How To Keep Baby Warm At Night During Winter

Baby it’s cold outside! And for new parents, these freezing temperatures mean you need to take a little bit of extra care to protect your baby for the next few months.

But “taking extra care” doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold until spring. Whether you’ve got errands to run, people to see, or just have cabin fever, our guide to keeping baby warm in the winter can help you get out of the house safely. And if you’re staying in? We can help with that, too! Read on for tips for how to keep baby warm—and safe—in winter weather. 

Safety First

If you’re feeling cold, you know just what to do: bundle up in a warm coat, hat and gloves if you’re heading out, or throw on a sweater and a pair of slippers if you’re staying home. But keeping infants warm at night is not quite that simple. 

Baby and cold weather are not a good match. It’s vital to avoid exposing your baby to extreme temperatures: when the thermometer or wind chill drop below -15°F, play it safe by staying in. But as long as the temperature is warmer, you can safely go out—if you prepare properly and know the signs that your baby is too cold or too hot.

You can tell if your baby is too cold if their hands and feet are red or cold to the touch, they look pale or are fussy for no reason, they start sneezing, or if they are still, quiet, and lethargic.

How can you make sure you’re keeping baby warm enough? Layers are key. A good rule of thumb is to dress your baby in in one more layer than you feel comfortable in—so if you are wearing a long-sleeved shirt, dress your baby in a long-sleeved onesie with another shirt or thin sweater over it.

Keeping Your Baby Warm

Once you know how to identify signs that your baby is too hot or too cold, we’ve got tips to help you make sure your baby is dressed just right.

Heading Out? How to Help Your Baby Stay Warm Outdoors

  • If you’re heading outside for any length of time, dress your baby in a hat, mittens, and socks to protect their tiny ears, hands, and feet from bitter cold.
  • Outfitting your baby for a winter car trip can be tricky. The AAP says that winter coats and snowsuits should never be worn in a car seat because their bulk can interfere with harnessing your child snugly enough. But how can you make sure you’re keeping baby warm enough in the car? The AAP recommends storing the car seat in the house so it’s at room temperature when you buckle your baby in, dressing your baby in thin layers, and using a “shower cap” style transportation cover that snuggly fits over the car seat and has an elasticized band to safely hold it in place. Be sure to choose a cover that has an opening that doesn’t cover your baby’s face. You can also heat up your car for a few minutes before you leave to take the chill off.
  • Wearing your baby in a carrier is another great option for keeping baby warm in the winter. Not only will you be sharing your body warmth to keep your baby warm, it helps to deepen the bond between the two of you. Just make sure their head and feet are covered, and their hands are tucked into your chest.

Staying In? How to Keep Your Baby Warm Indoors

  • Wondering how to keep your baby warm at night? Your baby needs a safe sleep environment where they won’t get too cold or overheat. Start by making sure the room they sleep in is between 68°F and 72°F, and choose a bassinet with a firm mattress, like the MamaRoo Sleep® Bassinet. Skip the blanket and instead, dress your baby for bed in a pair of footed pajamas and, if you prefer, a swaddle. If you become worried that they are too hot or too cold while they are sleeping, gently touch the back of their head or their tummy to see if it feels warm.
  • Bathtime is another time when you need to be vigilant about keeping baby warm, so choose a temperature-monitoring bathtub like the Cleanwater™ Tub that can help you maintain the perfect, safe water temperature between 93°F and 99.9°F. Get the water flowing in the tub before you undress your baby so you can place them in the warm water immediately. For safety, keep most of their body and face above the water and pour warm water over their body frequently to keep them warm. When bathtime is over, immediately wrap your baby in a hooded towel to help them stay warm while they’re wet.

Shake Off Winter’s Chill

With its long, dark nights and often brutal weather, wintertime is already stressful enough—but keeping your baby warm doesn’t have to add to your stress. Incorporate our tips into your daily routine to keep baby warm and safe no matter how cold it gets outside.