No, we don’t have the towering layers of snow that blanket places like New York and Chicago, but Myrtle Beach winters can have their own unique chill to the air which may make you wonder if newborns need winter coats and how you should dress your newborn when going out.
We know that keeping your baby happy and healthy is your top priority, and a big part of that is being prepared for cooler weather and lower temperatures. We’ll review 10 useful tips that you can use for how to dress your newborn–in particular, dressing your newborn for winter.
Should Newborns Be Dressed Warm?
Babies don’t regulate changes in temperature easily — in fact, they can lose heat four times faster than adults. This situation becomes more complicated in premature and low-birthweight babies who have even less body fat to provide extra warmth.
For any temperature under 75 degrees, you should take a careful assessment of what your baby will need to wear to be safe when going outside.
Do Newborns Need Winter Coats?
As a general rule of thumb, your baby needs one more layer of clothing than adults, so to follow this basic principle for how to dress a newborn in winter: If you need a winter coat, your baby likely needs both a coat and a blanket.
However, the American Academy of Pediatrics provides some valuable precautions about car safety and bulky coats. In general, any type of bulky clothing should not be worn underneath the car seat’s harness. The reason is that the puffiness “flattens out” under force, meaning there is extra space under the harness which could cause the baby to slip free in the event of an accident.
Therefore, you should remove the coat and blanket inside the car before putting your baby in the car seat. You can then place the blanket over the top of the harness straps.
How Should I Dress My Newborn When Going Out in Myrtle Beach Winters?
1. Layers, Layers, Layers
One of the most important aspects of how to dress your newborn is to remember layers is the best way to ensure they stay warm—and it makes it easier to remove those layers when your baby moves from outside to indoors. Start with a onesie and then add long sleeve shirts, sweaters and jackets.
1. Remember the “Add One” Rule
As we mentioned earlier, the rule is that a baby will need one more layer of clothing than you have—so if you’re comfortable in two layers, your baby needs three layers.
2. Cover Baby’s Head
Babies lose a lot of their natural body heat through their head, so a warm hat that covers the baby’s head and ears is important.
3. Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Dressing your newborn for winter is going to take more time than you expect—especially if your baby is fussy—so we recommend giving yourself 10 minutes of “wiggle room” whenever you plan to go somewhere. You’ll also need this time to give your car heater a chance to warm up.
4. Bring Additional Clothes
This is a good rule for everyday life with a newborn, but in the winter, it becomes even more important. If the diaper leaks or your baby has a “blowout,” you’ll want to have additional clothes on hand because cold weather and wet clothes are a disastrous combination.
5. Waterproof Suits Can Be an Excellent Addition
In the rare instances that we do have some snow—or in case you’re visiting relatives in colder climates—some type of waterproof snow suit is an ideal choice.
6. Don’t Forget Mittens and Socks!
Infants, and even toddlers, are susceptible to frostbite or frostnip on their fingers and toes. Mittens should always be included in the winter wardrobe, and socks should be used even over footed pajamas to help seal in warmth.
7. Use Breathable Fabric
Make sure the fabric your baby wears enables moisture to escape so your child can stay dry. Use caution when considering cotton—while cotton is breathable, it also absorbs sweat. When you add wet clothes to cold weather, you create a problem.
8. Keep Baby’s Face Uncovered
When you’re bundling your baby, be sure that their airway is clear—meaning you want to make sure that they are NOT “chin to chest.” It’s also important that their face is uncovered—you should always be able to observe your child.
9. Use Appropriate Skin Care
You may not think of skin care products when you consider dressing your newborn for winter, but cold temperatures can cause dry, itchy and scaly skin. You can prevent chapping by applying a thin layer of pediatrician-recommended skin protection cream. Ask your doctor about which ones are safest to use.
Remove Layers When Baby Comes Back Inside
As we mentioned earlier, babies have a hard time regulating their body temperature, which is why they must be bundled up when they go outside in the winter. However, babies also can easily overheat if they are still wearing multiple layers of clothing once they come inside. Be sure to remove your baby’s winter clothes when you reach your destination.
Conway Medical Center Pediatrics Is a Partner in Your Child’s Care
You likely have great visions for your child’s future, and we want to work with you to help ensure that they get the healthiest start in life possible. With convenient locations in Conway, Carolina Forest, Marion and Myrtle Beach, we would welcome the opportunity to care for your family.