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Is It Bad to Take a Baby on a Walk in Winter?

by Maggie McCormick, studioD

The cold weather might make you want to stay inside, but you still need some exercise in the winter. With a baby, you might worry that it is not safe to take her out in the cold. Fortunately, unless you have sub-zero weather, it is generally safe to take a baby outside in the winter. You can both get out for a bit of fresh air.

Dressing Right

Babies are not as adept at regulating body temperature as adults are, so the clothes you dress him in are essential for his comfort and safety. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is best to dress a baby in several light layers of clothing. He should be wearing one more layer of clothing than you are. For example, this might be a pair of leggings and a long-sleeved, one-piece sleeper, a long-sleeved shirt and pair of pants, a sweatshirt, socks and an infant snowsuit. If you think he might need it, you can cover him with a blanket as well. It is important to note, though, that it is not safe for a baby to wear a snowsuit in the car seat, according to The Car Seat Lady. If you are traveling to the park by car, wait to put the snowsuit on.


The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing sunscreen when you are outside no matter what time of year it is. If your baby is older than 6 months, you can apply sunscreen to any parts of her skin that are exposed. If she is younger, reduce her exposure to the sun by using the sunshade on the stroller.

Safety Precautions

If you are covering your baby with a blanket, do not place it near his mouth. This could potentially make it difficult for him to breathe. Though you should not have to worry too much if you have dressed your baby well and do not spend too much time outside, it is possible for your baby to get hypothermia or frostbite from the cold. As you walk, check on him periodically to make sure that he looks warm and can breathe well.


A baby suffering from hypothermia may be shivering and may seem unusually lethargic. In a severe case, her body temperature may drop below normal. Frostbite, or its precursor, frostnip, generally occur on the extremities, such as the nose, cheeks, ears or fingers. At the frostnip stage, the skin will turn white, while frostbitten skin will turn grey and blister. Since your child will not be able to tell you of the numbness associated, take her to the doctor if you suspect frostbite.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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