I’ve had a busy day, so I didn’t get around to putting together my next Christmas gift idea post (art supplies, coming up!). But I will answer a question posted in the comments recently from Cristina:
I keep wanting to ask you this. How do you dress your babies in winter?….I have not really found any helpful info on this. A_____ is sleeping in her crib with a onesie and a pajama sleeper but she feels a little cold and I wish she would just sleep in bed with us and then I wouldnt worry.
I have dressed babies for bed in winter in many different settings: new suburban house with efficient gas furnace, old urban bungalow with old furnace and terrible ducting (cold! expensive!), country 70s split entry (long and skinny house) with new high efficiency fireplace insert installed, etc. etc. etc. These four babies have been a combo of girls and boys, crib sleepers and co-sleepers, skinny and fat. The point is that I feel like an expert in this small area of parenting! (Kidding about the expert thing. But I have gathered some wisdom.)
- For warmer houses with co-sleeping babies, they can wear something as light as a summer onesie to bed. With your combined body heat and your warm room, plus whatever your blanket situation is, your baby will be nice and cozy.
- For colder houses with co-sleeping babies, dress baby nice and warm. Also consider your blanket situation – many co-sleeping guides recommend against using blankets with your baby, but I personally have always used blankets. (I have a way of wrapping them just right so they baby is never covered over his head, and I’m a very aware sleeper.) If you use warm blankets, your baby can wear just a onesie and a light cotton sleeper and will probably even be sweaty in the morning – babies sleep hot, and with your heat nearby, it gets nice and toasty. My current baby sleeps in lightweight cotton clothes and no socks, right next to me, and he’s often sweating if I keep him covered with all of our blankets. If you don’t share blankets with your baby, then you’ll want to dress your baby as if he’s in a crib (see below).
- For warmer houses with crib-sleeping babies, the baby can wear the same number of layers as you do. Since babies sleeping alone shouldn’t be using blankets for safety reasons, you may want to invest in one of those sleep sacks (or make your own from wool and/or cotton) so that baby stays warm. If your house is quite warm, stick with cotton. I try to avoid sleepers and sleep sacks treated with chemical flame retardants, so I would make my own sleep sack.
- For colder houses with crib-sleeping babies, here’s how the layers have gone for us: cloth diaper, wool diaper cover, wool longies, cotton sleeper/long johns, cotton sweatshirt, socks, and BabyLegs. (Seriously. This is what Asher wore to bed the last two winters. He was a heavy wetter, too, so his diaper was enormous. The kid couldn’t hardly waddle.) The keys here are layers and natural fibers. Even disposable diaper-wearing babies can benefit from a pair of wool pants; there are a million tutorials on how to make your own from wool sweaters, including some on my blog that I’ve linked to. I use the BabyLegs to keep the socks on, as well as prevent the gaps that always occur between the pants and socks. (Since we avoid chemically treated sleepers, our babies often sleep in cotton sweatsuits or long johns, which leave the gap between them and the sock as the wiggly baby sleeps.)
How’s that for a detailed answer, Cristina? Let me know if I should clarify something for you. I do use lightweight cotton blankets on my crib-sleeping babies after eight or nine months.