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What should the baby wear?

Published 09.04.2020 - 09.04.2020 klo 10:36 - Produced by Family Federation of Finland
Dressing up a baby is a skill in which parents gradually develop as they learn their baby's thermoregulation capacity and tendency to be cold or hot. A new-born baby has poor thermoregulation capacity, thus the baby is slowly accustomed to temperature changes. Dressing up a summer baby is usually easier than of that born in midwinter.

You can think that if you are cold, the baby probably also needs a lot of clothes, and if you are hot, the baby might be able to get on with just diapers. However, a small baby rarely feels comfortable without clothes, but easily feels unsafe, so even in the heat of the summer, most babies want a light coatee. When outside, the baby should wear a headdress regardless of the temperature as it also protects against sunlight.

It is advisable to favour layered clothing in the winter. In addition to underwear and playsuit, the baby may need a cardigan or socks if the apartment is very cool. In an apartment with temperature above 22 degrees Celsius, extra layers of clothing are usually not needed. However, you should remember that since a very small baby does not move much yet, the baby might get cold more easily than adults, especially if the baby spends a lot of time on the floor.

Take a look at the thermometer when going out. You should postpone outdoor activities with very small children if the temperature is below minus 10 degrees Celsius and it is windy. In mild weather, the baby should wear wool or fleece clothing in addition to the indoors clothing and a winter overall, and finally you can slip the baby into a sleeping bag. The baby should wear a balaclava and a winter beanie. For the smallest ones, you can leave the hands in the warmth of the middle part of the winter overall so the fingers do not freeze so easily.  Of course, it is not advisable to do so with a bigger baby, because they want to use their hands when necessary. The baby needs proper gloves or mittens depending on the weather.  It is a good idea to put on wool socks, shoes are only needed for children that can walk.

Parents soon learn to notice when it is necessary to reduce or add layers of clothing. The baby may be weepy while cold or hot, but if the baby is happy, you can check the baby’s temperature from the neck. If skin is damp, the baby is hot and clothes will be slightly reduced. If, on the other hand, the hands are cold and your baby’s skin is pale and cool, the baby is probably too cold and more clothing will be added.

Author: Mirka Kallio, Health Nurse, previously worked for the Family Federation of Finland.

Topics:  Parenthood

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