Getting your baby dressed for a chilly day can be a surprisingly difficult task. You want to ensure they aren’t too cold, but you also have to be careful not to get them so cozy that they overheat. As daunting as the task may seem, finding the right balance of clothing and blankets and mastering how to dress your infant for every temperature this winter is possible. It’s all about choosing the right fabrics and layering up.
“Most adults who are uncomfortable in the cold recognize their child will be as well,” pediatrician Lee Engelbreth, MD, tells Romper. “We don’t really see a lot of issues with it [at the hospitals where I work].” What she does frequently see, however, are parents over-dressing their children, causing them to get extremely uncomfortable or overheat.
“Overheating is an increased risk for SIDS,” NYC pediatrician Dyan Hes, MD, tells Romper in an email, but both she and Dr. Engelbreth say this can be avoided simply by layering your baby’s clothes. “Layering traps the air between the layers and keeps kids warm,” explains Dr. Hes, “Also, if you are overdressed or see that your baby is sweating, you can remove a layer.” Dr. Engelbreth recommends parents dress their babies in one extra layer than what they’re wearing themselves. “If you’re outside in pants and a shirt and jacket, then your child needs a warm outfit, plus a jacket, hat, mittens,” she says,”[or] their extra layer might be a blanket or a fleece onesie.”
Still, dressing a baby for a 20-degree day is very different from dressing them up to go outside on a sunny 50+ degree day. So, here are some tips to keep your baby comfortable and protected throughout the winter months.