How Cold is Too Cold for Baby?

Baby 8

how to keep baby warmIt is freezing out. Or as the professional forecasters are saying, "an arctic invasion is underway." Arctic invasion? That's cold. My friend says she's not going to take her baby to sign language class tomorrow because it's just too chilly. I think running the baby from the house to the car is okay. Can it be too cold to bring your little one out? And what's the best way to dress him?

Here are some tips for keeping your kid warm and safe:

1. Always dress your baby in layers and winter outerwear.

2. He should wear a hat and mittens even if he's only going to be out for a few minutes.

3. Your baby can't tell you if he's cold so keep an eye on him. If he's lethargic or feels cold to the touch he is cold and should be brought inside.

4. Keep playtime short (twice a day for 20 or 30 minutes, rather than once for longer).

5. Check this chart to see if it's so cold you shouldn't bring your baby out.

How do you dress your baby to keep him warm on winter's coldest days?

Image via Justin Paget/Corbis

clothes, newborns, safety


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Cafe... Cafe Melisa

I can't STAND to be cooped up in the house, so I'll venture out even in really cold weather. We definitely do lots of layers -- I have a hat I love for my youngest that fits snugly and snaps under her chin, so she can't get it off. That's the bottom layer for her head, and then a wrap-around scarf and a snowsuit with hood over it all.

I also have this thing called a Baby Footmuff -- it was expensive, but I've used it for both kids and I'll probably sell it when no one fits in it any longer to get back some of what I spent. It's basically this big warm body bag kind of thing that your baby goes into and then it zips up around them so they're completely inside another warm layer. I love it.


Agent... AgentBrez

i dont see whats wrong with your child being exposed to the cold if it is the time to go from the car to wherever you are headed inside. as long as they are dressed properly. some cold days i venture out b/c i dont want to be cooped up and other days its not worth it to me and we stay inside all day [i have a toddler also].

Katie... KatieCrandall

It's going to be 20 below here tonight (NOT windchill, actual temp!) and I have to take my son out.  I have the BundleMe cover for his carseat which is beyond warm, so I'm not worried about the journey from car to destination, it's the actual GETTING places that's scary.  I let my car get nice and warm before I bring baby to it so those systems can work ok, and always have a plan in place should we break down (who to call first, etc). 

If you break down in the cold, especially with baby in the car, don't just wait for help, call the police!  We hear the tragic stories every year, and it's so frustrating!  You can sit in a vehicle with heat while you wait for a tow, makes a lot of sense to me!

CarSe... CarSeatJunkie

Seeing as though we live in Northern MN, where our typical January and February temps never see the zero or above zero mark for weeks, we venture out in spurts.  As long as the wind isn't too bad, we will go out for 15-20 minutes at a time, come in, warm up for 30 minutes, then venture back out.  Our school allows the kids out until it is either -15 actual temp or -15 with the wind chill for around 30 minutes at a time.  We sort of follow that same rule.  Now, since our wind chill temps were -51 today, we were hibernating!

Also, if you have a Bundle Me in your carseat, that could actually be a danger to your child versus a good thing.  Anything that comes between the child and the carseat can be a dangerous thing.  The "shower cap" type covers that go OVER the carseat are fine, as long as they don't interfere with the installation of the carseat or the harness. :)

tazdvl tazdvl

We used the "shower cap" type covers, kept them nice and warm.

ethan... ethans_momma06

I could have used these tips last night- we had to drive an hour in the cold!!

sodapple sodapple

i get my daugther with some pants, socks, onesies, sweater, coverall and jacket, then pop her in the stroller and zip up her kangaroo! mittens and hats too.

sodapple sodapple

it is freezing here, literally now, so my oldest wore two pants to school, an undershirt, a tshit, sweater, jacket, hat and gloves, the baby doble of that lol.

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