With winter in full effect, it's time to bundle you and your baby up so you can both enjoy the season without freezing your tootsies off. But figuring out how to dress a baby for winter walks can be challenging, especially if you're a first time mom. How many layers is too many layers? How young is too young? Do you double up on socks? What's the best winter footwear for your babe? The number of questions you have as a new mom can be daunting, and you want to be sure to keep your baby as safe as possible. Especially during the chilly polar vortex ahead. So it's time to stock up on tips on how to dress your little one so the two of you can get outside and enjoy some fresh air, snow, and sunshine this winter.
If your baby is still considered a newborn (less than six weeks of age), you'll want to keep them inside when the temperature takes a dive below freezing, according to CNN. Mark Widome, a professor of pediatrics at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, told the news outlet that it's best to keep newborns inside except for brief excursions during extremely cold temperatures and windy or rainy conditions. "They're just getting used to the outside world after living in a temperature-regulated, 98.6-degree bath," Widome said. CNN recommended waiting for wintry adventures until your baby is about six weeks old.
For babies who were born at full term, and weigh at least 12 pounds, outdoor adventures and fresh are should be a part of their routine, according to Parents. Registered nurse Carole Kramer-Arsenault told Parents that a 15 to 30 minute walk (in weather about 25 degrees) can do wonders for both you and your baby. Kramer-Arsenault also said that the general rule of thumb for winter walks with babies is to bundle them up in one layer more than what you're wearing for the conditions. This is because babies lose heat more easily than adults do. So if you're heading out in a long sleeved shirt and a jacket, add a sweater or a fleece to your baby's outfit, and then top it off with a bunting or a coat.
And don't forget the accessories. Hats, mittens, and warm boots are important to help protect your baby's extremities from the chilly weather. If your baby's prone to putting their hands in their mouth, Baby Center recommended carrying more than one pair of mittens with you, because once a pair of mittens get damp, they won't be able to do their job properly. And on especially cold days, keeping a blanket on hand to wrap around your baby's bunting or snow suit is a good idea in case the wind picks up. If you're concerned about taking your baby out in the cold because they're under six weeks or weren't born at full term, contact your pediatrician for the best advice for preparing for winter walks.