Knowing how to dress your baby or toddler in the cooling weather can be tricky. Especially when the beginning of a seasonal shift means different times of the day require different wardrobe changes.
A baby can’t tell you if they are too hot or cold, and a toddler typically lacks the communication skills to relay their comfort level appropriately.
It is important for caregivers to be on top of the weather so they can provide their children with appropriate attire.
Most of us were taught that you add one more layer of clothing to a child than you would wear yourself; and for the most part this is a good rule of thumb.
If you leave in the morning and feel that it is a bit chilly you put on long sleeves, that would mean that you should provide long sleeves and a light jacket for your baby.
Layering is a safe and effective way to ensure your child is warm enough, but gives you the freedom to easily remove layers if the weather warms up throughout the day.
Pregnancy and Baby gives a safety tip for those brisk days:
“On a cool morning, always make sure you cover baby’s extremities like her head, feet and hands. Rather than snow mittens and caps, look for thin knit ones that can keep baby warm without being too bulky or causing baby to sweat as the chill of the morning wears off.”
Autumn is perfect for those afternoon walks with the stroller. When you are out and about, don’t forget an umbrella, and a blanket, for protection from the elements.
Summer may have come and gone with a blink of the eye, but that doesn’t mean you should pack up the sunscreen just yet.
It is important to protect a baby’s exposed skin when you are out in the sun for prolonged periods of time, no matter what season it is.
When packing a diaper bag for the fall, Pregnancy and Baby suggests you will need to remember a couple of additional essentials such as, an extra pair of socks, a knit cap, a pants-jacket outfit, and a rain shield.
If you are unsure your child is dressed appropriately there is a quick test you can do to see how they are faring.
Feel your child’s skin in their chest, tummy, and back. If their skin is warm, clammy, or sweaty, you probably have one too many layers on them and can scale back a bit.
A baby’s skin should feel warm and dry. If their skin is cold, you may need to add that extra layer you loaded up into your diaper bag.
Swaddle Designs reported:
“Research has shown when a baby becomes overly chilled or overheated it is a serious medical situation, and both insufficient thermal insulation and overheating have been linked to SIDS, as stated in the International Journal of Epidemiology and The Journal of Pediatrics.”
It is the caregiver’s responsibility to educate themselves on appropriate dress. You should always dress the child for the current temperature and environment, not what you think it may be in a couple of hours.
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:
“In general, dress your baby in no more than one extra layer than you would wear. If you are worried that your baby is cold, use a wearable blanket, such as a sleeping sack, or warm sleeper that is the right size for your baby. These are made to cover the body and not the head.”
Babies do not have the ability to shiver like adults do. This makes our job a bit more difficult when trying to judge the right outfit to dress our children in.
If a baby is too cold they will be still, and uninterested in their surroundings or eating. This is due to their body naturally trying to conserve energy.
Thermal comfort is when the body is at the appropriate temperature. A baby’s thermal comfort level is indicated by warm and pink feet, according to Swaddle Designs.
A perfect sleeping environment for children is 65-72 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the conditions of sleep, you may need to add a sleep sack, or put your child in a onesie for bedtime.
The cooling evenings in fall are perfect for opening windows and letting fresh air in. With that in mind, it is vital to check the outdoor temperature so your little one doesn’t get a midnight chill.
I know that I am one to overdress my babies and have had to learn from trial and error when my children are comfortable.
Each child has their particular preferences as well. One child may love when the brisk autumn air arrives, while the other is dreading the chill.
Hopefully, your curiosity about where to go with baby fall fashion is curbed, and you are well equipped to pack your autumn arsenal.
(h/t Mommy Underground)