How to layer your baby for winter
A common question to midwives by parents with a winter newborn is, “how can I make sure my baby is warm?” The team at Epworth suggests when it comes to keeping your baby warm in the cooler months, remember to think about layers.
Layered clothing traps heat between each layer, insulating your little one much more effectively. It also means that you can make subtle adjustments to their body temperature by varying the number of layers, rather than just pulling off one thick jumper or jacket. Thin cotton layers work well, starting with a cotton bodysuit and then adding other layers as required, from grow suits to long sleeve t-shirts and pants.
As a guide, dress your baby in the same number of layers that you are wearing, plus one extra layer for warmth.
When taking your baby outside in cold weather, make sure that they are covered from top to toe – especially their head with a beanie as they lose a lot of their body heat through this part of their body.
When travelling in the car during cold conditions, remember to remove any bulky jumpers or coats before placing your baby in the harness of their car seat. Bulky items result in the harness not being the right fit to protect your baby if you did happen to be in a car accident. It’s also important to remove beanies and hats from your baby for car travel.
How to layer your baby for sleep
For sleep time, it’s not necessary to monitor the room temperature or to leave the heating or cooling on all night as long as your baby is dressed appropriately for the room temperature.
A safe infant sleeping bag can be a good option for dressing your baby for bed. On cooler evenings, it is recommended that you dress your baby in appropriate layers underneath the sleeping bag. The ideal winter sleeping bag should have at least a 1.5 TOG rating if the house temperature is 20 degrees, but if your house is colder, a 2.5 or 3.5 TOG rating is advised.
Remember that while it’s important to keep your baby warm, it is also important that they don’t overheat, especially while they are sleeping.
A few simple steps to assess your baby is comfortable:
1. Place the back of your hand on your little one’s chest or tummy.
2. If they are perspiring or feel more than warm, remove a layer of clothing and then check again shortly after.
3. If your little one feels cool, dress them in one thin layer at a time until they feel comfortable to touch. Snuggling your baby close to you is also a great way to both warm and settle them if they do wake up cold during the night.
For the latest advice on keeping your baby safe while sleeping, visit www.rednose.org.au.
For more newborn tips and guidance videos, visit Epworth mobile midwife, available at www.epworth.org.au