Keeping your baby warm in winter

Updated January 17th, 2024

In the winter you will want to make sure that your baby is warm enough, but not too hot.

In your Home

  • Dress your baby as you would dress yourself. If you are comfortable in pants and a light sweater, your baby will be too.
  • The temperature in your home should be:
    • at least 21°C In the day (7a.m. to 11 p.m.).
    • no lower than 18°C at night (11 p.m. to 7 a.m.)

Hot parent tip: If you rent, ask your landlord to follow these recommendations. If your landlord does not comply, you can call the Residential Tenancies Branch at 204-945-2476 or toll free  1‑800‑782‑8403.

In the Crib or Bassinet

  • Place the crib or bassinet in the warmest room. Keep it away from windows, drafts and outside walls. Also, crib should not be near radiators, heaters, fireplaces and woodstoves.
  • Use a flannel fitted sheet in your baby’s crib.
  • Dress baby in one-piece footed sleepers. For an extra layer, use a onesie or undershirt.
  • Newborns, preemies and older babies may need a hat to stay warm if the room is cold.
  • Hot water bottles or electric blankets should not be used.
If baby is still cold and you want to use a blanket in a crib

Use a crib-sized blanket.  It should be large enough to be firmly tucked in without coming loose, but small enough so it does not make the mattress uneven when tucked in.

  • Lay baby on back with feet near the bottom of the crib.
  • Place blanket so that it is no higher than baby’s armpits.
  • Tuck the blanket into the sides and bottom of the crib.

Out and about

Dress your baby for the weather

  • Keep your baby warm by dressing him in layers that are easy to put on and remove.
  • Mitts, socks, boots will help keep your baby warm.
  • A warm hat is important because babies lose a lot of heat through their heads.
  • When you go indoors remove or at least unzip baby’s snowsuit and take off the hood or hat to prevent overheating.
Hot parent tip:  When using a stroller or sled, the exercise can make you feel warm. Be aware that your baby is just sitting and will feel the cold much more than you.

A word about car seats

Your baby needs to be dressed warmly in the winter.  Choose a snowsuit that isn’t puffy or made from slippery material.

Take care that your baby’s snowsuit or other clothing doesn’t interfere with the fit of the car seat:

  • When clicking your baby in:
    • only one finger should fit between the car seat straps and your baby’s collarbone.
    • the chest clip should be at armpit level.
  • If you are using a blanket:
    • make sure it is no higher than baby’s armpits
    • never place the blanket behind or under baby.
  • If you are using an infant car seat cover:
    • only use the infant car seat covers briefly when taking baby outside
    • remove the cover as soon as you are inside or in the vehicle.

How to tell if your baby is cold

  • His upper arms, thighs or ears feel cold to the touch. Cold hands and feet do not always mean that the baby is cold.
  • She is fussy
  • His skin looks pale or blotchy.

To warm your baby

  • hold your close – skin to skin is best.
  • dress baby in more layers of clothing, but be careful that your baby doesn’t overheat
  •  you may need to turn room temperature up