As a first-time mother to a baby born during the wintertime, you may wonder how to dress your baby appropriately in the winter. If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend hours researching things to place on your baby registry. However, you’ll soon realize much of what’s hanging in your newborn’s closet is unnecessary. When shopping for an infant, go for practical over cute — especially when dressing a baby in the winter!
7 Tips for Dressing Baby in the Winter
Here are our top tips for dressing your baby during the winter:
1. Keep In Mind Growth Patterns and the Seasons
Your child will grow faster than you can believe. So, don’t buy a 10-pack of newborn onesies. You’ll need a few, but not a closet full of newborn clothes. And since you’ll most likely be layering your baby’s clothes, short-sleeved onesies are nicer to have as an undergarment.
2. Zippers Are Your Friend
When dressing your baby in winter, don’t bother with anything that doesn’t zip up. It’s 3 a.m. in the middle of winter, and your week-old baby has pooped all over his snap-crotch onesie, button-up bodysuit, and swaddle . . . oh wait, is that poop in his hair too?! Forget the cute bodysuit, matching attire, and muslin swaddle.
Zip-up bodysuits with feet and attached hand covers saved my life. We went from 30 minutes of removing clothes, washing baby’s soiled self, and putting new clothes on (through tears, struggle, and mom’s bloodshot eyes) to five quick minutes of a change. Not only will you be too exhausted for cute outfits with buttons down the legs, back, and shoulders, but you will also feel much better when you quickly slip something on your child without all the fuss. Save the complicated outfits for months down the road.
3. Look for Winter Sets
You’ll want some comfy winter sets for your baby to wear. Specifically, the Cloud Island Sleep N’ Play sets for baby boys and girls are a must-have for dressing your little one during the winter! They come in several colors and have footed ends to keep their tiny feet snug and warm. And . . . wait for it . . . they zip down! A zipper instead of buttons! Down instead of up for those quick and easy middle-of-the-night diaper changes.
4. Buy Microfleece
Microfleece sleep sets and sleep sacks are also perfect for dressing babies in the winter. This material is soft and cozy, which is excellent for colder climates. Even my winter sheets are microfleece, so why not baby’s sleepwear? But be careful not to put too many layers on your infant, especially when wearing microfleece, as they can overheat quickly.1
5. Keep Swaddling Simple
SwaddleMe swaddles — one, two, three, velcro. ‘Nuff said! They’re super quick and give you peace of mind since you won’t have to worry about loose blankets. These swaddles are machine-washable, made of 100% cotton, and can keep babies secure and comforted. Perfect for dressing baby in winter!
6. Have a Hat for the Outdoors
Babies wear them the few nights you’re at the hospital, right? So, you assume they should keep wearing them. Then a week later, your baby’s head is too big, and you’re searching everywhere for a lightweight hat and can’t find one . . . Babies don’t need hats while sleeping and shouldn’t wear hats overnight, as that’s one way all that extra body heat can leave the body instead of overheating.2,3
Relax, and buy a nice little hat with the velcro under the chin for the outdoors instead. This one from Simple Joys by Carter’s has a soft hook and loop closure and features tiny, adorable ears. It even comes with cozy matching mittens! This set is made with sherpa fleece and comes in white, gray, pink, and brown.
7. Use Socks and Booties
Lastly, warm socks and booties are a necessity for dressing winter babies. These snug Zutano baby booties are amazing because they actually stay on, so babies can’t pull them off! They are also non-slip and adjustable and can be worn comfortably over socks or booties. You’ll also want to get some thick socks, such as these ankle crew socks with grips, to help their feet stay warm.
Other Ways To Keep Baby Warm in the Winter
Besides dressing baby in winter clothing, there are other ways to keep your little one warm and toasty during the cold season. Here are additional tips for winter babies:
Get a Cozy Car Seat Cover or Baby Carrier Cover
Canopy and stretch covers are beautiful but unnecessary for a baby in winter. And by the time the weather gets warm enough for a canopy cover, you’re no longer carrying your baby out with the car seat — 15 pounds of baby plus 10 pounds of car seat is ridiculously heavy!
Instead, opt for a warm car seat cover, such as this JJ Cole baby car seat cover. It’s perfectly warm for those cold first few months of a baby’s life. If you want an insulated option, the 7 A.M. car seat cover has premium insulation and is still breathable. It’s also a great idea to get a baby carrier cover to keep your baby warm on the go. It can easily attach to your carrier, so you don’t have to bring along a blanket. This one from Seraphine is a great option!
Invest in a Mattress Cover
Did you know that mattress covers heat the bed?4 Most newborns sleep in a bassinet, but I recommend investing in a mattress cover if your infant sleeps in their crib. It will protect the mattress from wet messes and keep your baby warm. Yes, this is undoubtedly a nuisance come summertime when you can’t figure out why your baby is sweating when she only slept in a onesie, but it’s perfect for those cold winter nights! However, avoid a mattress cover if you’re co-sleeping since, in that case, the fewer things that heat your baby, the better.
We hope these tips for dressing baby in the winter help your little one stay warm and cozy, whether you’re indoors or outdoors! And remember, while layers are your baby’s friend in the winter, being naked is perfect, too; enjoy those skin-to-skin moments with just a blanket over you and your baby.