Having a baby in the winter has its own set of challenges.
For many of us who live in cold weather climates, our biggest concern with having a winter baby is “How am I going to get to the hospital if there’s a snowstorm?!?”
It’s so easy to get caught up worrying about how you’ll get to the hospital in time and how you’ll walk / waddle on the ice without slipping that you forget to plan ahead properly for what you’ll need.
Let’s go over the newborn essentials that you specifically need for babies born in the wintertime, which are pretty important!
This blog post will get you started on the right path for essential items for INFANTS DUE IN THE WINTERTIME.
I remember being an expecting mom and wondering “What do I need for this particular pregnancy / due date?” It was so confusing! That’s why I now have an entire series on the subject – to help other moms in that spot!
I previously wrote a general checklist of the most essential things ANY newborn needs (this is still a great baseline checklist to follow), and then I wrote about specifically what you need for summer babies.
Now it’s time to round out the collection with the winter season. I don’t think you’d necessarily need a separate list for spring or fall seeing as those seasons are fairly mild or can be characterized as WARMER or COOLER weather depending on where you live.
What’s Different About a Baby Born in Winter?
The biggest thing to remember about newborn babies born in times of extreme cold or warmth is that they aren’t able to regulate their temperatures the same way as adults; therefore, in the wintertime it’s important to keep them warm.
However, you must do this without letting them get overheated. It’s a tricky balance!
It’s also important to keep them healthy during prime cold and flu season. The best way to do this is avoid going out in public where there will be lots of people.
Cuz – trust me – people love to attempt to touch newborns! (This was one of my pet peeves as a new mom!)
And, if you have to carry a newborn outside in the winter, it’s helpful to find a car seat/carrier that’s light but still as cozy as possible so that the baby stays safe, even if you have to walk through the snow.
If you’re due to have a baby in the fall, winter, or even very early spring, read ALL of these tips to make sure you’re prepared!
This post was written by an experienced mom with input from other experienced moms, in hopes that it helps you get more prepared.
Before We Begin – Set Up Your Amazon Registry if You Haven’t Already
The easiest way to get all of the things on this list is to add them to your baby registry. That way you don’t have to purchase them all yourself!
I wrote this post under the assumption that you have enough time to put these items on your registry
That way you can essentially use this list below as your baby registry checklist!
If you don’t have one already, I highly recommend starting a general Amazon baby registry.
Click the link below to start it and then add each item from the list below to that registry, as you see fit.
30+ Winter Newborn Must-Haves Checklist
Without further ado, let’s get to it! I’ve arranged this list by type of item for easier browsing.
These are the items I recommend putting on your registry OR buying before baby arrives.
1) Newborn Winter Clothes
So how you do dress a newborn in winter?
Well, keep in mind that although your baby will need to be warm on the go, you can’t actually bundle her up too much before placing her in the car seat or the straps won’t buckle tight enough (or at all)!
The straps should be snug so baby is safe while riding in the car.
So what should you do?
It’s best to avoid super bulky clothing for this reason.
To achieve a safe car ride + keep your baby warm when you arrive at your destination, you can dress him or her in layers and then bringing a blanket and using a peekaboo car seat canopy like this or car seat cover like this once you’re out of the vehicle to keep her safe from cold temperatures.
Make sure to carefully consider the best car seat cover for your baby, including never covering her face, based on safety recommendations like these from Very Well Family.
Here are some must-have winter clothes your little one needs to keep warm when it’s cold outside:
- Long-sleeved onesies – In the winter, cute patterned or neutral long-sleeved onesies make great shirts that don’t expose your newborn’s belly. You may find that you go through several outfits every day, so register for a lot!
- Sleepers with footies – You might prefer zippered sleepers or buttoned sleepers, so add both to your registry. Regardless, get the sleepers with footies so that baby’s feet stay warm without worrying about socks.
- Onesies with mittens – Rather than struggling with losing mittens, get onesies that have foldable cuffs. These work well to keep your infant’s hands warm + shielded from the cold without having to search for mittens.
- Hats – Hats with ear flaps stay put better and keep babies’ ears warm.
- Warm socks – Socks seem to magically disappear in my house, so I recommend getting solid colored socks that you can mix and match without worrying about finding the matching sock. It’s also easier to do laundry when you don’t have to worry about pairing socks!
- Booties – Newborn shoes are kind of pointless and complicated to put on, but these fuzzy booties are perfect to keep babies warm and cozy. They’re also easy to slip on (and they stay on baby’s feet surprisingly well). We received Ugg booties as a gift, and while they seemed impractical, they quickly became my favorite shoes for my kids.
- Wearable blankets – These Halo micro-fleece sleepsacks are perfect for newborns, especially because they include a swaddle and inverted zipper – perfect to keep babies warm and make nighttime diaper changes easier while they’re sleeping. I also like these long-sleeved fleece sleepsacks from Carter, which are great when the baby gets older. If you’re crafty, use this sewing pattern to make your own sleepsack.
VERY IMPORTANT: A baby should just wear a sleep sack to bed. Do not cover the baby with blankets while he’s sleeping in a crib.
If the long sleeve sleep sack or warm long-sleeve footed romper like this doesn’t seem sufficiently warm, then I recommend layering a onesie underneath on an especially cold night or if your house is drafty like mine.
2) Infant Feeding Essentials
Especially during the winter, the antibodies in your breastmilk can help keep your baby healthy.
It’s also harder to overfeed a newborn if you’re breastfeeding.
If you choose to breastfeed, these are the things that worked the best for me:
- Medela breast pump. (check to see if your insurance covers a breast pump before adding it to your registry)
- Lansinoh bags. (the Medela breastmilk bags hook to the pump, but I thought they spilled easily, so I liked pumping into a bottle and then pouring the milk into these Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags.)
- Lanolin cream. Especially when you start nursing, this salve will be your best friend.
- Gel pads. These Soothies Gel Pads saved my life (and prevented cracks and chapped skin) during the first couple weeks of nursing.
- Breast pads. Cold air (and heat, crying babies, etc.) can make you leak. I didn’t even think to wear these Stay Dry Nursing Pads (they’re the most discreet and effective) when I first started nursing, but I quickly learned my lesson when I walked into the freezer aisle of my grocery store. 🤦♀️ After that, these were a regular delivery in my Amazon Subscribe & Save order! HINT: You can actually get a set of reusable breast pads for FREE (with shipping)
Additionally, there are many times where breastfeeding just doesn’t work out, despite best efforts. Just in case, make sure to have a newborn bottle and formula on hand so that you aren’t scrambling.
3) Wintertime Blankets & Crib Bedding
I just always kept one or two extra blankets in the car in case I forgot one or if my little one spit up or pooped on the one they were using.
For bedding, add extra crib sheets and mattress pads to your registry. You won’t need blankets for the crib itself (that’s not recommended, for your baby’s safety).
When you make the bed, make sure to put a mattress pad under the top sheet. This protects your mattress against diaper leaks.
- Fitted mattress pads. Fitted mattress covers stay on the mattress the best, and they’re also less likely to wrinkle.
- Flat mattress pads. I loved using flat mattress protectors for the bottom layer of the bed (perfect for when the baby’s diaper leaks in the middle of the night), but they’re also great to lay on the floor during tummy time or to protect your carpet when older kids have a stomach virus. You can also get disposable mattress pads to use on the changing table when you know you’re facing an extra special poop diaper. 🙂
- Fitted sheets. I recommend getting three fitted crib sheets to use on rotation. To decorate your nursery, find cute patterned sheets that match your decor!
4) Must-Have Health Necessities
- Vitamin D drops. Especially during the winter, your baby won’t get as much Vitamin D from the sun. Talk to your pediatrician to see if your baby is lacking Vitamin D.
- Nasal aspirator – I gave up trying to use the nasal aspirator bulbs like the ones from the hospital, but my sister-in-law, a nurse, highly recommended the Nose Frida Snot Sucker (it sounds more disgusting than it is) to keep your baby’s nose clear.
- Humidifier – The dry winter air (especially when you’re running the furnace constantly) can dry out baby’s skin and nasal passages. Use a small humidifier in the baby’s room. Humidifiers are also great to use when the baby gets a cold or virus.
- Thermometer – Supposedly, forehead thermometers aren’t as accurate as other methods, such as anal thermometers, but they’re the easiest to use, especially in the middle of the night when you’re worried that your newborn has a fever. This is my favorite forehead thermometer, which can also be used in the ear.
5) Most Needed Diapering Essentials
Every baby is different, but you will want to register for lots of diapers and wipes! Register for small boxes of different brands (and different sizes) so you can learn which diapers work best for your baby.
For nighttime, Pampers Baby Dry diapers are great.
And you don’t HAVE to get this, but I personally loved using this wipes warmer so my little one was extra comfortable during night time diaper changes. I swear this was the reason why I was able to achieve changing poopy diapers while my little guy was still asleep on several occasions!
Ways to Simplify Your Routine Before Bringing Home Baby
When you bring home a baby in the wintertime, you’ll want to keep your baby home (and away from germs) as much as possible.
I highly recommend using grocery delivery services. Your local grocery store may provide this for a small fee, or sign up for a company like Instacart, which may deliver for several stores in your area.
I found that once my babies got to Size 2 diapers and up, they stayed in each size for quite a while, so I could easily set up a subscription and just have them auto-delivered each month. This totally saved my sanity!
** I just learned that Target also has a monthly delivery service, and you can often save an additional percentage on items that you regularly purchase, even if you only get them once every one to six months.
Doing little things like this that help you stay home with your infant AND save time are a huge life saver in the early days of having a baby.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions – I’m very happy to help!
Do you love household checklists like me!?
When I first became a mom 12 years ago, I had NO CLUE what I was doing when it came to managing a household with babies in it.
In reality, I was unprepared for the emotional and physical energy toll that children have on you. I swear the days now only have 17 hours in them…
Now that I have 3 kids and have been doing this “home management” thing for many years, I’m going back and creating ALLLLL the checklists I wish I had all those years ago to help me!
You can go here to read more about the 50+ page bundle of worksheets I made with YOU in mind!
It’s exactly what I WISH I had available to me when I had my first baby 12 years ago….it’s gonna help you with keeping a clean home, planning meals AND managing your finances.
I am so excited about it. This is where my true passion lies, in helping others avoid the hardships I had to endure when I first started out.
More Resources to Help You Prepare:
- Summer Newborn Essentials
- 21 Newborn Must Haves
- Baby Things You Can Get for Free in the Mail (carseat canopy, nursing pillow, etc)