How to dress a newborn baby for the weather

Nikki Stevenson
Nikki Stevenson
Nikki is a parenting writer and a mom to three wild boys who keep her on her toes (and occasionally make her question her sanity). With over 15 years of experience in the parenting industry, she has more tips and tricks than Mary Poppins on speed dial. When she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can find her sipping on coffee, hiding in the bathroom for five minutes of...
Created on Mar 25, 2024 · 7 mins read

Ever found yourself staring at a mountain of baby clothes, wondering if your newborn owns more outfits than you do? Dressing a newborn is like being thrust into a fashion show where the rules are constantly changing, and the models have a knack for spitting up on their costumes.

In this article, we’re diving headfirst into the world of newborn fashion, where onesies reign supreme and accessories are purely optional (for now, at least). From decoding weather reports to avoiding fashion faux pas, we’ll navigate the highs and lows of dressing your little one with ease.

So if you’ve ever pondered the practicalities of onesies or debated the merits of footie pyjamas, you’re in the right place. Let’s roll up our sleeves (literally, because baby clothes have a lot of buttons) and get to the bottom of this newborn wardrobe conundrum to learn exactly how to dress a newborn.

What to dress your baby in during the day

Ah, the daily dilemma: how to outfit your little one in baby’s clothes for the adventures that lie ahead. Whether you’re braving the great outdoors or enjoying a cozy day indoors, finding the perfect ensemble for your baby is key to keeping them comfortable and content.

Key Tips:

  • Layer up: Just like adults, babies appreciate layers for easy temperature regulation. Start with a breathable onesie as a base layer and add a soft, cotton outfit on top to keep baby warm. This way, you can easily adjust their clothing if the weather changes unexpectedly.
  • Consider the weather: Is it a sunny day with a gentle breeze, or are storm clouds looming overhead? Take cues from the weather forecast and dress your baby accordingly. A lightweight romper is perfect for warm days, while a cozy sweater and leggings will keep them snug when you’re facing cool weather.
  • Opt for comfort: Forget stiff collars and scratchy fabrics (even if it’s an adorable outfit); comfort is key when dressing your baby. Choose soft, stretchy materials that won’t irritate their delicate and sensitive skin, and avoid clothing with rough seams or tight elastics.

Example scenario: Imagine it’s a crisp autumn morning, and you’re heading out for a leisurely stroll in the park. Now, how to dress your newborn? You could dress baby in a long-sleeved onesie, paired with a cozy cardigan and leggings to keep baby’s legs warm. Don’t forget a cute beanie to protect baby’s head from the chilly breeze!

Remember, to dress a newborn is all about finding the perfect balance between style and comfort. So trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to mix and match to create the perfect daytime look for your little fashionista.

Signs that it's too hot or cold for your baby

As parents, we’re always on high alert for any signs that our little ones might be feeling too hot or too cold as well as to keep baby safe. While your tiny human can’t verbally communicate their discomfort, they have their own subtle ways of letting us know when they’re not feeling quite right.

When it comes to identifying if your baby is too hot, check for flushed skin, particularly on their cheeks and chest. Excessive sweating, especially on babies backs or necks, is another indicator of overheating. Additionally, if your baby seems fussier than usual, accompanied by restlessness and difficulty settling, it could be a sign of discomfort due to overheating.

Conversely, signs that your baby might be feeling too cold include cool extremities, such as chilly hands, feet and neck. Shivering, similar to adults, is a reflexive response to generate heat and maintain body temperature. If your baby’s skin appears paler than usual, especially in cold weather, it may indicate the need for additional insulation to keep them warm, like blankets, or wrap baby in a sleep sack to dress baby comfortably. 

Remember, every baby is unique, so it’s crucial to pay close attention to your little one’s cues and adjust their clothing accordingly. By staying vigilant and responsive to their needs, you can ensure that your baby stays comfortable and content in any weather.

How to dress a baby in cold weather

Preparing your little one for chilly temperatures requires careful consideration to keep them warm and comfortable. Here are some essential tips on how to dress your baby for cold weather. 

When dressing your baby for cold weather, layering is key. Start with a breathable base layer, such as a cotton onesie, to keep their skin dry and comfortable. Add a middle layer, such as a long-sleeved bodysuit or sweater, for extra warmth. Finally, top it off with a cozy outer layer, like a fleece jacket or snowsuit, to shield them from the cold.

Ensure that your baby’s extremities are adequately covered. Put on socks or booties to keep their feet warm, and don’t forget to add mittens or gloves to protect their hands from the cold. A snug hat that covers their ears is essential to prevent heat loss from their head. If you are outside, consider a sleep sack and blanket.

Opt for clothing made from warm, breathable fabrics that provide insulation without overheating your baby. Avoid dressing them in bulky layers that restrict movement or pose a safety hazard, such as interfering with car seat straps.

Regularly check your baby’s temperature to ensure they’re not overheating or too cold. Feel their chest or back to gauge their body temperature, and adjust their clothing accordingly. Especially in the first few weeks after birth. Remember, it’s easier to remove layers if they’re too warm than to add them if they’re too cold.

How to dress a baby in warm weather

As the temperature rises, it’s essential that babies dress appropriately to keep them cool and comfortable. Follow these tips to ensure your little one stays comfortable during warmer weather:

  • Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen, which allow air to circulate and prevent overheating.
  • Dress your baby in loose-fitting clothing to promote airflow and prevent heat retention and stick to a single layer and one more layer if needed.
  • Choose light colours for their clothing, as dark colours absorb more heat and can make your baby feel hotter.
  • Keep their head covered with a wide-brimmed hat to protect their delicate skin from the sun and provide shade.
  • Use sunscreen on exposed areas of your baby’s skin if they’re older than six months, following the recommendations of your healthcare provider.
  • Dress your baby in layers that can be easily removed if they start to feel too warm.
  • Ensure adequate hydration by offering breast milk, formula, or water frequently, especially if you’re spending time outdoors.

How to dress a baby in a bodysuit

When dressing your baby in a bodysuit, it’s essential to prioritise comfort and practicality. Here are some tips to help you navigate this:

Choosing the right size

Ensure that the bodysuit fits your baby comfortably without being too tight or too loose. Look for bodysuits with stretchy fabric that allows for movement and growth.

Consider the Weather

Select a bodysuit appropriate for the current weather conditions. In colder weather, opt for one with long-sleeves made from thicker fabrics like cotton or fleece. In warmer weather, choose short-sleeved or sleeveless bodysuits made from lightweight, breathable materials that can stretch.


Bodysuits are versatile pieces that can be layered under other clothing for added warmth or worn alone in warmer weather. Consider layering a bodysuit under a sweater or jacket in colder temperatures, or pair it with shorts or a skirt in hot weather.

Easy access

Look for bodysuits with convenient features like snap or button closures at the bottom for easy diaper changes. This will make dressing and changing your baby a breeze, especially during those late-night diaper changes in their room.

Comfort is key

Above all, prioritise your baby’s comfort when selecting a bodysuit. Choose soft, gentle fabrics that stretch and won’t irritate their delicate skin, and avoid embellishments or decorations that could cause discomfort.

Wrapping it up

Dressing your newborn for the weather can be both a practical necessity and a delightful opportunity to showcase their adorable outfits. By understanding how to dress a newborn baby appropriately for different weather conditions, you can ensure their comfort and well-being while also expressing their unique style.

So go ahead, embrace the joy of dressing your little bundle of joy, and enjoy every precious moment together.

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