Tips on Dressing Your Baby for Every Season - Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health (2024)

Tips on Dressing Your Baby for Every Season - Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health (1)

Once you bring baby home from the hospital, it’s easy to second guess yourself on even the simplest tasksincluding how to dress your newborn! Are they too hot? Too cold? Just right?! Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing baby’s (really, really cute) outfits to ensure they’re safe and comfortable.

What Should My Baby Wear in Cold Weather?

When the temperatures drop, it’s important to make sure baby wears a few layers to keep them warm and cozy. The general rule of thumb is to make sure baby wears one additional layer than what you’re comfortable wearingif you’re feeling chilly, your baby probably is too.

When you’re inside, something like a diaper and onesie, covered by another warm layer (a swaddle, receiving blanket, pajamas, etc.) will be plenty to keep baby’s body temperature just right. If your little one is premature, they may need one more extra layer until their weight reaches that of a full-term babe and their body is more capable at adjusting to temperatures. Skin to skin contact with mama is a great way to warm up baby too, since your body warmth helps regulate your little one’s temperature (with the added bonus of extra snuggles). As your baby lays on your skin, cover him/her with a blanket or swaddle.

If you’re heading outside, be sure baby is covered from head to toewe’re talking a hat, thick socks or booties (be careful they don’t kick them off accidentally! Any veteran mama will tell you that baby socks are notorious for falling off), and mittens or other hand coverings. Follow the ‘one extra layer’ suggestion we talked about above, and tuck a blanket snugly around them in the stroller for added warmth.

A note on car seat safety: Be sure to remove any bulky jackets or outerwear before securing baby in their car seat. While it might feel strange to remove a jacket in the cold, if an accident occurs these materials can compress and make the car seat straps too loosewhich can significantly increase the risk of injury to baby. Try to get in the habit of warming up your car in advance (when possible!) to help ease any worries about baby’s comfort. Some mamas keep an extra blanket in the car to tuck around baby in colder weather (on the outside of the car seat straps, please!)…and it’s good for cleaning up unexpected spit up, too! Any car seat covers that go through the straps are not safe. Baby’s back should be against the seat without anything in between.

What Should My Baby Wear in Hot Weather?

When the temperature rises over 75 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s a safe bet to dress baby in only a single layer of loose clothing so they don’t overheat. Lightweight cotton clothes are breathable to help baby keep cooland protect their skin from sunburn (keep baby in the shade as much as possible). Hats with a wide brim are also a great way to keep the sun off of their face and skin for extra UV protection (pro-tip: look for a hat with a chin strap to help prevent baby from pulling their hat off over…and over… and over).

What Should My Baby Wear to Sleep?

You should dress your baby one-to-two layers to sleepmake sure they don’t have any strings or ties—and never cover baby’s head. Until the baby can roll on their own, a swaddle or sleep sack can be one of those layers. Many mamas use velcro or blanket swaddles, wrapped snugly around baby from the neck down, until baby can roll over onto their tummy (once they roll, stop swaddling immediately for safety reasons).

A wearable blanket, or a sleep sack, is also an excellent (and safe!) way to add an extra layer of warmth for babies of all ages. Keep temps in the room between 68-72 degreesand be sure to check baby’s neck to ensure your little one isn’t overheating (a bit of moisture is normal but baby should not be dripping sweat).

Tips on Dressing Your Baby for Every Season - Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health (2024)


When dressing a baby What is the general rule? ›

A good rule of thumb is to dress the baby in one more layer of clothing than you are wearing to be comfortable in the same environment.

What would be a good guide when dressing your baby? ›

Clothes should be comfortable, soft and easy to take care of. Stretchy jumpsuits that fasten at the front are best, as well as tops with envelope necks, which are easier to get over your baby's head. Jumpsuits with zips can make dressing your baby quick and easy too. Clothes made from cotton are a good choice.

What are the steps in dressing a baby? ›

Step 1: Either place your baby on a safe flat surface or support them one on your lap. Step 2: Unsnap the bodysuit and scrunch it up, crotch first, toward the neck. Step 3: Stretch the neck hole open. Step 4: Pull the bodysuit up over Baby's legs until you reach the sleeves.

How to dress a baby for 50-60 degree weather? ›

Examples of garments for the base layer include long-sleeved bodysuits and leggings; Middle Layer: The middle layer provides insulation to keep the baby warm. It should consist of thicker materials such as fleece, wool, or heavier cottons. These fabrics trap heat and provide an extra layer of warmth.

What is the 5s rule for babies? ›

The five S's for baby sleep. Pediatrician Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, says his "five S's" method can calm fussy newborns and help them sleep. The five S's are swaddling, side or stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking.

Which is the most important thing to remember when dressing an infant? ›

Key facts. Dress your baby so that they're not too warm and not too cold, especially for sleep. Make sure they don't overheat. Choose close-fitting soft, cotton baby clothes that have a low fire danger label and no loose trimmings.

What is the rule of clothes for babies? ›

A good rule of thumb is to give your baby 1 extra layer of clothing than what you're wearing. For example, if you're in a t-shirt and jumper, dress them in a vest, sleepsuit and cardigan or jumper. If you feel chilly, your baby probably does too.

Why is learning to dress a baby properly important? ›

Baby clothing can influence a child's physical development and movement. Clothing that is too tight or restrictive can hinder a baby's natural movement and growth. On the other hand, well-fitting and appropriately sized garments allow babies to move freely, promoting muscle development and coordination.

How to dress a baby indoors? ›

If your baby is going to be spending most of their time indoors, choose loose fitting, lightweight clothing made from cotton as it absorbs perspiration better. A good rule is to dress baby the way you are dressed.

What should a baby's first outfit be? ›

Rompers and all-in-ones are so simple to take off if baby spits up or has an accident, whilst sleepsuits or t-shirts with enveloped necklines will help you protect their head whilst you get them dressed. And if you're going for leggings, elasticated waistbands are comfy on their tummy, and easy for you to pull up, too.

What should babies wear in 70 degree weather? ›

Lightweight cotton clothes are breathable to help baby keep cool—and protect their skin from sunburn (keep baby in the shade as much as possible).

What to dress a baby in the outside? ›

A baby hat, baby mittens if necessary and booties or thick socks are a must. Then over the top we also recommend an Ergobaby weather cover either our All Weather Cover with a cosy fleece lining or our Rain and Wind Cover without the fleece lining. You can read more about what to wear winter babywearing here and here.

What is a general rule for how many layers of clothing a baby needs? ›

The general rule of thumb is to make sure baby wears one additional layer than what you're comfortable wearing—if you're feeling chilly, your baby probably is too.

What are the rules for dressing your age? ›

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to dressing your age. The most important thing is to dress in a way that feels authentically you. Dress your age just means you're adapting to the times and making the best of it.

What are the requirements for safe baby wear? ›

Ensure baby is upright: Your baby should never curl or slump down in their carrier, which can close off their airway. Your little one's back and bottom should be supported in a carrier that is tight enough to keep them upright, never folded forward. Check the position of your baby's chin.

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