How to Bring a Baby Home from the Hospital in Winter?
Have you thought about what he/she will wear when you bring a baby home from the hospital in winter? Read on to find out how to dress your baby for a car seat so they are not too hot or cold in the winter months.
As you get closure to your due date, you can’t wait to bring the baby home for the hospital. And I am sure you have your house deep cleaned, and meals planned to make postpartum life easy.
You might have already packed your hospital bag with snacks for labor and clothes you are going to wear after giving birth. But packing your soon-to-be-born baby’s outfits requires some thinking, especially when you bring a baby home from the hospital in winter.
As new parents, it seems right to dress newborns in snowsuits, coats, or warm outfits in a winter month, but actually, heavy winter coats are considered dangerous for babies as they will come home in a car seat.
So, if you are worried about how to dress your baby to bring them home from the hospital in winter, this article is for you.
This article serves as a complete guide on dressing your baby for winter months and cute outfit ideas that will keep them warm enough while bringing them home from the hospital in a car seat.
Related content: The best outfit to bring the baby home from the hospital in summer
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How to bring a baby home from the hospital in the winter?
If you live in a colder part of North America and have a baby in the winter months, you might worry about how to dress your baby while bringing it home from the hospital.
And if you have a baby in January or February, you will most likely face snow on the road when you get discharged from the hospital.
So, how do you dress your baby in the winter on the way home from the hospital?
The simple answer is – Dress them in layers. You want to dress them in as many light layers as you are comfortable in yourself, plus one more.
No snowsuits, No thick coat, No warm or fluffy outfit.
You might think, won’t they be cold if temperate is way below freezing when you bring baby home from the hospital?
The main concern is that you don’t want to overdress your baby. Overdressing leads to overheating, a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) during cold months.
According to NIH, extra blankets and warm clothes lead to dangerous overheating in babies, leading to an increase in SIDS risks in the winter months.
Babies are sensitive to extreme temperatures and cannot regulate their body temperatures so avoid heavy clothing or many layers when dressing them for the car seat in the winter month.
Once you dress your baby, you also want to avoid a heavy coat or snowsuit. In addition to overheating them in a car seat, heavy outwears are a potential hazard if you met a car accident on your way home.
According to Consumer Reports, winter coats should not be worn underneath a car sear harness as it can leave the harness too loose (creating too much space between baby and harness) to be effective should a car accident occur. Here is a video of the crash test showing what would happen if the baby were dressed in a heavy coat and should a car accident happen.
So, you want to avoid many layers, heavy-puffy winter coats when you dress your baby for the car seat in the winter months.
In general, you want to dress your baby in a diaper shirt underneath a long sleeve onesie and once they are strapped in their car seat, tuck in a light blanket to keep them warm while you set them in a car.
Having a light blanket over your baby in a car seat allows you to remove it if you feel your baby is too hot in a car seat. As a rule of thumb, if your baby’s toe is warm to the touch, your baby is probably too hot.
If your car temperature is around 68–71°F (20-22°C ), your baby should be comfortable in a car seat with light layers of clothing.
Now let’s look at the clothing recommendation for dressing your baby in winter on the way home from the hospital.
The best Outfits to Bring a Baby home from the Hospital in Winter
Getting baby dressed in a proper outfit on the way home to the hospital in the winter is a big deal. You want to dress in a way that they are not over or underdressed for the weather.
Before we talk about the specific outfit for the baby for the winter months, let’s look at must-have baby outfit essentials for a winter baby.
The onesies are the perfect outfit to bring the baby home from the hospital in winter. They cover the baby from shoulder to toe. If the temperature is too cold, you can add a thinner layer underneath the onesie for warmth.
The hat is a basic newborn essential that your baby needs to wear regardless of bringing the baby home in winter or summer. A hat will keep a baby from losing heat from its tiny body. Usually, a hospital provides a hat for newborns, and that should be enough to keep your baby’s ear covered when you bring them home from the hospital in the winter.
If you dress your baby in a onesie, you don’t need socks to cover their feet. But if it is too cold the day you bring the baby home, you can put socks underneath the onesie for extra warmth.
When you dress your baby to bring home on a colder day, you want to layer your baby in a diaper shirt underneath the onesie to keep them warm while you bring them in or out of the car.
Once your baby is dressed appropriately for the winter and buckled into a car seat, a light blanket over the baby in a car seat will keep them warm.
Mittens will keep their hands warm while you are getting in and out of the car on a cold day.
Car Seat cover
If you live in a very cold climate, a car seat cover will keep your baby warm while you get in and out of the car. Some car seat covers come with a zipper or Velcro so you can easily unzip them when you are in a car to keep your baby from overheating.
Best outfit to Bring baby Home from the Hospital in the Winter
Your baby boy’s coming home outfit for winter should be a onesie, bodysuit for layering, hat, and mittens. When I bought winter baby home from the hospital, I chose their outfit based on material, weather, and design.
If you have read my other blog posts, you know I always prefer organic and non-toxic brands when it comes to babies because babies’ skin is too sensitive. Anything with added chemicals is not good for their sensitive skin and developing organ system.
The conventional clothing brands for babies and toddlers contain phthalate, formaldehyde, flame retardant, pesticides, insecticides, ammonia, PVC, VOCs, petroleum by-products, DMFs, fluorochemicals, to name a few. Depending on the material of the baby cloth, some of these chemicals are added during the manufacturing process. And when you dress your newborn with these clothes, your baby is getting exposed to all these toxic chemicals that are bad for their sensitive skin and developing organ system. So, I highly recommend opting for certified organic clothing brands when purchasing clothing for your newborns, infants, or toddlers.
Here are some organic clothing brands to purchase the outfit to dress baby on the way home from the hospital.
Burt’s Bees Baby
Burt’s Bees baby offers inexpensive organic clothing for babies and toddlers. They have cute, 100% GOTS certified organic cotton onesies, pajamas, rompers for babies and toddlers, and sleep sacks, beddings, and crib sheets.
Here is a cute print onesie, hat, and mittens to dress your baby in winter when bringing the baby boy home from the hospital.
Here is a cute winter outfit to dress baby girl on the way home from the hospital.
Check out Burt’s Bees collection on Amazon here
If it is too cold on the day of bringing the baby home, you can dress the baby in an organic bodysuit, onesie, mittens, hat, and booties. Once your baby is buckled in a car seat, tuck in a light blanket to keep them warm while you get in and out of the car. If the temperature is okay, you can skip the bodysuit and dress your baby in a onesie, hat, mittens, booties and tuck them with a light blanket once they are latched into a car seat.
FINN + EMMA
FINN + EMMA offers a wide range of GOTS certified organic baby and toddler clothing and toys. This clothing brand is a little expensive but long-lasting and great for handing down one baby to another.
Here is a cute, unisex print to dress your baby on the way home from the hospital.
Check out FINN + EMMA collection here.
Colored organic makes GOTS certified organic cotton clothing for babies and toddlers. I like baby clothes from this brand because the print of the baby clothes is super simple and available in solid colors. In addition, the material is soft to touch and durable.
Here is an outfit for bringing a baby girl home from the hospital in the winter. Just pair it with mittens, booties, and a light blanket for extra warmth in a car seat.
Here is an outfit for bringing the baby boy home from the hospital in the winter
Here is an outfit for bringing the baby girl home from the hospital in the winter
Check out the Colored Organic collection on Amazon here.
aden + anais Dream Blanket
Check out the aden + anais collection at Amazon here
A light blanket is a must-have when you bring your newborn home in summer, fall, or winter for extra warmth. Once you dress your baby for winter, buckle them into their car seat and then tuck in a light blanket to keep them warm and cozy going in and out of the car.
You do not need a heavy blanket. Instead, a light swaddling blanket folded in two layers or a medium blanket will be enough to keep your baby warm.
I have written an article about the best organic blanket to keep your baby warm and cozy in a car seat and can be used to swaddle a baby for nap time or nighttime.
Tips to Keep in mind Before leaving the Hospital with Baby
Every hospital has different policies and requirements before you leave the hospital with the baby. Some will want to see your baby buckled up in a car seat before leaving the hospital, so check with your hospital beforehand. Also, many parents opt for convertible car seats rather than stand-alone car seats for their babies. So, you might want to confirm before you invest in a car seat.
Also, once you get your baby buckled up in a car seat, you want your partner or husband to warm up the car in the winter month. Once the car is warmed up, you can bring your baby in the car to keep her warm and cozy.
Remember, your newborn should not be exposed to cold temperatures for too long. They should be only out in extremely cold temperatures to get in and out of the car.
When we brought our December baby home, my husband brought a stroller and car seat to the room. Once we were discharged from the hospital, we set up the car seat in the stroller and waited until my husband warmed up the car and drove it to the pickup area. Then I pushed the stroller to the pickup area as I was not in a condition to carry the car seat.
For those extremely cold days when the temperature drops to negative, you might want to add a car seat cover to protect your baby from extreme cold and wind and once you are in a car, take the cover off of the car seat.
How to Keep Baby Warm in a Car?
Once you dress your baby in layers and buckle up in a car seat, cover her with a light blanket from shoulder down to the leg. Only bring the baby to the car when your car is warmed up to 68-72°F (20-22.2°C).
Once your baby is in the car, maintain the temperature of the car. As long as your car temperature is around 68-72°F and they have dressed appropriately, your baby is warm in the car. You do not need to do anything special to keep your baby warm in the car.
Is it ok to put the swaddled baby in a car seat?
It is dangerous to put a swaddled baby in a car seat. It is not safe to put anything between the car seat straps and the baby’s body.
If you put a swaddled baby in a car seat, her hands and legs won’t be in a proper position to buckle them up properly, and it will not protect your baby should you have a car accident.
Once your baby is buckled up in a car seat, you want to take a light blanket and tuck the blanket tightly along the side of the baby’s body and underneath the baby’s legs.
How to Put Newborn in a car seat from Hospital?
A lot of new parents do not read the instruction on how to use car seats properly. A study published in 2016 reported that at least 90% of all car seats are not properly used.
It is important to learn how to use a car seat properly for your baby’s safety while bringing them from the hospital or in a car seat for the next few years.
Here is a video showing how to properly put a newborn in a car seat and things you need to keep in mind while securing them into their car seat.
How to dress baby while bringing home from the hospital in November?
Major US cities have daytime highs of 50 to 65°F (10 to 18 °C ) in November. So, you want to dress your baby in a onesie, pants, socks, mittens, hat, and then tuck in a light blanket once they are buckled up in a car seat.
You still want to avoid spending a long time outside with your newborn. So, make sure your car is warm and ready before you bring your baby in a car.
(ps -the temperature is an approximate value here, so you want to check the weather before you dress your baby. If the temperature is cooler in November, dress your baby accordingly)
How to dress baby while bringing home from the hospital in December?
Major US cities have daytime highs of 33-50 °F (1-10 °C ) in December, which is cold for your baby. So, most probably, the night will be below zero.
So, you want to dress your baby in organic cotton footie, light onesie underneath, hat, mittens, booties, and light blanket once the baby is in the car seat.
How to dress baby while bringing home from the hospital in January?
In December, major US cities have daytime highs 31-48 °F (-4 to 9°C). So, it is quite chilly during the day and below freezing at night. And if you are lucky, you will see snow on your day of discharge. (We had snow the day we brought out December baby home)
You want to dress your baby in a onesie, footie, hat, mittens, bootie, or socks underneath footie. Once your baby is in a car seat, tuck in a medium blanket. And use a winter car seat cover to protect your baby from the extreme cold while bringing the baby in and out of the car seat. Once you are in the car, take the seat cover off.
How to dress baby while bringing home from the hospital in February?
February temperature is almost similar to January, with some very cold nights with a snowstorm. Therefore, you want to dress your baby the same way as described above for January and winter car seat cover for extra warmth.
It is normal for parents to put their babies in a fluffy cloth once the temperature starts dropping. But remember, you don’t want to overdress your baby as your baby can not regulate body temperature just yet. So, always dress your baby in layers than heavy winter coats.
I highly recommend avoiding fleece and other non-organic clothes when dressing your newborn. Fleece is not breathable, and it will overheat your baby.
In extremely cold weather, you want to dress your baby in wool clothes as wool is a natural temperature regulator and will keep your baby warm in the winter month.
I hope this article helped figure out how to dress while bringing a baby home from the hospital in winter.
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