Bug in a Rug babies
What should my baby wear when we leave the house?
There's no way around it, if you're planning to head outside with your baby in tow on winter mornings, then you need an early start. You have a lot to get together, and your baby may not be too cooperative once you start putting on his third layer of clothing!
A good rule of thumb is that your baby needs one more layer of clothing than you do.
A snowsuit provides a great buffer against the cold and snow. Once your baby is dressed in his outfit for the day, you can simply slip him into the snowsuit just before you go out or get out of the car. Snowsuits have form-fitting legs and arms, and most are equipped with hoods. Look for one with a good layer of insulation, such as fleece or flannel, and a water-repellent exterior fabric.
Most body heat escapes through the head, so always put a hat on your baby before going outside in winter. If his hands are exposed, put some gloves on them. If he tends to suck on his hands, keep an extra pair or two handy. Make sure your baby wears socks to keep his feet toasty, too. On freezing days, you can wrap a blanket around his snowsuit.
Once you're indoors, even if it's just for a quick stop at the supermarket, take at least one layer off your baby so he won't start feeling clammy. Otherwise, the dampness will make him colder when you get back out in the winter air. And if you've covered your baby with a blanket in the car, you should take it off once the car warms up.
Safety tip: In order to work properly in a crash, car seat straps must be snug. Make sure your baby isn't wearing clothing that's too bulky for his car seat, and don't put blankets between your baby and the straps. Instead, dress him in clothes that allow the straps to go between his legs, adjust the straps to allow for the thickness of his clothes, and pile blankets or other bulky layers on top of the harness straps instead of under them.
As long as the weather isn't too unfriendly, it's good for your baby to get some fresh air every day, whether it's in a buggy, sling or backpack. A furry seat liner for your baby’s buggy will provide extra bottom warmth, and coupled with a thick blanket on top will create a cosy cocoon.
Just keep in mind that while you're working up a sweat pushing or carrying him around, your baby is just sitting there and he'll get chilly well before you do. How will you know when your baby’s had enough though? Be aware of his behaviour. If he's happy to be out at first but starts fussing after a while, he may be trying to tell you that he's cold. It's a good idea to check his little fingers, toes, ears, and face regularly, and go inside before he gets uncomfortable.
Safety tip: If your baby gets very cold, don't try to warm his skin by rubbing it. It could make him sore. Instead, hold his skin against yours. You can tuck his hands under your armpits to warm them.
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