Dressing up your baby for the cold season requires a delicate balance between making sure she’s getting enough warmth without compromising comfort, and at the same time making sure her body doesn’t get too warm.
Overheating your baby is associated to possible occurrences of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death. It's quite uncommon for a baby's room to require heating at night, but it’s still necessary to maintain the room at an acceptable temperature, which is between 16 degrees C and 20 degrees C, with 18 degrees C the ideal temperature. Get a room thermometer and monitor the room to keep a safe temperature.
Layers, layers, layers
When it comes to dressing babies and toddlers for winter weather, layering is key. The common rule is dress your baby in one layer more than what you’re wearing. Wrapping your little one up in several layers means that not only can you ensure she is warm and cosy, but you can easily remove a layer to prevent her from overheating. Starting off with a good quality base layer helps to simultaneously normalise temperature and draw moisture away from your child’s skin.
An effective thermal base layer is key for babies and toddlers. Wool or polyester is the ideal base layer, but avoid pure cotton as it’s very porous and generally holds more moisture which doesn’t wick away easily
Keep her warm and dry
When looking for outerwear for your baby, look for practical features and fabrics. To guarantee full shield from wet weather, make sure the garment has a waterproof rating of at least 1500mm or more. Don’t forget to look at the coat or all-in-one’s hood, it should fit snugly around her face for maximum protection.
When choosing a garment look out for details such as reflectors or detachable hoods that prevent children becoming caught. Also bear in mind comfort-focused features such as zip garages (special covers so your baby can’t catch herself) or soft linings that will be gentle against a child’s sensitive skin. If you are choosing an all-in-one, consider how easy it’ll be to put on and take off your baby. Look for full-length front opening which makes nappy changes or undressing a sleeping child much easier.
Staying warm inside the car
If you’re heading outdoors but travelling in a car first, it’s worth thinking about how your baby is dressed. Cars can warm up quickly and you don’t want your baby to overheat. Remove hats and gloves and very bulky snowsuits. Be aware of the compression of layers against the car seat straps in a collision; the straps should be snug against your baby. If the car seems cold, you can drape a blanket over your baby.
Protect the extremities
Whether you opt for a coat or all-in-one, protecting little hands and feet will help to maintain your child’s core temperature. For toddlers, thick-soled non-skid tread, waterproof and breathable snowboots or thermal-lined wellies are a good investment to keep toes snug, while for babies I’d recommend warm socks or soft-soled moccasins. Mittens and gloves are also a must for toddlers – look for ones that can be clipped onto coats so your child won’t lose them if she pulls a glove off. And remember a hat – it’s the easiest way for your baby to lose heat so keep her head covered when out.
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