Are you a member? Register / Log in
Baby in winter clothes sat in pram

Heading out into the big wide world with your newborn can feel scary – they seem so vulnerable – and you may think it’s better to keep your little one inside when it’s cold. But they need fresh air as much as you do, so here are some simple tips to keep your baby safe and snuggly when out and about this winter…

Hot tips for a cosy baby

Worried it’s too cold to take your baby out for a walk? If the temperature is below -5°C, it’s probably best to stay at home, but fortunately, in our climate, the temperature doesn’t stay that low for long. Naturally, you don’t want your baby to be caught in the middle of crowds or coughed and spluttered over, so steer clear of ill people and very busy spots. But usually, as long as they’re wrapped up warm and cosy, it’s fine to head outside. Here are some easy ways to help you both enjoy a fun walk without the freeze factor…

  • A good rule of thumb is that your baby needs one more layer of clothing than you do – both indoors and out. You might work up a sweat while pushing or carrying your little one around, but they’ll be sitting still and so will get cold long before you do
  • Some body heat escapes through the head, so always put a hat on your baby before going outside in winter. Add gloves (keep extra pairs handy if they tend to suck on the glove – wet and cold is not a good combination) and socks
  • Once you’re back inside, take off the extra outdoor clothing immediately – staying in it even for a few minutes might make your baby clammy, and then they’ll be even colder when back outside. The same applies in the car – take extra blankets off once the car warms up

How do I know my baby’s not too warm or too chilly?

Every baby is different, but you’ll soon get used to the subtle signals they send out…

  • To check whether your baby is too hot or too cold, touch the skin on their stomach: if it’s too warm, remove a blanket – if it’s too chilly, add one
  • It’s normal for babies to have cool hands and feet, but if they feel really cold and look blue and blotchy, add another layer.
  • If your baby accidentally gets very cold, don’t try to warm skin by rubbing it – this could make it sore. Instead, hold their bare skin against yours and maybe tuck their hands under your armpits to warm them
  • In the unlikely event that their body temperature drops below 35°C (hypothermia), babies may become limp, unusually quiet and refuse to feed, even though they may look fine. If you’re worried your little one may have hypothermia, call 999 immediately

The NHS has more information on keeping your baby like Goldilocks’ porridge – not too hot and not too cold!

Did you know?

  • A baby can’t regulate their body temperature fully until almost two years old, when the abilities to shiver and sweat are fully developed. They’ll have no control at all until between five and nine months
  • Chilly winds outside and dry indoor heat can dehydrate skin, and your baby’s is especially delicate and vulnerable – keep it well moisturised once they’re over a month old

The outdoor kit

To make nipping out less daunting, invest a little time in getting everything ready near your front door. In addition to the nappy changing and feeding equipment you might need, gather together:

  • an all-in-one jumpsuit with closed feet and hood, to go over their indoor clothes
  • an extra blanket or two (layering is key)
  • hat, mittens and a foot muff
  • a rain cover or hood
  • a sheepskin liner is not only highly breathable but will insulate the pram or stroller to keep it warm in winter and cool in summer.