The Number One Tsk of Grandmothers Everywhere

“Tsk, tsk! Your baby is too cold!” or “Too hot!” or “You don’t have enough clothes on that baby!”

You’ve been a parent long enough now to know that the number one criticism you are likely to get from the grandmothers in your life (and even those you just happen to meet on the street) is that your baby is not appropriately dressed for the weather.

“Tsk, tsk!” You’ve heard it too many times.

But is it possible that those tsk’ing are onto something?

The truth is, little ones aren’t as good at regulating their own body temperature as adults—in fact, it takes until about 6 months of age before they’re bodies fully adapt to that self-regulation. Which means it’s highly possible that your baby is too hot, or too cold. So you want to avoid both overdressing and underdressing your little, depending on the situation—because the clothes they wear will have a big impact on their body temperature.

A good habit to get into is layers. Layers can be removed or added as needed, and having them on hand means you never have to worry about your baby being either too cold or too warm. Keeping your baby’s feet covered is always a good idea as well, except perhaps in the truly warm summer months. And as winter rolls around—you want to provide the same protection to their little hands. Baby mittens can serve a dual purpose: not only do they keep little fingers warm, but they also protect your baby from inadvertently scratching him or herself.

Another thing to keep in mind is that babies haven’t yet built up much of a protection against the sun’s rays, and you want to avoid sunscreen in those early months—so a wide brimmed hat when going outside can be a good idea, along with light layers that will protect your little one’s skin.

Of course, anytime you’re outside in the warmth, you have to worry about your baby overheating. Pay attention to your little one’s eyes and any signs of distress when outside, and plan for frequent trips back inside to cool off and give your baby a break from the outdoor elements—no matter what time of year it may be.

If you’re ever concerned that your baby might be too hot or too cold, run your hand across his or her neck and see how the skin feels there. That can usually be a good indicator of whether or not it might be time to add or remove another layer to ensure your baby is appropriately dressed for the weather!

Written by Leah Campbell, infertility advocate, adoptive mama, writer and editor. Find me @sifinalaska on Twitter.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general informational basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.