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Photo: Nicole RadjaModel: Langston Golden

Is it okay to take my baby outside when the temps dip below freezing?

Bundle up.


By Joanna Batt

Baby, it’s cold outside (we had to say it). The good news (or the bad news?): There are no American Academy of Pediatrics rules on how cold is too cold for baby. “You don’t need to self-exile on cold days,” says Dr. Poj Lysouvakon, assistant director of pediatrics and director of the newborn nursery at University of Chicago. “When you can go outside, your kids can too—but use common sense. Frostbite can set in in as little as 5–10 minutes,” he says. “Dress appropriately for the weather yourself, then dress your kid in the same number of layers you have on, plus one.”

Bundle up, baby!

It’s all about the layers. Lysouvakon says to make sure clothes nearest to the body are 100 percent cotton rather than wool, which can irritate sensitive skin. Plus, if they get wet or your baby sweats, cotton can dry (and warm) faster. Thermal cotton onesie layers such as this bodysuit ($30, with matching hat, $18, should be piled on thick or thin, depending on the magic layer number you determine. Once you’re inside, strip down ASAP to just “inner wear”—Lysouvakon says if you wait, your baby will start to sweat and wind up being damp and cold once he is de-layered.

This detachable hood parka coat ($49, Janie and Jack, 4999 Old Orchard Ctr, Skokie, 847-763-9223) has a hood for extra warmth. Its longer style with double-lined cuffs means you don’t have to worry about blasts of frigid air hitting exposed tummies and arms.

Tuck these Maki fleece mittens ($22, The Red Balloon, 2060 N Damen Ave, 773-489-9800; 5407 N Clark St, 773-989-8500) into coat sleeves so no skin is exposed.

Lysouvakon reminds parents to watch gaps where pants hems meet shoes, too. Flannel-lined jeans ($29.50, can be rolled down or tucked into boots.

Keep toes toasty with these moose booties ($39, by Robeez, in an easy slip on/off style with room to tuck in pants.

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