Even dropping your infant or toddler off at daycare in frigid weather requires lots of layers. What about going for a walk on a sunny winter day? Is watching older kids play on the playground before the snow flies okay? Let’s talk about safe outdoor temperatures for your baby.
Temperatures Above Freezing
Generally, when the temperature is above freezing, it’s safe to go for a walk or hang out in the yard for a little bit. Take into account how wind and sun can change the temperature. Staying close to home means you can head back inside to warm up whenever you need to. Using a baby carrier instead of a stroller keeps your child sheltered from wind and passes your body heat to them.
Temperatures Below Freezing
As soon as the thermometer drops below 30-35°, keep outside time to a minimum, especially when it’s less than 20° outside. Babies’ bodies don’t regulate their core temperature, so they can quickly shift from comfortable to freezing. “Newborn infants are prone to hypothermia because of their large body surface area, small amount of subcutaneous fat, and decreased ability to shiver.” Consider warming up the car before driving anywhere and keep an emergency kit in your car with extra blankets.
How to Dress Your Child for Winter
To protect your baby, you need to make sure they’re properly dressed for cold weather. Temperatures that feel comfortable to you can quickly chill infants and toddlers. Think about how many layers you’re wearing, and add one more to your baby’s outfit.
Make sure fingers, toes, noses and ears are well covered, not only from the cold but the sun as well. You also want to keep an eye on your little one to make sure they’re not too warm. Using a blanket as an extra layer, instead of a sweater, makes it easier to adjust.