Winter newborn must haves – all the essentials you need for your winter baby.
Glittery snow gently falling, a chill wind whistling through the trees… and a newborn baby??
Winter can be a magical time, but when your due date falls during the coldest months of the year you might be worried about how to keep your baby safe and warm.
Besides the usual essentials like diapers, wipes and onesies you’ll need to think about extra necessities to protect your baby from cold weather.
Navigating the world of winter newborn essentials doesn’t have to be difficult. We’ve compiled all of the products you’ll need to keep your newborn baby warm and cozy.
- Why Do Winter Babies Need Special Consideration?
- What Do Winter Newborns Need?
- What Else Do Newborns Need?
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Why Do Winter Babies Need Special Consideration?
You’ve probably already read the endless.lists. of all the first baby must haves you absolutely have to have. But, you might be wondering if winter babies even need anything extra?
There are a few reasons that winter babies DO need special gear including:
- Temperature: Not only do babies lose body heat four times faster than adults, they also have less body fat (especially in the case of premature or low weight infants). Since they are unable to regulate their body temperature, having the correct winter clothing and gear to protect them is very important.
- Comfort: Since babies are unable to communicate their exact need, doing everything you can to ensure their comfort in cold temperatures will help narrow down what’s wrong when your baby is crying. Keeping your baby comfortable will make life better for your baby AND you.
- Germs: It’s a fact of life, but there are always more colds and flus going around in winter time. Some of the items on this list will help protect your baby from germs and deal with any illness your baby might catch.
What Do Winter Newborns Need?
Here’s what you’ll need for your winter newborn!
Winter Clothes – How do you dress a winter newborn?
One basic rule of thumb to follow when dressing your winter newborn is to dress them the same as you PLUS one extra layer. Since babies lose heat quickly (and can’t communicate exactly what is wrong), following the “one extra layer” rule is the best way to ensure that they are warm enough.
One important safety tip: DO NOT strap your baby into a carseat while they are wearing a coat/bunting/snowsuit. This is incredibly dangerous as the bunting will compress in an accident and your baby could fly out of the seatbelt.
Here are some specific clothing items we recommend having on hand to keep your newborn warm in the winter.
- Winter hat: Just like adults, babies lose a lot of heat through their heads. If you are taking a winter newborn outside, a warm hat is essential.
- Indoor hat: Keeping your baby’s head covered indoors is also a good idea for temperature regulation. A simple cotton hat will be effective (and so darling!).
- Socks/Booties: Feet are another spot in the body where heat escapes. Unfortunately many newborn feet are so narrow that it is hard to keep socks on! Try these adjustable fleece booties to keep those tootsies warm.
- Long Sleeved Onesies: Remember that layers are the best option for keeping your winter newborn cozy. Add some long-sleeved onesies to your newborn essentials.
- Bunting/snowsuit: A warm baby snowsuit or bunting is a must for when you are outdoors. And even though you might think you’ll rarely BE outdoors, I highly recommend having warm outdoor clothing for your baby available. Getting outside for a walk every day does wonders for mom’s mental health. Choose a fleece bunting if your winter temperatures are cool but mild. You’ll need a more coat-like snowsuit if your winters are harsh.
- Baby mittens (for indoors): Not only will these keep baby from scratching his/her face, baby mittens have the added benefit of keeping those tiny extremities warm. Most baby buntings have built-in mittens so you don’t need to purchase anything extra for outdoor outings.
Winter Sleep Needs for Newborns
Keeping your newborn baby comfortable and SAFE while they sleep is a real challenge, especially in the winter time. Overheating is one possible cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) so it is important not to bundle up your newborn so much that they get too hot.
Winter sleeping clothes do have some practical challenges you should consider. Choose sleepwear that will allow you to easily access bottoms for night time diaper changes.
Here’s what you need to get a good night sleep in winter:
- Footie Pajamas: If you live in a mild winter climate cotton footie pajamas are a good choice. For even colder climates, fleece footie pajamas are a great choice.
- Wearable blankets: This type of blanket will keep your baby warm, swaddled and eliminate the suffocating danger of a normal blanket. Layer baby with a onesie, footie pajamas and this wearable blanket that comes in many different patterns and colors. Read more: How Many Swaddle Blankets Do I Need?
- Humidifier: Keeping the air moist in your baby’s room will help fight winter dry skin AND surprisingly keep the room warmer. Optimal room humidity should be between 30-50%. This adorable humidifier will do the job and looks cute to boot.
- Thermometer: Many baby monitors now include room temperatures sensors. You can even set the monitor to alarm if the room temperature goes above or below the temp you set. Current temperature recommendations for a baby’s room are between 68-72 degrees F. Another less expensive option is to purchase a thermometer for your baby’s room like this one.
What You Need On the Go With Your Winter Newborn
Whether you are taking your winter newborn to the grocery store or on a longer trip you will want everything available to keep your baby warm. We’ve already talked about how easily newborns can get cold, so make sure that they are adequately clothed and covered before you go outside.
Here are the best things to grab to keep baby warm in the winter:
- Car seat cover: Moving your newborn from a heated house or car out into frigid winds or temperatures will be less stressful with a car seat cover. For safety reasons, look for covers that ONLY go on the outside of the carseat (nothing underneath baby). Stretchy cotton car seat covers will work to block the wind somewhat, but if you are somewhere with snow and/or cold winds I would recommend a fleece lined cover like this one.
- Stroller Bunting: If you’ll have your baby in a traditional stroller, purchase a high-quality stroller bunting like this one for winter walks (again, highly recommended for mom!)
Making Winter Diaper Changes Easier
Just imagine what it must feel like to have your diaper changed when it is cold and wintery. Brrrrr. Lucky for today’s babies, there are products that make it a little bit less traumatic.
- Baby Wipes Warmer: Warming up baby wipes will make your baby so much more comfortable during a diaper change! There are even portable wipe warmers with car adaptors for when you are traveling.
- Fleece Diaper Changing Pad Cover: Little things like a fuzzy changing pad cover can make a big difference in comfort when changing your winter baby’s diaper.
Keeping Your Winter Newborn Healthy
One of the most worrisome parts of having a newborn in the winter is keeping them safe from germs. Here are some products to help keep your winter newborn healthy as well as some products to make them more comfortable if they do get sick.
- Thermometer: You’ll want to have a great quality thermometer to make sure you know if your baby isn’t feeling well. A rectal thermometer is still the type that most pediatricians recommend. However, you could also use a temple touch thermometer like this one.
- Vitamin D Drops: A vitamin that is essential to bone, tooth and brain development as well as immune system health. Doctors recommend supplementing 400 IU of Vitamin D daily for all babies including those who are breastfed. You can also purchase this in an oral spray.
- Nose Frida – This apparatus might look intimidating but it is so helpful for unclogging your baby’s nose if they happen to catch a cold.
- Pacifier Wipes: If your baby’s pacifier or bottle falls on the floor these wipes can clean off the germs and are super handy to have!
Having a newborn in the winter has challenges but a new baby is always rewarding. Cross a few of these winter baby essentials off your list and you’ll feel more prepared and peaceful.
What Else Do Newborns Need?
Newborns don’t need a lot… but there’s sure a lot of baby gear out there that’s designed to make your life easier.
It’s hard to know exactly what you’ll use.
What one mom swears by, another says it’s their most regretful purchase.
Make sure you read our exhaustive baby registry must haves guide so you know you’ve got all the basics you need. Then take a look at the 10 baby things I skipped (but regret not buying) and 10 unessentials that are SO nice to have they are basically essential.