During the cooler months it can be difficult to make sure your baby is warm enough, which causes many parents to search for how to keep baby warm in winter.
With the cold weather and icy wind, it’s important to take some extra precautions to make sure that your little one stays snug and comfortable all season long.
Also at night, when the temperature drops, you’ll want to make sure that your baby is sleeping in a safe and warm environment.
Here’s some essential cool weather information and 10 tips for how to keep baby warm in winter!
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How Cold Is Too Cold for Baby?
Babies, especially newborns, are particularly susceptible to hypothermia, which is when their body temperature gets too low, since they can’t regulate their own temperatures well.
We often tend to think of hypothermia as only a problem in extreme temperatures, but that isn’t necessarily the case for infants who can become too cold even in a chilly room. It is recommended to keep your home thermostat between 68 and 72 F (20 – 22 C).
It’s most important to dress your baby appropriately for the temperature as overheating is also dangerous. A good rule of thumb is to dress baby in one more layer than you are wearing.
For outdoors, it’s important to think of not just temperature, but also wind chill. Below freezing, take extra care to be sure that baby is bundled properly, check baby frequently to ensure they aren’t too cold or overheating in their layers, and take frequent breaks to warm up.
Tips for How to Keep Baby Warm in Winter
Here are a few ideas how to keep your little one warm when it’s cold outside:
1. Keeping Baby Warm in Winter Car Seat
If you live in a climate where temperatures are cold for a couple of months, it’s worth considering investing in a super-practical winter car seat cover. They are especially a good idea since coats have to be removed from baby before getting strapped into a carseat for a snug (and safe!) strap fit.
These soft covers are typically made of a water-resistant and windproof material and have a cozy lining to help keep baby warm on the go.
The Skip Hop Winter Car Seat Cover has an adjustable flap for easy access to baby and temperature control and has near perfect reviews on Amazon.
2. Use Layers.
Much like adults, one of the best ways to keep baby warm in winter is by dressing them in layers.
3. Keep the House Warm.
When the temperature starts to drop, make sure to keep your home warm. The ideal temperature for a baby’s room is between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have a fireplace, make sure to keep the area around it clear of any debris or flammable materials. And if you’re using a space heater, be sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Additionally, make sure with all these heating devices that your carbon monoxide detector has been checked and is in date.
4. How to Keep Baby’s Hands Warm in Winter.
Chapped and dry hands are common in winter, so it’s important to protect your new baby’s delicate skin.
Whenever you go outside, make sure to dress them in a cozy pair of baby mittens if they will tolerate them.
Finding the right size for baby mittens can be a challenge – you want to make them big enough so they’re easy to use, but not so big they’ll easily fall off. We recommend going up one size when ordering.
5. Invest in Good Quality Winter Gear.
When choosing a winter coat for your baby, look for something that is waterproof and windproof. It’s also important to find a coat that is insulated and has a warm lining. A hood is also a great addition to help keep your baby’s head and ears.
Remember that the coat can be used when baby is outdoors, but not when strapped into a car seat to ensure a safe fit.
6. Carry Spare Clothes
While this is just generally good advice with a baby any time of year, it is especially important in the winter. Accidents happen, diapers leak, spit up goes everywhere. Babies get wet often and being wet can make your baby feel even colder.
Making a baby colder is the very last thing we want, so be sure to pack extra clothes for outings. It’s ideal to have a replacement for any layer they are wearing, but at least in the inner layers closest to their body.
7. Don’t Forget the Feet
While there may be some benefits for babies to be barefoot often, it’s also important to keep those tiny toes warm in the winter. Cozy socks can keep baby feet warm in a cool house. Just be sure they aren’t too tight around the foot or leg and be sure to monitor the baby for signs of overheating. Many babies are exceptionally skilled at removing socks, but if your house is warm this isn’t a problem.
When baby ventures outdoors, warm socks may be enough, but depending on how cold it is and if baby is mobile, shoes might also be necessary. I like these fleece booties since they’re super cozy and sizing is very forgiving.
8. Babywear Inside Your Coat
You can put baby in their carrier and zip them in your coat to share your body heat. Baby shouldn’t be bundled up inside, but wearing their regular clothes just like you. Pop a hat on baby, and mittens and socks or booties if their hands and feet are exposed. You should be able to see and feel if they are getting too hot or cold. Don’t zip the coat over their head as this can risk suffocation.
A large coat or maternity coat should have plenty of room to accommodate you both, but you can also get extenders to even coats and jackets specifically made for babywearing.
9. Protect Baby From The Sun
I know this sounds silly to worry about the sun in the winter and that’s exactly why it’s so easy to forget sun protection when it’s cold. In our attempt to stay warm outside, we tend to want to be in the sun! Unfortunately the sun’s rays can still be dangerous even in the winter and especially if they’re also reflecting off snow.
Babies under 6 months should be shaded from the sun, over 6 months babies can wear sunscreen. Stroller shades and hats can also help shield their faces and hold in warmth.
Mom Tip: Dry winter air can also be hard on skin, particularly for babies, so using a moisturizer and running a humidifier in your house can be helpful to protect their delicate skin.
10. How to Keep Baby Warm at Night Without Blankets
As probably all parents have heard countless times, it isn’t safe for babies to sleep with loose bedding and blankets. Keeping baby warm during cold winter nights can be a concern.
Remember to layer at night. A sleeper may be enough or perhaps, if it’s chilly, a light onesie under a fleece jammie would be better.
When it’s really cold, the clothing layers may not be enough, luckily a sleep sack makes a perfect additional layer. A sleep sack is a wearable blanket that is safe for baby and keeps them nice and cozy. They come is different materials from light weight cotton to fleecy long sleeves ones for extra warmth.
For younger infants, the swaddle you may already be using anyway, can also help keep baby snug and warm.
Also, a flannel fitted crib sheet (like these) can make a chilly crib a little warmer.
How Do I Know if Baby Is Cold at Night?
The easiest way to tell if your baby is too cold at night is by feeling their chest, back, or stomach.
If these areas are cool to the touch, it’s likely that your child is too cold and you’ll need to make some adjustments to their clothing or bedding.
Another way to tell if your baby is cold is by observing their sleeping habits. If they are tossing and turning, or if they seem to be uncomfortable in their sleep, it’s a good indication that they may be cold and you should take steps to warm them up.
By following these tips for how to keep baby warm in winter, you can help keep your little one cozy, safe, and snug all winter long! Any tricks we forgot? Let us know in the comments below!