I kept reading about how in the past, mothers would overdress their babies during the winter and they would overheat. So, the general advice would be to dress them up in one more layer than you would wear. So, for our first outing out in the cold, I dressed him in the following: a onesie, some cotton pants, socks, a zip-up hoodie, some mittens, and a cotton hat. It was about 45 degrees out. I took him outside, put him in his car seat, buckled him in, and we went on our way. When we got home from running our errands, I took him out of his car seat and noticed that his lips looked kind of blue. I just about fainted. I automatically thought that he wasn't getting enough oxygen.
I checked his shirt to make sure it wasn't wrapped too tightly around his neck. While doing so, I felt his little nose and it was frigid! I stepped back in horror. Oh My God. Was my baby freezing? As if I were in a suspenseful movie, I ripped my jacket off, swiftly took of my shirt, stripped Desmond down to his onesie, and held him close to me so that my warmth could emanate onto him.
I sat and held him and talked to him as he warmed up. He wasn't in any discomfort and he was babbling as if nothing was wrong, but in my head, I had just exposed my baby to bitter, below-freezing temperatures and just barely brought him back from near death. I realized that I had underdressed him based on what I was wearing (a long-sleeve shirt, a scarf, and some jeans). I'm usually warmer than most people I know (although not so much anymore...I've asked Santa to bring me back my metabolism. I seem to have lost it along with the perkiness of several other body parts), so one more layer just meant wearing a cardigan or a hoodie. Poor Desmond. He could've used a coat on top of everything else he was wearing.
Also, I left him strapped in the car seat in really cold weather. To remedy that, I thought about turning the car on a few minutes before I actually strapped him in so it could be a little bit warmer in the car. However, letting a car "warm up" is not necessary and bad for the environment, so I decided to put one of those car seat blanket-coccoon fuzzy things so that I could cover Desmond's little body as soon as I put him in the cold car.
I have been a lot better at making sure that Desmond is adequately warm in the cold temperatures (like today, where the high is 21 degrees Fahrenheit!) I always make sure he's got his "undershirt" onesie on. On top of that will be a long-sleeve jumper or shirt and some pants. Underneath the pants part, I usually make him wear legwarmers. Yes, legwarmers. And no, they're not just for girls. The legwarmers have several functions: they prevent the cold air from going up the pant legs of your baby when he's out and about, you could change a diaper without having his bare legs exposed, and, for those babies who are starting to crawl, you could put them in a onesie and some legwarmers and it would help to protect their chubby knees.
Des in a long-sleeve onesie and his legwarmers. See how easy it would be to change him without his legs getting cold?
Desmond getting ready for an outing: legwarmers, socks, pants, double onesies, and a sweater.
Babies lose a lot of heat through their heads, so a hat is really important.
Finally, since Desmond loves putting his hands in his mouth, they get really, really cold, even when we're not outside. So, I make sure to put on him his mittens so that they could keep his hands warm and they prevent him from sucking on them.
I also keep a (really cute...not that that's important at all...but it does match our new wagon EXACTLY) blanket JUST IN CASE he starts getting too cold. Wearing your baby also keeps him warmer, so remember to take the jacket off (if you feel it's OK to do so) before you put your baby into a sling or carrier or he'll start to roast!