Are you that mom that gets stressed when it comes to dressing your baby for the colder weather? You are definitely not alone, as several moms I’ve met have had this same concern. So lets learn how to dress your baby for fall.
One important thing to take into consideration as a mom is your baby’s clothes. When I say your baby’s clothes, I don’t necessarily mean keeping up with fashion trends. What is important to me as a pediatrician is that your baby is appropriately dressed for the weather.
That is, your baby should maintain a normal body temperature despite the temperature changes in the environment.
- What temperature is right for a baby?
- Signs it’s too hot or cold for a baby
- Tips for dressing your baby for fall
Table of Contents
What is the Right Temperature for a Baby?
Babies aged 0 to 12 months and even toddlers have an average body temperature of 36.4 to 37.4 degrees Celsius (97.5 to 99.3 degrees Fahrenheit) which should be maintained within normal limits. When your baby is exposed to temperatures lower or higher than recommended, chances are that his/her body temperature will fluctuate, and this is very harmful and uncomfortable for your baby.
Recommended room temperature for babies is 20 to 22 degrees Celsius or 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, when dressing your baby, you should have it at the back of your mind that his/her body temperature needs to be maintained.
In Fall, when the weather becomes cooler, it is important that the temperature in your baby’s nursery or room is maintained within the recommended limits using a thermostat or a heater, and also dressing your baby in thicker clothes to keep him/her within the recommended temperatures to keep them comfortable.
What Are the Signs it’s Too Hot or Cold for a Baby?
With changing weather, it is important for moms to know when it’s too hot or too cold for babies to prevent changes in the baby’s body temperature. We will be going into the signs to help you notice when it’s too hot or too cold for your baby.
What are the Signs it’s Too Hot for Your Baby?
Babies less than 9-12 months old overheat quickly as they are not so good at regulating their body temperature themselves. It is thus important to know when your baby is at the right temperature and not overheating. When a baby is overheating, his/her temperature will most likely be at 38 degrees Celsius or 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and above.
If your baby is too hot, you may notice the following:
- Your baby feels hot or really warm to touch. This is usually one of the first signs that mothers notice. Here, your baby’s skin feels warmer than usual. This could either mean that your baby has a fever or is overheating.
- Your baby’s skin may appear reddish or flushed.
- Your baby is less active.
- Your baby becomes excessively irritable and fussy. Probably cause she’s not comfortable.
- Your baby breathes faster than usual.
What are the Signs it’s Too Cold for Your Baby?
Your baby may get too cold especially in cooler weathers like fall or winter if she’s not properly dressed or the temperature of her room or nursery is not well regulated. In severe cases, a condition called hypothermia can occur where your baby experiences an extreme drop in her body temperature below 35 degrees Celsius. Here are signs that it’s too cold for your baby:
- Your baby’s body, particularly her hands and feet, feel cold.
- Your baby’s skin begins to look paler.
- Your baby becomes irritable and fussier. Probably cause she’s not comfortable.
- Your baby suddenly starts sneezing. This sneeze is not due to infections or the flu, it is due to a physiological response that your baby’s body expresses due to cold.
- Your baby is not as active as usual, and seems uninterested in what is happening around her.
Tips for Dressing your Baby in Fall
In the fall, the weather is cooler, and as a result, your baby is at a higher risk of being too cold. Your baby’s clothes should be thick, preferably cotton or wool material to help protect him/her from extremely cold temperatures and keep them warm. You should know that how you dress your baby for fall depends on if your baby is staying indoors, going outdoors or going to sleep. Let’s get into it shall we?
Dressing a baby indoors in fall
In as much as your baby is indoors within the confines of a home heater or well-regulated thermostat, you still have to pay mind to what he/she wears indoors in fall. If you have a well-regulated home thermostat, your baby should put on a single layer of thick clothing like onesies or overalls while indoors to protect them from cold and also prevent overheating.
If you do not have a heater or thermostat, you could layer your baby’s clothing, preferably, two layers of thick clothing to keep your baby warm.
Dressing a baby outdoors in fall
Dressing your baby for the outdoors in fall requires great care as your baby is being exposed to cooler temperatures. Layered clothing is preferred, around two layers of thick clothing, to prevent hypothermia. When layering your baby’s clothing, be sure to remember that babies are terrible at regulating their own temperature and can overheat very quickly.
It’s advisable to layer in such a manner that it can be adjusted as your baby’s temperature increases. An example is your baby wearing an overall as the first layer of clothing, then a pair of trousers and a jacket as the second layer. The jacket can be taken off once the baby begins to feel hot.
Dressing a Baby for Sleep in Fall
Dressing your baby for sleep in fall can be really tricky as temperatures tend drop lower in the middle of the night. For night time, your baby should put on a single layer thick nightwear and swaddled with a thick blanket or sleep sack. The aim of this is to help regulate your baby’s body temperature by keeping her warm when temperatures drop and at the same time prevent overheating.
One of the most challenging parts of being a mom is detecting and interpreting your baby’s cues. Babies are unable to express themselves and as such cannot tell you when they are too hot or too cold. The weather and environmental temperatures should play a vital role when choosing the type of dresses your baby wears.
In fall, you should target keeping your baby warm while carefully watching for signs of overheating. Layering your baby’s clothes and going for clothes made of thick and breathable materials such as cotton goes a long way to keeping your baby warm and cozy in fall.
Nancy M.D. is a health practitioner, pediatrician and medical writer, who is dedicated to fostering awareness, and lending a helping hand to humanity at large.