Dressing a newborn for the cold or heat can feel a bit overwhelming when you’re a new parent. Here are some tips on clothing for chilly winter days and warm summer days.
Dressing a newborn
How much clothing is right for a newborn baby? Many new parents find dressing a newborn difficult, particularly in the first few months, and especially if those first few months are in winter. You don’t want the baby to freeze, so you bundle up. But it’s most common that parents actually put too many clothes on their baby than too little. A tip for finding the right balance is to look at the thermometer and at what you’re wearing yourself.
Infants have a harder time regulating body temperature than adults. That’s why it’s important to make sure the baby isn’t exposed to extreme heat or extreme cold. Adapt the clothing to the temperature and remember to take off the baby’s overall when you’re inside.
A simple way to check if your child is too cold is to feel the back of their neck or the forehead – if either is cold, you probably need to put some more clothes on them. If they are too warmly dressed, the chest and the back of their neck will feel warm and sweaty, which means it’s time to take something off. The hands and feet are often a bit colder than the rest of the body, but shouldn’t be ice-cold.
Infants need to wear a hat outdoors year-round to protect them from cold and sunlight.
Suggested attire for infants on a winter day
- Layer closest to the body – bodysuit and long underwear, preferably wool.
- Middle layer – fleece or wool trousers and top or overall so there won’t be any gaps.
- Outer layer – overall in windproof material.
- Head – “helmet-style” wool cap is enough if the baby is in a sleeping bag or thick overall.
- Feet – wool socks, fleece slippers or booties in outer layer material.
- Hands – hands are usually down in the sleeping bag. If it’s really cold, mittens may be needed. Polarn O. Pyret’s overalls have folding cuffs at sleeves and legs for little hands and feet.
- Buggy – sleeping bag or combined overall/sleeping bag that works both in the buggy and in the car seat. Two zips make it easy to dress and undress the baby in the buggy.
If it’s very cold and windy out, it’s best to stay inside with a newborn baby. Wind combined with freezing temperatures makes it even colder, and a windy winter day can be much colder than what it says on the thermometer.
Suggested clothing for infants on a summer day
- A long-sleeved cotton top and long cotton trousers.
- Extra bodysuit if needed.
- Cotton socks.
- Thin cap or sunhat.
- Cardigan to put on if needed.
- Blankets of various thicknesses, to put on and take off as the temperature changes.
In summer, it’s also good to dress babies in several thin layers. Dress your baby as warmly as you think best and then, if needed, you can remove a layer.