23 answers

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.

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