Becoming a parent for the first time is a life-enriching but quite challenging experience. Your life becomes extremely dynamic and you are exposed to new things every single day. Just when you start thinking that you have got everything under control, you might be surprised with a new case to solve from a whole new level.
One of the most important experiences for first time parents is taking the baby out for the first time. You may have decided to go for a short walk in the park to take some fresh air. You may have decided that it’s time for your little one to visit the shopping mall for the first time. Or maybe you’re visiting a friend and you have to travel to their home for the meetup. Regardless of the scenario, your newborn will have to leave the house.
Apart from packing your nappy bag with all the baby supplies, you may possibly need on your trip, there is one other major part of preparing – dressing your toddler for the weather conditions. Now, for experienced parents, this is a no-brainer. If you have already gotten into the habit of forecasting all the potential situations and reading your little one’s signals clearly, you won’t have a problem with choosing your baby’s clothing. However, if this is your first time, you may need a bit of help and guidance through the process.
Keeping your toddler safe and comfortable
Unlike grownups, babies have a weaker immune system and are more exposed to getting the cold or catching the flu as a result of improper clothing. Your little one is extremely vulnerable, especially during the first years after birth. To make things even more difficult, these are the years during which communication with your toddler is established mainly via body language. You must become an expert at reading the signals in order to get your baby’s message right when it comes to temperature comfort.
Babies don’t have the ability to regulate body temperature. In order to stay warm, they require warmer clothes regardless of the surrounding temperature. This is why it is fundamentally important to dress your little one accordingly when leaving the house. Not only is this necessary for their health but for comfort as well. If the baby is calm then you can be calm as well.
How to tell if your baby is too hot or too cold
In your attempt to protect your little one it is natural to go over the top sometimes. Most parents prefer to be sure that their baby is warm and risk making them feel too hot. Rising the temperature too much is not a good idea as it leads to sweating, dehydration, and other discomforts or problems.
Your little one’s temperature should remain between 36C and 37C at all times in a healthy condition. If you notice that your baby’s temperature is rising above 37C, chances are that your toddler has been overdressed and is feeling too hot. Even if babies’ ability to speak is not yet formed, they have interesting and creative ways of showing that they are not comfortable in their clothes.
Watch out for the following signals which are clear statements that your baby is too hot:
- Crying, fussing, or showing short-tempered behavior
- Flushed skin or red face
- Warmer skin than usual when touched
- Changes in the breathing pattern
- Often necessity to drink water
- Attempts to take off outer clothing layers such as jackets, hats, or scarves
If you notice one or more of the above, it’s worth checking whether there is a layer that can be taken off to let your baby cool down.
Alternatively, the following signs can mean that your baby is too cold:
- Crying or unusual behavior
- Body shivers
- Sudden skin temperature drop
- Pale face or blue to dark purple lips
If you spot one or some of the above signals, add an extra layer to your baby’s clothing or try to get them to a warmer spot as soon as possible.
Now that we have the basics, let’s look at a few pointers when it comes to dressing your little one for different temperatures.
How to dress your baby for hot weather
You may assume that dressing your toddler during summer is a piece of pie but in fact, the process is just as important and complex as in the winter. When dressing your baby for summer or a hot day, here are a few pointers that will help them stay safe and comfy.
- Remove extra layers.
While layering may be ideal for colder days when the temperatures rise it is best to avoid the risk of overheating your little one with too many layers. One layer should be enough to keep your baby feeling good.
- Always protect the baby’s head.
Hats are a must-have accessory for summer days when the sun rays are strong and your baby’s head is exposed to a lot of heat. Choose a hat with extra coverage and lightweight material for extra comfort.
- Choose fabrics carefully.
During warm days, you certainly want to stay away from wool fabric or other thick and heavy alternatives. Select breathable material with a soft touch to avoid irritating your little one’s skin or allowing them to sweat too much. Regularly check the skin temperature of your newborn to check for sudden changes or signs of discomfort.
- Select lightweight shoes or sandals.
You may be tempted to let your baby run wild barefoot but their feet must stay protected at all times. Closed-toe sandals are a great option for the hot summer days as they offer high-level protection and comfort. Again, make sure the materials are breathable and if possible, water-resistant.
Tip: Always pack sunscreen with UV protection specifically designed for baby use. Baby skin is extremely easily affected by direct sunlight and can easily get a sunburn.
How to dress your baby for cold weather
Winter days can be quite harsh even for adults who have control over their clothing and have better body temperature regulation than babies. Imagine how stressful it must be for the little ones! Let’s look at what we can do as parents to help them feel happy and comfortable.
- Layering is a fundamental clothing method for toddlers.
Think about what you would wear during the shivering winter days. Chances are that you will have a shirt on, a light sweater, a jacket, jeans, and a pair of shoes. Well, when it comes to your baby, think about an extra layer.
You can ensure your baby won’t lose body heat by dressing them in a long-sleeved bodysuit, a regular shirt, and a hoodie. Add some stretchable pants for flexibility and you are ready to go. If you are expecting to spend a lot of time out in the cold it may be a good idea to consider thermals. Keep your baby’s feet warm with a pair of thermal socks and waterproof baby boots.
- Make the most of winter clothing accessories.
Always keep a warm hat on your baby’s head. The head is among the body parts of the little ones which should be kept warm all the time. Especially when you are exiting a warm place and going outside. The drastic change in temperature or potential wind can immediately influence your baby’s health.
Add a scarf to your little one’s outfit where necessary to protect against wind or frostbite around the facial area. Putting a scarf near your baby’s mouth and nose will also prevent them from inhaling cold air, which may be dangerous for the throat and lungs. Be careful not to put too many layers around the face as this may be dangerous for their breathing.
- Have a blanket at hand.
Chances are that your little one will require the coziness and comfort of their home atmosphere anywhere they go during their first years. To help them feel this warmth and guarantee their temperature remains constant during the colder days, wrap them up in their favorite blanket while out.
You can even add a wearable blanket sleeper or a comfortable sleep sack as an extra layer to keep them extra warm.
Although you will notice what is working well and what needs to be changed regarding your baby’s clothing, it is best to get the outfit right the first time. As you get to know your baby’s preferences better, you will become better at picking the right items to keep their temperature regulated and their mood happy. It may be useful to brainstorm and make a clothing list just to make sure that you have prepared everything you might need. We hope our tips come in use when dressing your baby for different weather conditions and helps you keep a smile on their face.