Getting dressed in the morning probably isn’t something that takes a lot of thought. You may check the weather for the day and then pick out what to wear from your closet. Done deal. Dressing baby though? This can be a bit trickier since babies can’t regulate their body temperature yet. They also aren’t able to tell us exactly what’s bothering them. As the weather warms up, it’s important to know how to keep baby happy and comfortable. Keep reading for some tips!
Dressing Your Baby For the Heat
Keeping an infant cool in the summer can be tricky (especially for those of us based in our Austin, Texas office!). Just one layer is probably enough for your baby if it’s 75℉ or hotter. Use thin fabrics and if they’re in a newborn carrier or wrap, be sure the material is breathable. The sun is strong (whether it’s hot or cold outside) so keeping a lightweight hat on their head to cover up is always recommended. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid direct sun exposure entirely, as the use of sunscreen is not recommended until at least 6 months of age. If you do need to be in the sun, try to plan it for early in the morning or late in the afternoon for less powerful rays.
Dressing Your Baby For the Cold
When it’s cold outside, a good rule of thumb is to dress your little one in the same number of layers as you, plus one more. Layers are always a good way to trap heat around your baby’s body so they’re comfortable without getting too hot or cold. Keep in mind: if you’re out for a stroll, a blanket counts as their extra layer.
Overheating is a real risk when temperatures drop. If you come inside from being outdoors, remove all those extra layers as soon as possible — even if it means ending a nap — to lower the risk over overheating as well as SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). (Or, as many Europeans like to do, leave your baby to slumber out in the fresh air.)
If you’re strapping your little one into their car seat, take off the bulky, outermost layer to avoid overheating. This layer also compresses significantly, meaning the straps might not be tight enough if you were to get in an accident.
Baby Bedtime Attire
As you tuck your little one into their crib in the evening, be aware of the temperature in the room — and how warm or cold it may get as the night continues. The chart below shows a breakdown of how to dress baby for sleep depending on the temperature in the room:
||Short-sleeved onesie and a 0.5-TOG* sleep sack
||Long-sleeved & -pants pajamas and a 0.5-TOG sleep sack
||Long-sleeved & -pants pajamas, a short-sleeved onesie, and a 1-TOG sleep sack
||Long-sleeved & -pants pajamas, a long-sleeved onesie, and a 1-TOG sleep sack
||Long-sleeved & -pants pajamas, a long-sleeved onesie, socks, and a 2-TOG sleep sack
|| Long-sleeved & -pants pajamas, a long-sleeved onesie, socks, mittens, a hat, and a 2-TOG sleep sack
*TOG is a unit of measurement for how well a blanket keeps you warm.
The recommended temperature for a nursery is between 68 and 72℉. Be sure to avoid using loose blankets, as these are a hazard and increase the risk of SIDS.
To see whether a baby feels warm or cold, check their neck. If it’s sweaty, you should probably remove a layer. If it feels cool, consider adding a layer.
Over time, you’ll start to get the hang of how to dress your baby for the weather. Until then, feel free to use this blog as a reference point. Mornings may not go as quickly, but your baby will be much happier all day long. Feel free to share any personal experiences or additional tips on how to dress baby in winter or summer in the comments below!
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