stripping off and putting on layers, or unzipping outer layers when you step inside. More specifically:
Onesies or footed cotton stretchies are the best inner layer for a winter outfit. The close fit helps keep body warmth in, and the one piece construction avoids drafts. Socks are important, especially if you choose a onesie instead of footed stretchies. Put them on before you put on pants so that they tuck inside pant legs.
Sweatshirts are prone to riding up and baring belly and back at the waist, and elastic waist sweatpants do the same in the opposite direction. Sweatsuits may be adorable on little ones, but a one-piece heavyweight jersey or fleece jumpsuit is a better choice for cold days. No gaps in coverage to let the cold in.
Sweaters are a must for babies and toddlers as well – and not just for winter. They’re great for slipping on over clothing on cool spring and autumn evenings. If you pick a couple of nice, oversize ones with hoods, they’ll do a nice job of substituting for a winter bunting as long as you’ve bundled up nice and snug underneath it.
While you’re bundling, don’t assume that a hood is all the head-covering baby needs. We lose up to 40% of our body heat through the top of our heads, and a loose hood can’t keep it all in. Make sure you tuck a nice snug cap under the hood – and pick a hood or cap with a face guard if you’ll have baby out in temperatures below freezing for more than short trips back and forth to the car. Tender skin gets frostbitten far too easily.
Make sure you cover up little fingers too – don’t trust to overlong sleeves. Little mittens, whether knitted or the built-in snowsuit mitts are vital. As far as snowsuits go, until the baby is up and walking, stick with bunting style snowsuits. They give the baby room to move his legs around, which will add to YOUR comfort on long car and stroller rides by reducing fussing. Shop around for a bunting with a safety-strap slot to feed car seat and stroller buckles through. Never compromise safety for warmth, not when you can have both. And speaking of car seats, adjust car seat straps and buckles to fit snugly without binding – and be sure to readjust when you pop in the baby sans bulky snowsuit.