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How to Dress Infant for Cold Weather

My daughter is 6 months old and the recent cool weather made me realize we'll need some warm outerwear for the winter months ahead. I'm wondering if other moms can tell me what is the easiest way to dress babies for cold weather. Should I get a snowsuit? What about mittens - will babies keep them on? Do you find that jackets, etc make babies too bulky for their carseats? What items are worth purchasing?

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I found the best thing is a one piece fleece bunting from Lands End. It is not bulky but keeps the child very warm. The arms and legs can fold over to cover hands and feet and there is a hood attached as well. The baby fits fine in the car seat still and will stay warm in the stroller outside too. It's the only thing we used all winter besides a tight fitting cap on under the hood on really cold days. I've used them with all three kids and think they are worth every penny ($40-$45). Order on line and consider buying it a little on the big side so it's roomy enough for all winter. They grow so fast at that age!

Thanks everyone for the great advice! I'm due in about a week and a half, and I was wondering the same thing about this winter. Thanks for starting the dialogue, M.!

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Hi M.,
I would suggest a fleece hat with velcro under the chin (lots of companies make these-- Gap, Old Navy, Lands' End). My favorites: Lands' End Fleece Bunting for fall, and Lands' End Down Bunting for winter. Doesn't make baby too bulky for the car seat and keeps her super warm. I like the Hanna Andersson Mouse Sized Mittens-- they are knit, have a string that you run through the coat and out both sleeves-- so you don't lose them. Good luck!
-R.

1 mom found this helpful

For us, essential items were:

Hooded snowsuit with feet & fold-over mittens
Bundleme
Rainshield for stroller (to keep the wind out)
Hats

My son was born last September so he was young during the winter. We would dress him in regular clothes (onesie, pants & top) inside then put some socks on, maybe a sweater and stick him in his snowsuit. The snowsuit had feet so that would keep his socks on and keep him warm and it had mittens that folded over to cover his hands. He would definitely not keep regular mittens on so the foldover ones were perfect. It also meant he could wiggle his thumb out and suck it whilst the rest of his body was warm. If it were really cold out, we would put a hat on then put his hood over the top.

I think the guilines usually say that you shouldn't put kids in their coats in the carseat. We had a Bundleme in our infant carseat/ travel system so he plenty warm enough all the time. When we were walking, I either used the fleece pouch sling, or the baby bjorn, so he was close to me. I had a really big coat and would wear that over the carrier.

Have fun shopping!

Just like the other mom's I was also told to dress the baby one level warmer than I am dressing myself.

I also loved the Bundle Me car seat cover. I found it so much more convenient that bunting and it works for cooler to down right cold weather.

The only time I would actually bundle the babies up was when we were goinhg to be in the cold weather for an extended period of time.

Be sure to pay attention to the what your baby is trying to "tell" you. If his/her cheeks are flushed then take a layer off, if their little hands and cheeks are cold to the touch then it is time to add a layer. Each child is different, my babies ran warm and I never had to layer them up to much - smaller babies ten to run cold.

There really is no right or wrong answer, you are jsut going to have to try a couple things and see what works best for you!

For winter weather, the rule of thumb for infants and toddlers is to dress them one layer warmer than you would dress yourself -- they are smaller and can not regulate body temperature as well as an adult.

Dress your child in layers that can be added to or removed accordingly. My son wore a lot of fleece sweatsuits with a onsie underneath. His coat was a one piece fleece bag-looking thing.

The carseat covers are great -- I didn't discover them until after my son was too big, though. I always draped a blanket over his carseat. The shock of going from warm air to cold air can be very hard for their little lungs to deal with.

HATS HATS HATS! Make sure you child wears a hat everytime he is outside! Humans lose around 90% of their body heat from their heads, and babies already have a hard time regulating heat.

A few resources/informative articles:
http://www.babyant.com/noname302.html

http://www.babyhelp411.com/dressing-baby-for-winter.htm

http://www.nncc.org/Parent/warmbaby.html

just a reminder you need to adjust the carseat straps often with changing weather and clothing people often forget and make it loose for bulky clothes and then don't tighten when lighter clothes are worn

Miraim,

The cover is a great idea. I also bought a snowsuit and a few sweaters and just had my daughter wear the sweater under the snowsuit instead of the bulky coat that had to be taken on and off. It was a great way to run errands (in and out of the car and store) without too much hassle. www.onestepahead.com has great hats and mittens.

I agree about the car seat cover. We used that for most trips out. It is amazing how warm it stays under there! In the beginning we were still putting a hat on our baby as well as zipping the cover over him, but that made him much too hot. Also, be sure to at least pull the top down in the car for the same reason.

You have had some great advice--the best advice I have gotten from Doctors and family--dress them as you are dressed. The biggest problem is with people over dressing their cildren and having them overheat. Think about how much time you really spend outside.
It is also not necessary to keep your heat at 70*--that would be a heafty heating bill. We keep our heat at 64* during the day and 62* at night--our 2 girls have not frozen to death!! and our bills have stayed down.
K.

I have 4 month olds & my sister (who has 3 kids) recommended the thing that goes in the car seat & you zipper the baby into it. I looked on the Babies R' Us website & they are called "Bundle Me" (under car seat accessories).They make some that zip up around their head as well (leaving the babys face exposed only) I found another one on Babyage.com, it's called Take Cover All Weather Car Seat Cover-Up. (I don't know how warm that one is though). Also, check out:
babyproducts.about.com/od/carseats/a/carseatcoat.htm
It's about car seat safety in the winter.

For my daughter we bought a light weight snow suit made of fleece. It came with a cover that had a whole in the middle by her legs so that the seat belt could be buckled. Then we used the car seat cover. We could use wich ever ones according to the weather. For sleeping in the crib we used the button and zipper blankets. My daughter loved to toss and turn and never kept a blanket on. This way she could move and still not get cold.
B.

Hi M.,
With all three of my kids, I used those snowsuits that have the mittens right on them to cover their hands. Also, the cover up for the carseat works great too, but I never had one for any of mine at all.

S. Bailey CLD
Aurora
www.tendermomentsdoula.com

I found a bunting suit was the easiest. It has built in hand covers, that you can fold back and expose their hands. My daughter wore one until her first birthday. LL bean, land's end, one step ahead and target all have them. And then just add a hat, they do have hoods, but my kids never keep them on.

get a one piece snowsuit that isn't to bulky with the little fold over mittens that are on the sleeves. Or if your baby is still in the carrier get that cover that fits over the carrier and dress her normal.

It was always recommended to me to dress the baby one step higher than yourself. For instance if I was wearing a long sleeve shirt I would put a sweater in the baby.

I never carried my kids around in those car seats. I just had a big bunting that was easy to get on and off in the store. Now that they are older they just wear jackets unless we are going out to play, then snow pants also. They have covers for carseats, but I think then you wouldn't have a coat for your child when you got where you were going. At least that was my problem.

I usually carried my babies in a sling, so once I put them in it I would wrap my coat or a blanket around it. Baby was right next to me and warm and I could easily pull the blanket off when we got inside.

I agree with Rebecca, the previous poster.
Amy

I'm facing the same dilemma for my 3 month old boy so I'm going to be looking forward to see what other mommies have to say to your request.
At the moment I'm going with a onesie underneath and a long sleeved t-shirt and long sweat pants (and socks) on the bottom. He chews his fists so mittens are going to be an issue.
One thing that I have been told is that you should buy a cover for the carseat rather than strap your child in with a snowsuit on as it can puff out the seatbelts, making it unsafe if you were in a car crash.

I agree with the cover for the babyseat. Not only is it safe, but it makes it really easy if you are in and out of stores...just unzip it! They are fairy inexpensive. Expecially if you are dealing with an infant (less than 6 months).

I walked my 9 month old in the winter...even in the snow...I believe that the fresh air was very good for her, and my dr. agreed as long as she was dressed warmly. SO...my mom made me a bunting that had a hole built in for the seatbelt in the stoller or the infant seat, and I have seen them like this in the store as well. My daughter was an early walker(9months), so by her first winter, she wanted to sit in the stroller and see what was going on.

**I also found a plastic cover for the stroller to protect her from the wind and snow/ rain on our walks. I bought it from "One Step Ahead", but I haven't seen them in there lately? I am sure you can find them on the internet somewhere. This was great. I didn't mind the cold so much, and it got me exercising even in the winter months. I think it can be really difficult to be couped up inside all winter!

Mittens, like potty training, are up to the child!!

Good luck!

I found the best thing is a one piece fleece bunting from Lands End. It is not bulky but keeps the child very warm. The arms and legs can fold over to cover hands and feet and there is a hood attached as well. The baby fits fine in the car seat still and will stay warm in the stroller outside too. It's the only thing we used all winter besides a tight fitting cap on under the hood on really cold days. I've used them with all three kids and think they are worth every penny ($40-$45). Order on line and consider buying it a little on the big side so it's roomy enough for all winter. They grow so fast at that age!

When my daughter was that age I also was unsure, esp at night, how to dress her. At night I found the Halo sleepsack was really good. U can get it at Babys R Us. Check it out at:

http://www.toysrus.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=225613...#

At night I'd put her in pyjamas, and then the sleep sack. It allows their arms to be free and they can roll all around the crib but the same time keep warm. Keep her room at about 70 degrees.

During the daytime I'd do what the other moms suggested, putting her in a onsie (always) under a 1 piece that covers the arms and feet. To take them outside I'd put a fleece outfit with built-in hand covers over their outfit, with a hat underneath. Wal-mart has the one-piece and fleece outerwear at a very reasonable price and good quality material.

The "buntings" for carseats are very convenient. They are sold at Lands End, Babies R Us, your car seat manufacturer.

Hi-

i have two boys thirteen months apart and I found that with a baby still in car seat, the easiest thing for winter are the car seat jackets. You dress the baby in proper indoor clothing then put a light blanket around them and the wool lined car seat wrap. it sits around the whole car seat and zips up so that baby is warm when outside, but not uncomfortable bulky like in a jacket. You can get them at target and babies r us.

OK, here's my little secret. I found the cutest, most convenient fleece snowsuit from LL Bean. I tried EVERYTHING! This is all fleece with a hood and the feet and hands wrap around so no mittens are needed. It's PERFECT for the in and out of the car and it's not bulky. My sister-in-law told me about it and I thought that it would be too pricey or not watm enough but I was sooo wrong. I can't wait to order another when my newborn comes. It's one piece and about $40.00.

I ordered mine online through the LL Bean website. It's called Polartec fleece Hooded coveralls.....starts 3-6 months and up........Just my advice....Good luck!

Thanks everyone for the great advice! I'm due in about a week and a half, and I was wondering the same thing about this winter. Thanks for starting the dialogue, M.!

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