The general rule of thumb for layering a baby is "babies typically should wear one more layer than we would". So for example, if you are wearing a t-shirt, pants and a sweater, then the baby could wear a thermal with their body suit, followed by a sweater or cardigan. mittens, booties and a cap(only if you are going outdoors).
How to layer newborn baby or infant (0-12 months) for Pre-winters?
- Start with a Base /First Layer: Begin with a soft, lightweight, and breathable base layer. Cotton is an excellent choice as it's gentle on your baby's skin and helps wick away moisture. Opt for full-sleeve bodysuits to cover the arms and legs. For pre winters you wont require thermals as such, but if you think you should add one, choose cotton thermals to add extra layer for little one especially if your child is less than 6 months and does no physical activity.
- Second layer: For pre winters, after adding one full sleeves base layer you will just need a cotton caridgan, t-shirt or romper. For pre winters you don't need to opt for fleece, acrylic or woollen clothes.
- Outer layer(optional) - if you're feeling chilly, your baby probably is too. For outdoors you can either layer your child with extra outerwear or just swaddler them nicely. If you child is less than 3 months, you can swaddle them. For indoors avoid 3rd layer for pre winters.
- Socks and mittens: If you feel your child's hand and feet are getting cold during evening hours, it is advisable to make them wear socks and mittens, but cap is no-no indoors.
How to layer newborn baby or infant (0-12 months) for winters?
- Start with a Base /First Layer: Begin with a soft, lightweight, breathable base layer. Opt for full-sleeve bodysuits to cover the arms and legs. Wearing thermals is a good option to keep the baby's heat intact. I personally used body care thermals for both the upper and lower body.
- Middle layer: For additional insulation, add a middle layer that provides warmth. A snug, long-sleeved outfit, such as a cotton or fleece is ideal. Ensure it's not too tight, allowing some room for movement and comfort. I chose a sleeve woollen vest at the time of my baby's congestion and full sleeves turtle necks worked best for my baby.
- Layer with Outerwear: In colder regions of India, a warm cardigan or sweater is essential for infants. Choose one made of a soft and breathable material that can be easily zipped up or buttoned down. This layer should be easy to put on and take off when needed.
- Jackets for outdoors: Just like you add one extra layer on a chilly windy evening, wrap your little one in a jacket when going outdoors. Puffer jackets are not comfortable for little ones inside the home, making their movements restricted.
- Bodysuits or Footsies and sleep bags for night: For the night time the best clothing for babies is ‘Onesies’ as they are made of thick cotton and have ‘Footsies’ which cover the feet. They are convenient and are able to adequately cover the baby at night even if it kicks off the blanket. You can use a baby sleepsack or sleep bags if your child doesn't take a blanket or quilt.
- Don't Forget a Hat outdoors: A soft, comfortable hat is crucial to prevent heat loss from your baby's head. A knitted cap or a fleece beanie works well when you go outdoors. Ensure that it covers the ears and stays securely in place.
- Keep Those Tiny Feet Warm: Warm, woollen socks or booties will help keep your baby's feet toasty. Make sure they fit well but aren't too tight to restrict circulation.
- Mittens or Gloves: Mittens or gloves are essential to protect your infant's hands from the cold. Ensure they are comfortable and don't slide off too easily. Some sleepsuits also have fold-over mittens which come in handy during colder nights
- Swaddle or Blankets: When indoors or during naps, use soft, breathable blankets or swaddles to keep your baby warm. Be cautious not to over-swaddle, as overheating can be a concern.
Things to keep in mind:
- Regularly check your baby's neck, back, or chest to ensure they are not too hot or too cold. Your baby should feel warm but not sweaty.
Your baby is too hot if:
- Its face is flushed
- The back of its neck is hot and clammy
- It has a bumpy rash on its tummy or back
Your baby is too cold if:
- Its tummy Is cool to touch
- Its nose or fingertips are much paler
- Its lips and mouth area are going blue
- Remember that temperatures can fluctuate throughout the day, so be prepared to add or remove layers as needed. Dress your baby in layers that are easy to adjust.
- Overbundling can lead to overheating, which is a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It's essential to strike the right balance between warmth and comfort.
- Don’t put a hat on your baby in bed (or anywhere indoors): A baby loses excess heat through its head. Covering it up could lead to overheating.
- Don’t put your baby to sleep next to a fire/radiator/ any kind of heat source: This could lead to a nasty burn and, again, this could cause overheating.
- Avoid duvets: Infants under one year old can be suffocated by duvets as they can’t move them away from their faces. Duvets can also lead to overheating.
- Don’t use a hot water bottle or an electric blanket: As comforting as they may be to an adult on a cold winter’s night, remember that adults can regulate their own temperature: children can’t do this until they are around 2 years old when their ability to sweat and shiver is fully developed.
LOVE AND SUPPORT ALWAYS...!!