What Is Doctor's Advice On Right Winter Dressing for Babies?
Created by Ankita A Talwar Updated on Dec 24, 2019
How should I dress my baby for winter? What should dress my newborn for a winter walk? and more are questions that parents start asking at the start of the winter season. Winter can be a daunting time for a new mother. Besides the anxiety of the baby catching a cold, the concerns around dressing the baby right are also as many—how much is enough? What to do at night? What to choose—wool or fleece etc—are some questions each mother has. With the winter season on us, it is time to pull out those woolens, jackets, caps, and mittens and wrap our children so that they keep warm and cozy.
But sometimes, we're not sure how much protection is enough, and if another layer is necessary. Here read on to find out what experts have to say about winter dressing for your child.
What Should Be Winter Clothing for Your Child?
We asked some doctors for their recommendations on what winter dressing is appropriate for the little ones. Here are their tips.
- Keep Extremes Warm: Dr. Rajiv Chabbra, Senior Pediatrician and Neonatologist, Gurgaon, says, "The body loses maximum heat from the extremes—hands, feet, and head. So, it is essential to keep these covered, especially with small children".
- Choose Cotton Over Woolen: For caps, mittens, and socks, choose cotton, instead of woolen. Wool can cause itching and rashes on your child's soft skin. Also, babies have a tendency to suck on any piece of cloth that gets in their mouths—be it a mitten, or the collar of a sweater. Wool has fibers that can be ingested by the baby, so watch out.
- Pick Fleece Over Wool: During extreme winters, when the air is heavy with fog, choose fleece jackets. Fleece is impermeable and doesn't let the cold air in, neither will it hold moisture and become damp like wool. Windcheaters, sweatshirts and also good options for damp, foggy days.
- Layer Cotton Rather than Wears One Heavy Woolen: Dr. Chabbra also adds, "Layering the child in cotton is an excellent way to keep him warm and cozy. You can choose to dress him in 2-3 layers of cotton rather than one heavy sweater." The different layers of cotton create insulation that trap the warmth of the body, not letting it escape.
- Cotton Closest to Skin: Dr. Pramay Mehta, Pediatrician, Dwarka, says, "The first layer of clothing to touch the child's skin should be pure cotton—a vest, or a t-shirt. This saves the baby from skin allergies caused due to wool".
- Keep the Chest Warm: If the torso of the body is warm, most importantly, the chest and heart, the rest of the body will keep cozy. If the heart is able to pump blood across, it will keep the body warm.
How Many Clothes Are Enough?
This is a frequent concern new mothers have on deciding how much clothing is enough for the infant. Dr. Neha Joshi, Pediatrician, Sitaram Bhartia Institute says that the baby needs one extra-layer than what the mother is wearing...
- Since a newborn has the closest affinity to the mother, she is the right person to assess the child's needs. So, if the mother is feeling warm in two-layer, three should be enough for the child
- Also, the infant, if not too cozy, or is feeling extra-warm, she will give signs of not being comfortable by crying or showing discomfort
Can Making Your Child Too Warm Be Harmful?
Believe it or not, over-dressing your child can cause more harm than good. Dr. Chabbra explains, "Over-layering the child, especially in woolens, can cause him or her to sweat—something you will miss noticing till you change his clothes."
- This can lead to the innermost clothing layer to be damp and make the child prone to catching a chill.
- Too much warmth can leave the child a little stuffy and lethargic. Also anytime you are changing the baby's clothes, the sudden temperature jump can lead to illness.
Tips to Make Sure Baby Stays Warm During Winter
Given are the guides to winter dressing for your baby. Check these...
- Whole Day Protection: During the day, when the sun is out, you can try layering your child in a cotton vest, topped with a cotton full sleeve tee shirt, topped with a half t-shirt, and a corduroy/fleece jacket. On colder days, add a layer of thermals
- Outdoor Time: Give your child as much outdoor exercise as possible. Even if the temperature is low, protect him properly and take him outdoors, rather than keeping him holed up inside the house out of the fear of the weather. Exercise is very important for immunity and warmth. Ensure head, hands, and feet are well covered
- Bedtime Protection: At night time, remove any woolens and dress your child either in padded or flannel night suits and thermals. Also, keep the clothing loose and comfortable
- Warm Fluids: Give the child nourishing and warming fluids such as soups to keep her warm and healthy
- Pay Attention to the Signs: Listen to your child or follow your infant's signs when they are trying to tell you it is too cold or too warm. They are the best judges for their own body
While winter can seem daunting and make you anxious about keeping your child warm and healthy, a few steps are all it takes to protect him well. So this winter, get him to layer up and make the best use of whatever sunshine there is! Why let the temperature hold him back?
Have any winter dressing tips for children that you follow? Share them with us in the comments section!