This is Part B to the post I published a couple of weeks ago, on what clothes to buy to prepare for a new baby. The previous list was for babies born in the warmer months, this is a checklist for babies due when the weather turns cold.
My goal is to help you create a short-list of clothes to buy for your baby when you’re expecting, that you’ll have ready for Week 1 of life as a new parent. I’m trying to help you avoid two things:
* Having to rush out (or send somebody to rush out) because you discover an essential item of clothing that your baby needs, when what you really need is to bunker down with your new baby and recover and enjoy
* Wasting money and time and space by buying clothes that your baby won’t fit or can’t wear or both
The idea is that you minimise spending before your baby is born, and then go shopping a week or two after they’re born, once you know what size they are and have a better idea of what the season is doing and find a routine that suits you personally. My list should keep you going for those few weeks in between.
My top tip for winter babies is to dress them in layers. Your instinct will be to rug them up against the cold, but if you’re inside the house or in the car or in a cafe etc, you don’t want them to overheat, especially when they’re sleeping. So if for example they fall asleep in the pram, it’s a lot easier to gently remove a layer or two than to have to get them completely changed, which almost always wakes them up (aaargh).
1// T-shirts x 2
Use these to layer over singlets and onesies, and under cardigans. Don’t buy too many because they’re probably not overly weather-appropriate, it’ll just be handy to have one or two as back-ups
2// Winter hats x 2
I found little hats a very handy way to regulate the temperature of my baby. Because babies lose so much heat through their heads, hats are a very efficient way to either warm or cool your baby, and can generally be removed without waking them up (big bonus!)
3// Pairs of socks x 3
Because those little toes can get icy cold, even under a blanket, and especially if you’re “wearing” your baby in a carrier that leaves their feet and legs exposed
4// Bibs x 3
These are handy to catch dribble and spit-up. Without them, your baby will quickly end up with a soaking-wet top and you’ll end up having to change (and wash and dry and fold and put away) even more clothes
5// Cardigans or jackets x 2
I said this last time, that know those little knitted cardigans that people make you when you’re pregnant are adorable, but they can be quite hot and bulky. For me, even when the weather was cold enough to warrant a thick wool knit, I preferred to put something softer on my baby, like a light cardigan and/or a fleece jacket, then layer with blankets for warmth. That made it easier to adapt when moving between inside and out
6// Short-sleeved onesies x 2
It’s more likely that you’ll be sticking to long sleeves for your winter baby, especially as a lot of babies like to sleep with their arms out above their heads, so they won’t be under the blankets. However, I recommend having just one or two of these at home when your baby arrives. This way you’ll be prepared if either the weather or the room are warmer than you expected, and you can always use them as back-ups teamed with cardigans, if you don’t get around to doing the laundry in time!
7// Singlets x 6
I found singlets essential for both my babies during the colder months. I love that they create that extra layer under their clothes to keep their chests warm, without smothering them with too much bulk. And when you’re changing nappies in the middle of the night, it’s nice to give them a bit of a barrier from the chilly air
8// Long-sleeved onesies x 6
As I mentioned in my summer baby list, I prefer onesies to t-shirts for newborns, because they don’t hitch up and make the baby uncomfortable while sleeping, or expose their little tummies to the cold air, and they help in a limited way to keep nappies in place, which trust me is something you really want. For this reason, I think you’ll love the long sleeved onesies for your winter baby.
You can also get onesies with legs included, like a jumpsuit, and I used these a lot with Scout. However, with the benefit of hindsight and experience from my second baby, I recommend going with the leg-free kind. The press-studs all the way up the legs and down the tummy of those all-in-one jumpsuits can drive you mental, especially if it’s the middle of the night and even more-so if your baby is crying and wiggling while you’re trying to do them up. I have found it significantly faster and easier to just pop on some little elasticised pants.
9// Long pants x 6
See above for why I prefer to go with separate long pants rather than all-in-one jumpsuit-style onesies. You can also get little pants with the feet covered in, which I found very handy when my baby kept kicking her socks off, especially if I was wearing her in the carrier. On the down-side, you get less wear out of these because they’ll grow out of them sooner. I recommend sticking with the standard pants for now, and buying the foot-covered type after a couple of weeks, because by then your baby will probably have already gone up a size.
ps.1 It should go without saying but here I am saying it again that every baby is different and every family is different and what worked for me might not work for you. This is the best I can give you, based on my winter baby of 2012 and my summer baby of 2013. I hope it helps at least a little!
ps.2 The photo at the top is of me with my winter baby Scout, when she was three weeks old. SUCH a proud mother!