top of page

Navigating the Winter Wonderland Safely with Snowsuits

Katherine Whitby | Registered Paediatric Nurse | Health Visitor | Baby Massage Instructor | Mummy of Two | Founder of Baby Steps

As winter blankets the world in a twinkly frost and pristine layers of snow along with the inevitable wind and rain, parents eagerly prepare to introduce their little ones to the magic of the season. However, ensuring the safety and warmth of babies is a top priority. While you will be making sure your baby is warm enough, every Winter I talk to parents about making sure their babies don’t actually overheat, particularly when in a snowsuit.

Babies wearing snowsuits

Here I will cover the safety considerations surrounding the use of snowsuits for babies during the winter months.

Snowsuits are a go-to winter essential for many parents, offering a convenient one-piece solution to keep babies warm from head to toe. Typically designed with water-resistant materials, these cosy ensembles create a barrier against the cold, wind, and snow, providing a cocoon of warmth for the little ones. Despite their popularity, it's crucial to strike a balance between comfort and safety when dressing babies in snowsuits.

Temperature Regulation:

While snowsuits excel at keeping babies warm, it's essential to be mindful of temperature regulation. Babies are not able to regulate their body temperature as effectively as adults, making them susceptible to overheating. Being too hot is not good for babies; it makes them sleepy.

It is important to remember The Lullaby Trust Safe Sleeping advice in avoiding a baby becoming too warm and increasing the risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Checking for Overheating:

Baby sleeping in hat and wrapped in blanket

Parents must remain vigilant for signs of overheating, especially when using snowsuits. Their extremities will often feel cold as circulation is not as effective to these outer parts of their body. Their hands, feet and heads need protecting much more than their bodies.

It's advisable to check the baby's chest or the back of their neck to see how warm they are as these areas provide a more accurate assessment of their body temperature. Dressing them in layers and adjusting these will be easier and safer.

Sweating, flushed skin, and rapid breathing are indicators that the baby may be too warm. When babies are warm they may sleep more which can lull us into a false sense of security but actually they are too hot.

For more info on Winter Safe Sleep advice please see The Lullaby Trust

Suggested layers:

You may consider a combination as appropriate of:

Baby layers, hat, gloves, clothes, blanket

  • Vests

  • Long sleeves or short sleeves

  • Cardigans

  • Booties

  • A hat

  • Mittens

  • A coat which can be easily removed

  • Extra layer on the legs - tights, leggings or leggings with booties attached

Car Seat Safety:

Ensuring the safety of babies in snowsuits extends beyond outdoor adventures to the car seat. Bulky winter clothing, including snowsuits, can interfere with the proper functioning of car seat harnesses. The strap will not be against the baby's body, potentially compromising its effectiveness. To address this concern, parents should not dress their babies in a snowsuit in the car but layers which can all be easily adjusted. Once the baby is safely strapped in, a blanket or additional layer can be added for warmth.

In the car we are likely to use the heating and therefore to be in a snowsuit would not be recommended as it would lead to overheating - imagine wearing a snowsuit with the car heating on!

Sling Safety:

Mother wearing a sling with baby inside

It is not recommended to use a snowsuit in the sling. Carrying them can feel like having a hot water bottle on your front! As you walk you will warm up, and your extra heat will warm up the child on your front even more.

It makes sense to avoid this overheating in slings just as much when the baby is sleeping in a cot or a car seat. Furthermore, being too bundled up reduces their ability to sweat (the drops of sweat need to be able to evaporate to carry heat away). It is advised and easier to add extra layers for warmth if you misjudge slightly and to remove them when you come in out of the cold.

For more info on slings see advice from Roamy at Bambino Baby

Take the Snowsuit off when you come inside (yes even if they are asleep!)

As tempting as it may be when you come inside with a peaceful sleeping baby it is vital you remove the snowsuit. Just as you would take off hats, scarves, coats and gloves when you get home or go into a cafe or shop it is even more important with a baby to take off the snowsuit as we know the risk of them being too hot when asleep.

Optimal Fit:

Selecting the right size and fit is paramount when choosing a snowsuit for a baby. An overly tight snowsuit can restrict movement and circulation, while an excessively loose one may compromise its effectiveness in providing warmth. Parents should prioritise suits that allow for easy movement of arms and legs, ensuring that the baby can explore and play comfortably.

Accessibility for Nappy Changes:

Cute baby with headband having nappy changed

Practicality is key when it comes to dressing babies in snowsuits. Opt for designs that facilitate easy nappy changes, as frequent checks and adjustments are necessary to maintain the baby's comfort and hygiene. Quick-access zippers or snaps around the diaper area can make the process smoother for both parent and baby, preventing unnecessary discomfort during winter outings.

Balancing Warmth and Safety:

With this information you can make an informed decision about when and how to use your baby's snowsuit. I hope this is helpful.

Please get in touch with any questions and for more useful tips and advice follow me...

Gift vouchers for baby steps

49 views0 comments


bottom of page