How to dress baby for Winter in Winnipeg
When winter rolls around each year, we here at Fit Together get a lot of questions about cold weather with baby.
Getting outside in Manitoba during the colder months is a high effort, high reward type of experience. You’ll feel energized and invigorated from the exercise and the fresh air, especially as a new parent. It feels amazing to get out of the house! However, our weather can get pretty “real” at times, so to ensure success it’s important to be prepared and dress for the conditions.
We’ve found in our experience as active parents, outdoor enthusiasts and fitness leaders that, here in the prairies, how to dress really depends on the day. It can be a nice warm winter day, an extremely cold one or anywhere in between! So, we’ve put together these handy suggestions to help you on a day-to-day basis.
- Check the forecast. Look at the ‘feels like” temperature, the hourly temperature and check the wind. For our outdoor programs such as Winter Adventure Club and Parent & Baby Snowshoeing, we work with a lowest temperature of -22 C, with the wind included. Afternoons are usually warmer.
- Consult a few weather apps or even step outside on your front step for a moment to gauge. We’ve found Accuweather.com is a good one to check in addition to other sites.
- Consider using a baby carrier on the colder days as baby is close to you so you can monitor their temperature more easily. Younger babies can also be warn inside a coat – use your maternity panel if you had one or borrow an oversized jacket. If using a stroller or chariot, add a cover to block the wind. Some participants have told us they like to add a “magic bag” (heated bean bag) or heated hot water bottle.
- For car seat safety, you will need to dress lightly for the car, and then add layers when you arrive. Many of our parents climb into the back seat with baby or pop the hatch and use the back of a mini van or SUV for a “staging” area.
- Some babies and families run hotter or colder, so adjust as needed.
Fit Together recommended layering guide:
Feels like temperature: 5 C to -5 C
- Sleeper or regular clothing
- Fleece or light winter bunting suit
- Wool socks
- Baby carrier
- Light mitts
Feels like temperature: -5 C to -10 C
All of the above plus:
- Switch to non-cotton clothes next to baby’s skin
- Add wind layer or switch to heavier winter suit
- Add thin neck-warmer
- Switch to heavier mitts, or add wool socks on hands under mitts (non-wool option: kids sized HeatHolders)
Feels like temperature: -10 to -15 C
All of the above plus:
- Base layer or fleece pjs underneath
- Shirts tucked into pants and pants tucked into socksAdd another layer on baby’s feet
- Consider adding coconut oil or similar to baby’s cheeks to block wind
Feels like temperature: -15 to -22 C
- Babywearing cover or blanket over carrier, or wear baby under jacket
- Keep an eye on exposed skin.
- Add a hood with fur or faux fur and/or add a fleece or wool neck-warmer to keep wind off baby’s face
Feels like temperature: -23 C or greater
- Yup it’s pretty cold out but sometimes you still need to get out, so proceed with caution and limit time outdoors based on any weather warnings.
- Add kids ski goggles if you have!