Dressing Your Child for the Weather

Even taking a walk or run outside with Junior requires additional thought and preparation, particularly in dressing him for the weather.  For the first several months of life, a baby’s body isn’t yet able to adequately adapt to cooler temperatures.  In fact, he feels better in temperatures that you find hot.  Consequently, he’ll be bothered when you find it comfortably refreshing.

My first child was born in Spring and it took time to grasp that she was underdressed – in a cotton sleeper – for a mid-morning Spring stroll.  What should have been a pleasant father/child session became an exercise in fret-management.  Unfortunately, I also underdressed her for the indoors as well until I adapted. 

So what are some guidelines in dressing Junior so that he’s warm enough?

  • As a rule-of-thumb, he should be wearing about one more layer of clothing that you are wearing.  In running shorts on a comfortable Spring/Fall day?  Keep him in clothing that covers his limbs and feet.  Wearing a sweatshirt or sweater in the house?  He needs likewise.  If it’s the height of Summer, shorts are fine but not during other seasons unless it’s justified.
  • If outside, dress him in layers so that you can remove or replace clothing as necessary.
  • He’ll tend to stay warmer in a chest carrier because of the proximity to your own body heat, but legs and arms still need to be covered.
  • Keep the head covered.  In colder weather, the bulk of a body’s heat loss is through the head; in warmer weather – colder, too – you want to provide protection from the sun.

He still can’t don ratty shorts and running shoes for a brisk Fall run with you, but give him time.  Until then, he’ll still like the run, but in something heavier.


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