How to Dress a Baby Girl in the Winter
Winter can be a difficult season to dress a baby girl. The cold weather means that your daughter will need extra layers, but her inability to regulate her temperature means you’ll need to keep a careful eye on things.
Selecting Basic Clothing to Ensure Warmth
Dress your baby as warmly as you dress yourself, but with a light extra layer. If you are wearing a sweater and jeans, you should dress your baby in a similar manner, but add a light undershirt.
- If you put on a coat and hat to go outside, you should do the same thing for your daughter. It can be tempting to over-dress your baby to make sure they are warm enough, but doing so can make them uncomfortable and dangerously hot.
Look for soft, warm fabrics. Soft fabrics such as fleece and Faux mink or fur are great options for jackets and baby blankets.
- For interior layers, look for fabrics that will insulate your baby’s body and not absorb much moisture, such as lycra and silk.
- Cotton and linen will not keep your baby as warm as these other materials, as they are very breathable. Save cotton shirts for the summer months.
Pick out a first layer for your child. Start with a basic layer and add to it as you go outdoors or into colder areas. Your daughter will be fine in a basic layer of a long sleeve onesie, pants, and socks for her first layer.
- If you want to put her in a dress or skirt, make sure her legs are covered with tights.
Create a warm second layer for your child. From the basic layer described in the previous step, you can add things, such as a sweater or light jacket, when you are going outside. Remember to avoid dressing your baby too warmly. In most cases, your child isn’t outside for very long, but she can get uncomfortably hot if left in her outside layers while still inside.
Use the car seat as a test. To be completely effective, car seat straps need to be snug against a baby. If your child can’t fit properly into their car seat, they are wearing too many layers to be inside.
- An easy option for small babies in car seats is to cover their entire car seat in bunting or a warm blanket, which can be easily removed once you get inside.
Monitor your baby’s temperature. Get in the habit of constantly checking your baby’s temperature. Due to undeveloped circulatory systems, feeling the hands or feet isn’t a good indication of a baby’s body temperature. Instead, feel their back, stomach, or armpits.
- If the area is very hot or the skin is red, your baby may be too hot. If your baby is fussy and inconsolable, it also might be because she is hot.
- Your baby may be too cold if they are shivering, or if their armpits or the back of their neck is cold to the touch. Monitoring your baby’s temperature helps keep her comfortable and gives you a good idea of how hot she gets in certain locations and situations.
Keeping Your Child Warm Outside
Pick a jacket out for your child. Choose a nice, warm coat with a hood. This will help to keep your girl’s head warm, even if a cold wind picks up.
- Jackets that are lined with fleece are good for extra cold locations.
Get a snowsuit for your child. Once your child is mobile and wants to play outside in the extreme cold, put her in a warm snowsuit with warm lining, such as fleece or cotton. Pick a snowsuit out that you baby girl will love; consider letting her pick it out, so that she will be more inclined to put it on when it is time to play outside.
- Mobile babies should also wear waterproof snow boots and thick socks to keep their feet warm and comfortable.
- Young babies and infants who can’t walk or crawl don’t need snowsuits, as they can wear thick layers instead. Babies who can’t crawl or walk will be fine wearing thick socks and no shoes.
Pick out a hat and mittens for your baby girl. Accessories are incredibly important in keeping your baby girl warm, especially when you go outside. When it is snowing, windy, or very cold, be sure to cover her head with a hat that pulls over her ears and cover her hands with mittens.
- Some baby sweaters and coats come with sleeves stay on your baby’s hands like mittens.
Apply sunscreen, even in the winter. If your baby will be outside for a long period of time, don’t forget the sunscreen! Winter sun can be deceptive and is often more powerful than summer sun.
- Avoid sun exposure for young babies and block the sun from their skin with layered clothing, a hat, or a light blanket. For children six months or older, apply a baby-safe sunscreen before every outing.
Keeping Your Baby Warm at Night
Don’t use too many blankets. It may be tempting to swaddle your baby in multiple blankets to make sure she stays warm all night, but over bundling has been directly linked in an increased risk of SIDS. Your baby will be fine all night in a one-piece fleece pajama sleeper with nothing underneath.
Avoid giving a newborn a loose blanket. Newborns should never sleep with loose blankets, as it can be a suffocation risk. Instead, swaddle your baby in a light swaddle blanket made of cotton or muslin.
- Wearable blankets, which are sleeveless sacks that zip up the front and are worn over sleepers, are also good options for keeping your baby safe and warm.
Make sure your child actually needs an extra layer before giving her one. Check your baby’s temperature in the morning as well as the temperature of the room in the night to see if adding a blanket or blanket sleeper will help your child.
- The optimal room temperature for a sleeping infant is between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but this varies with each child. Check your baby’s underarms to see if they are too hot or too cold and adjust their sleeping conditions accordingly.
- Your goal as a parent is to keep your baby at a comfortable and safe temperature—anything that keeps them too hot or too cold is dangerous.
- Colder weather requires more layers and more attention to your baby’s cues and temperature. With careful monitoring and organized layering, your daughter can be warm and comfortable all winter long.