Winterproof Your Baby
A pediatrician's guide to keeping your baby healthy -- and warm enough!
What to Wear Babies aren't as good at regulating their body temperature as older kids and adults are. But that doesn't mean your child should be bundled up like a mini-astronaut every time you're out for a short stroll. To keep her warm and comfortable when inside or out, dress her in one layer more than you're wearing yourself. (Some don't need the extra layer though, so see what works best for your child. More on how your baby should be dressed...
A hat is the number one necessity. On very cold days, be sure to use a cap that totally covers the ears; one that fastens under the chin is cozy and won't fall off.
Skip the hard-to-handle snowsuit until your baby's walking. A warm jacket's enough for her top, and you can cover up her legs with a fleece or blanket.
Thick coats should come off before the car-seat straps go on -- the extra padding will make the harness too loose. Add a blanket or a bunting bag (a fitted blanket that goes over a car seat or stroller) over the straps instead.
Wear your baby against your body in a sling or carrier to keep her warmer than when she's riding in a stroller. You'll be able to dress her in lighter clothing (skip the coat). Keep a blanket on hand to throw over her if she gets cold.
The more comfortably babies are dressed for bed, the better they sleep. If you swaddle your baby, use a lightweight cloth. Cotton's the best bet for sleeping, since it's cozy, soft, and more "breathable" than other fabrics.
Skip the blankets in the crib until around 12 months -- they're a suffocation risk before then, and babies just kick them off. Instead, try a coverall (a one-piece outfit with feet, also called a sleeper or a stretchie) or a sleep sack (a wearable blanket with armholes). A fitted flannel crib sheet adds warmth, too.
If your baby sleeps in your bed, she'll get extra heat from you, so she can be dressed lighter; a swaddling cloth may be all she needs. (Keep in mind that your pillows, sheets, and blankets are a suffocation risk and should be kept away from her.)