How to Dress Your Baby for Different Temperatures

How to Dress Your Baby for Different Temperatures

Learning how to correctly dress your baby for various temperatures – as well as different seasons and weather conditions – can present as a complex art to a new parent. As babies are so sensitive to temperature changes, it can seem impossible to know how to put together an outfit that will keep them comfortable for the entire day or night. Luckily, we’ve translated our baby-expert lingo into a normal talk, so you can master this aspect of infant care quicker than you can say heat-rash.

Tip #1: Refer to a temperature chart

There are hundreds of websites on the internet that offer detailed temperature charts, and they’re well worth printing off for easy reference when you’re contemplating what kinds of items to buy to keep your tot at a normal temperature.


Tip #2: Tog ratings and sleepwear

You may have seen temperature charts referring to the term ‘Tog.’  Basically, Tog ratings are an official measure of the thermal resistance of a clothing product and are commonly used to rate items such as sleeping sacks, duvets, and blankets. The lower the Tog rating, the less warmth the item will offer; the higher the Tog, the better it’ll cope with the cold.


The general rule for sorting out baby’s sleepwear is to first aim for optimal room temperature – which is around 19-21°C – and to add clothing and a sleeper-bag to the mix from there. That said, some companies do claim that a 3.5-Tog sleep-sack will keep your baby warm even when the outside temperature is 14 degrees or lower, so experiment to see what works for your baby.


Tip #3: Your layers, plus one

This is a renowned tip in the baby world, and it’s an easy, no-nonsense one for the parents out there who simply can’t be bothered with thermometers and the like. Babies are more sensitive to the cold than adults, but dressing them in just one more layer than you’re wearing should ensure that they are cozy all day long. Are you comfortable wearing a light shirt or dress yourself? Dress baby in a cotton set with an extra light sweater over the top. Easy!

Tip #4: Plan for changes in the weather

You’re probably already aware that, as a parent, you’ll never be able to go out without a bag again. With a baby in tow, it really is smart to pack for every event, and changes in the temperature outside are no exception. Storing a warm sweater, extra pair of socks and pants, and of course, a weather-resistant jacket in the back of your pram or car will cover you if a sudden storm threatens to make your baby uncomfortable.


Tip #5: The touch-test

If you want to know the temperature of your baby at any time, simply place the back of your hand (where your skin is more sensitive) on your baby’s forehead. If it feels too cold or too warm, then you know it’s time to either add or shed a layer.

Tip #6: Summer vs. winter fabrics

As the seasons change, dressing your baby isn’t just a case of simply decreasing or increasing layers; the actual fabrics and fibers of the clothing need to be switched over too. Cotton and natural fibers are excellent breathable fabrics for the warmer months, but when winter starts to roll around it’s wool clothing that you’ll want to invest in.


Allison’s golden rule for travel is “Pack light and right!” She loves escaping the chilly New Zealand winter months to explore tropical destinations and has previously contributed to hospitality sites such as Tanoa Dateline. To see more of her published work, visit her Tumblr page.


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