How should you dress your baby to go outside?

Dressing your baby appropriately for the weather is important for keeping them comfortable and healthy when going outside. Babies have sensitive skin and cannot regulate their body temperature as well as adults. Their clothing needs to protect them from the elements while allowing enough airflow and range of motion. Choosing the right fabrics, layers, and accessories can ensure your baby stays warm and dry if it’s cold out, cool if it’s hot, and always happy to be exploring the great outdoors.

Protect Baby from the Cold

If you’re taking your baby out when temperatures are cool or cold, focus first on keeping their core warm. Opt for bodysuits or footed pajamas made from cozy fabrics like cotton, wool, or fleece. Cotton is breathable while wool and fleece provide insulation. Make sure the neckline is high enough to cover baby’s chest and back. Zip or button up the front for easy diaper changes. Stay away from delicate fabrics like silk or linen that won’t retain warmth.

Layer over the bodysuit with pants, leggings, or footed pants. Look for windproof outer layers made of thicker material or with a water-resistant coating. Wool pants or water-resistant snow pants are ideal for very cold temperatures. Sweaters, hoodies, and jackets should be worn over bodysuits to trap heat. A hat is one of the most critical cold weather accessories since much body heat escapes through the head. Opt for one that covers the ears or use ear muffs.

Finally, keep hands, feet, and face protected. Mittens are better than gloves at this age and help prevent scratching. Look for mittens with long cuffs so they stay on. Boots or closed shoes with socks will keep feet much warmer than bare feet in shoes. For the face, use scarves or neck warmers to cover cheeks, chin, and neck. Avoid scarves for young babies who might slip down into the fabric and have issues breathing.

Keep Baby Cool in Hot Weather

Dressing baby for warm weather is all about ventilation. Skip the bodysuits and footed pajamas, and opt for short sleeve shirts and rompers made of lightweight, breathable cotton. There are also super lightweight cotton blends made specifically for hot weather. Stay away from thick, heavy fabrics like fleece that will trap in heat. For bottoms, go with shorts or loose pants. Lightweight cotton is ideal, but moisture-wicking athletic fabrics can help keep them dry if they sweat.

Since babes don’t have much body hair, they are at risk for sunburn even on cloudy days. Protect that sensitive skin with lightweight clothing that covers arms and legs. When in direct sun, have them wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade the face, ears, and neck. Sunglasses can shield eyes once baby is old enough to keep them on. Hydrate frequently when out in the heat. Use light blankets for strollers instead of thicker ones meant for winter. Dress baby how you would dress for the weather, just with an extra layer since they can’t regulate temperature as well.

Cover Up on Rainy Days

When wet weather is in the forecast, focus on keeping baby dry without overheating. Water-resistant or waterproof jackets and pants are ideal for light rain. For heavy rain or storms, opt for full rain suits. Make sure to bring along an extra change of clothes in case they still get wet. Under the rain gear, dress baby in breathable layers like cotton or moisture-wicking fabrics so they don’t get sweaty.

Hats are still helpful to keep rain off their face. Look for waterproof styles or at least tightly woven fabrics that won’t absorb a lot of water and get heavy. Use waterproof mittens or gloves to keep hands dry for playing. Shoes can get soaked in puddles so bring extra socks. If it’s not too cold, rain boots or closed toe water shoes are a good pick. They can stomp in puddles while feet stay dry.

Mix and Match for In-Between Weather

Dressing for fluctuating or in-between temperatures takes a bit more finesse. Layering is key so you can add or remove items as needed. Start with bodysuits, shirt and pant sets, or dresses in moisture-wicking fabrics or lightweight cotton. Then add leggings, pants, or sweaters depending on if you need to warm up or cool down. A light jacket is easy to throw on or take off as well. Hats and mittens can be worn but removed on warmer days. Focus on breathable, versatile items that can handle shifting temperatures from inside to outside.

Think About Comfort and Convenience

While keeping your baby protected from the elements, don’t forget about comfort and convenience as well. Their clothing needs to allow for ease of movement so they can explore, crawl, and play without restriction. Fabrics should be soft against their delicate skin. No scratchy wool or stiff denim. Dressing in layers makes it easy to adjust their temperature quickly.

Convenience factors into choosing outfits they can comfortably sit, nap, or play in. Extra snaps and zippers in bodysuits and pajamas allow for easy diaper changes. Look for slip-on booties instead of shoes to make dressing faster. Focus on pieces that easily come on and off for hassle-free outfit changes on the go. Stretchy fabrics and growth adjusters accommodate their constantly changing shape. Prioritize their comfort and your sanity.

What to Bring When Going Out

Going on outings with your baby involves packing more than just their outfit. Having certain gear and backup items can make your time outside the house less stressful. Here are some key things to carry in your diaper bag or tote when dressing baby to go out:

  • 2-3 extra outfits – Babies love to spit up, have diaper blow outs, or get clothes dirty. Bring extras in case they need to change.
  • Extra socks – Their socks often get wet or lost, so bring more pairs.
  • Light blanket – For colder weather, having an extra blanket is useful if they get cold.
  • Hat and mittens – If it’s cold out, bring spares in case they lose the ones they’re wearing.
  • Diapers and wipes – Make sure to have a sufficient supply when on the go.
  • Diaper rash cream – In case the wet or dirty diapers lead to any irritation.
  • Bottles or milk supply – If it’s time to eat while out, you’ll need this.
  • Teething toys or pacifier – Babies may need these items to self soothe while traveling.
  • Hand sanitizer and tissues – Keep hands and faces clean after meals or dirty play.
  • Sunscreen – Crucial if you’ll be outdoors for long periods.
  • Medications – Pack any prescription or OTC meds they may need.

Having backup clothing and essential care items will allow you to focus on your outing rather than stressing over messes or mishaps. Change wet, dirty, or spit-up clothes promptly to keep your baby comfortable. Check the weather before you head out so you can pack accordingly. With the proper supplies, you’ll be ready to dress your little one and hit the road.

Choosing Clothes for Different Ages

Your approach to dressing your baby will evolve as they grow. Consider their age and abilities to select appropriate clothing items.


For the first 3 months, choose:

  • Footed bodysuits and pajamas – Easiest for diaper changes
  • Side-snap shirts – Avoid pulling over their head
  • Back-zip sleepers – Prevent skin irritation from scratchy fabrics
  • Socks or booties – Feet easily get cold
  • Soft hats – Crucial for heat loss through the head
  • Scratch mittens – Prevent babies from scratching themselves

At this stage, focus on comfort, ease of dressing, temperature regulation, and delicate skin. Stay away from complicated outfits with trickier fastenings. Stick to mostly pajamas and bodysuits early on.

3-6 Months

Between 3-6 months, try:

  • Footless rompers – For when they start rolling and crawling
  • Short sleeve bodysuits and pants – More flexibility as they move
  • Soft pants – Swap pajamas for daytime clothes
  • Booties or shoes – Once crawling, bare feet can get dirty
  • Sun hats – Crucial as they spend more time outside

During this time babies become more mobile and need clothes appropriate for play and tummy time. Expand beyond pajamas but still opt for soft, stretchy pieces. Introduce clothes with snaps and buttons for practice with fine motor skills.

6-12 Months

From 6-12 months, look for:

  • Shorts and short sleeve shirts – Better for warm weather as they crawl
  • Play outfits – Durable, stretchy pieces that are washable
  • Soft shoes – Look for first walkers when they start pulling up
  • Swim diapers and sunsuits – If taking them swimming
  • Wide brim hats – Crucial as they’ll want to eat dirt outside!

During this busy year, choose play clothes they can move in as well as seasonal items as they experience their first summer and winter. Sturdy pieces hold up to constant activity at this energetic stage.

12 Months +

After their first birthday, try:

  • Toddler T-shirts and shorts – For continued mobility as they walk and climb
  • Simple dresses – Without tricky closures or buttons
  • Elastic waists – For potty training and independence
  • Closed toe shoes – To start teaching them to put on their own shoes
  • Light jackets – For cooler weather as they transition to toddlerhood

During the second year, offer simple pieces they can start to dress themselves in. Avoid buttons, ties, or straps that are difficult to manage. Let them choose colorful outfits they are excited to wear.

General Tips and Precautions

Keep these top tips in mind when selecting any baby outfit:

  • Check all closures – Zippers, snaps, buttons should fasten securely.
  • Avoid ties or hood strings – Strangulation risk if too loose.
  • No puffy jackets in car seats – Can compress in an accident.
  • Remove strings on headwear – Choking hazard when chewing on clothes.
  • Try clothes on baby – Infant sizes vary, even within brands.
  • No loose fabrics near face – Suffocation risk.
  • Dress in breathable layers – Avoid overheating.
  • Check necklines – Should be tight enough to not slip down.
  • Cover feet in cold weather – Use socks, booties, or shoes.

Prioritizing safety when choosing outfits will give you peace of mind when out and about. Ensure their clothes allow for healthy movement and growth while also keeping them cozy. With the right wardrobe for the weather, your baby will stay cute, comfortable and carefree no matter the season.


Dressing your baby appropriately for the weather, age, and occasion might seem complicated at first. But focusing on breathable fabrics, adjustable layers, and protective accessories can keep them happy and healthy outside. Use bodysuits and footed pajamas in the early months before graduating to playful separates. Adapt outfits as they grow and seasons change. Check forecasts so you can pack backup items as needed. With the right clothes and gear, your baby will be dressed for comfort and adventure.

Age Recommended Clothing
Newborn Footed pajamas, bodysuits, hats, mittens
3-6 months Rompers, soft pants, booties, sun hats
6-12 months Shorts, short sleeve shirts, shoes, swim diapers
12+ months Toddler T-shirts, dresses, elastic waists, light jackets

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