Newborn Winter Essentials: 15 Must-Haves

No matter when you’re expecting, there’s a lot that little bundle of joy is going to need to keep them comfortable in those delicate early days—especially if it’s your first child or you’re giving birth to a sibling in a completely different season. Winter presents a particular challenge, since newborn babies are more at risk from the cold than adults and need more gear than babies born in warmer months. 

According to the AAP, their bodies lose heat more quickly because they are so much smaller. Without the bare essentials, this makes them uncomfortable at best; at worst, it can pose a serious safety issue when outdoors. 

The good news: As long as you stock up on a few newborn winter essentials, you can keep your baby comfortable and safe during the chillier months of the year. Here are the top winter baby must-haves, according to our Gear Experts and experienced parents alike. 

1. Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 Stroller

Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 Stroller

  • Retail: $399.99
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $312.00

Why this is a winter must-have:

A heavy-duty stroller with quality, all-terrain wheels is a must in the winter—particularly if you live in a climate that’s susceptible to snowy and icy conditions. 

Lightweight strollers that lack larger, sturdier wheels will get stuck in this kind of ground cover, making it much more difficult to take a stroll even on the more mild days. Look for a stroller, like this one, that has the power to make it through tough terrain, but is still compatible with many infant car seats

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2. LÍLLÉbaby COMPLETE All Seasons Carrier

LÍLLÉbaby COMPLETE All Seasons Carrier

  • Retail: $99.99
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $64.00

Why this is a winter must-have:

A baby carrier is a great alternative to a stroller, particularly if the conditions on the ground are less than favorable. With your newborn snuggly strapped to your chest, you won’t have to worry about pushing wheels through snow, slush and ice—you can run errands or go for a walk without lugging lots of gear. 

Plus, there’s an added benefit of baby carriers for winter babies: Your body warmth will help keep your baby snug as a bug cuddled up close to you on those colder days outside. What’s more, you can use the carrier indoors to tackle tasks like laundry or even get some work done. 

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3. Skip Hop Stroll & Go Car Seat Cover

Skip Hop Stroll & Go Car Seat Cover
  • Retail: $44.99
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $17.00

Why this is a winter must-have: 

Headed out into the winter weather? Babies can’t be placed in their car seats while wearing jackets—the AAP says it’s a serious safety hazard, since it doesn’t allow you to tighten the straps the way they should be. 

Instead, layer. Start with close-fitting layers on the bottom, like tights, leggings and long-sleeved bodysuits. Then add pants and a sweater or thermal-knit shirt. If necessary, your little one can also wear a thin fleece jacket on top. A car seat cover, which is essentially a wearable blanket for your gear, is also a fantastic option, since it slips over the entire car seat, acting like a blanket to help insulate baby’s seat. 

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4. Halo Micro-Fleece Swaddle

Halo Micro-Fleece Swaddle

  • Retail: $25.95
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $15.00

Why this is a winter must-have: 

Muslin and cotton swaddles are great, but they won’t provide adequate warmth when the temperatures plummet during the winter months. Instead, reach for a super soft and snuggly fleece swaddle, like this one from Halo. 

As an added bonus, it’s super easy to secure—even new parents will have no trouble zipping it up and fastening the Velcro. And since it zips from the bottom, you can also do diaper changes without exposing baby’s whole body—another great way to keep them from catching a chill. Once baby gets a little older and outgrows the swaddle, the brand also makes sleep sacks out of the same material.

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5. 7 A.M. WarmMuffs

7 A.M. WarmMuffs

  • Retail: $44.99
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $25.00

Why this is a winter must-have: 

This one is more for caregivers than babies, but it’s a wintertime must-have. These unique gloves attach to the handle of your stroller to help keep your fingers warm and toasty while you push. Simply slip your hands into the insulated muffs, and hit the road. 

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6. Homedics Sound Machine

Homedics Sound Machine

  • Retail: $19.20
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $13.00

Why this is a winter must-have: 

Do you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and ice and, as a result, tends to experience power outages? Make sure you have some battery-powered backups for your baby must-haves, like your sound machine. This way, you can keep baby’s sleep environment consistent, no matter what the winter weather brings. 

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7. Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

  • Retail: $53.49
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $26.00

Why this is a winter must-have: 

The cold weather brings dry air along with it, especially when you and your newborn baby are spending so much time indoors in the artificial heat. When baby gets a case of the sniffles, a humidifier is key, because it works to add moisture back into the air to help baby work out the extra mucus they cannot yet blow or cough out on their own. It can also help keep that delicate newborn skin hydrated in an effort to prevent common baby ailments, like eczema flare-ups and cradle cap. 

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8. FridaBaby NoseFrida

FridaBaby NoseFrida

  • Retail: $33.74
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $29.00

Why this is a winter must-have: 

NoseFrida is one of the most unique baby care products out there. You place the mouthpiece in your mouth, place the other end just inside baby’s nose and suck out all the mucus clogging baby’s nasal passage. We know: It sounds disgusting. But hear us out: Thanks to a special design, complete with filters, baby’s boogers won’t come anywhere near your mouth—it’s totally hygienic and incredibly useful when your newborn gets a cold. 

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9. Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack

Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack

  • Retail: $207.00
  • Avg. GoodBuy Gear Price: $73.00

Why this is a winter must-have: 

In the winter, getting ready with a newborn takes an exceptionally long time—there’s a lot of gear to put on to make sure everyone’s nice and warm during your outing. You can simplify the process and save precious time by stocking your diaper bag ahead of time. Think of it kind of like your hospital bag—pack it and forget it, so that you can easily decide to go for a walk or an errand without spending excess time gathering everything you need. 

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Winter Clothing Essentials for a Newborn 

Of course, the right baby clothes are one of the best ways to keep your newborn safe and warm during the winter months. Here’s what we recommend adding to your baby registry: 

  • Snowsuit: Look for an insulated snowsuit, often called bunting, from brands like Patagonia or The North Face. And avoid snaps, which can take a long time to put on a squirmy baby—zippers are much faster. 
  • Sleepers and onesies with fold-over mittens: Those tiny fingers get chilly fast, so opt for footed sleepers and onesies with fold-over mittens. This way, you can pop the fabric up and over your newborn’s fingers if they get cold, or fold them away so they can use their hands during playtime. 
  • Baby booties: Sure, you’ll need to stock socks, but Velcro booties are a better all-around option for newborns—newborn socks are constantly falling off. 
  • Hats: Hats are key for keeping baby warm when heading outdoors, but do note that the AAP cautions against wearing them inside, except for during the first few hours of life. 
  • Mittens: Snowsuits with fold-over mittens are preferable for little ones, since they don’t fall off, but it’s helpful to have a pair of mittens on hand for times when that’s not an option. Gloves are too difficult to get on those tiny fingers, so look for snug-fitting mittens with Velcro closures, so you can adjust for the right fit. 
  • Sunglasses: This might sound silly, but sunglasses are just as important in the winter as they are in the summer. According to the AAP, snow reflects up to 80% of the sun’s rays, and those rays can burn the outer layers of the eyes the same way they can burn skin. 

5 Tips For Bringing Your Winter Baby Home From the Hospital

The winter presents a unique challenge for parents of newborns, since the cold weather can make it harder to get outdoors. And when you do head out, you’ll need special gear to keep your delicate little one safe and warm. Here are some important reminders for parents of winter babies: 

  1. Give yourself grace. Remember that it’s hard for anyone to venture outdoors during the depths of winter. You just had a baby—newborns are delicate. Plus, you need time to heal yourself. Let go of any guilt you have about hibernating for a while. Baby will be just fine right where they are. Eventually, you’ll establish a routine that you feel good about. 
  2. But don’t be scared to go out. That said, don’t let fear overcome you. It’s normal to worry about your newborn baby and protect them from any perceived threats, but the cold weather can actually be great for both of you—as long as you have the right winter newborn baby essentials. In fact, there’s evidence that babies who spend more time outdoors during daytime hours sleep better at night, among other benefits. 
  3. When dressing, there’s a happy medium. Bundling up? We have a tendency to think that baby needs tons and tons of layers, but dressing baby too warm can be just as dangerous as not dressing them warm enough. According to the AAP, the rule of thumb is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions. When outside, several thin layers, as well as warm boots, gloves or mittens and a hat should be sufficient. 
  4. Car safety is key. The biggest takeaway: Bulky clothing, including winter coats and snowsuits, should never be worn underneath the harness of a car seat. According to the AAP, this can pose a serious safety threat in case of an accident. Why? In a car crash, a coat’s fluffy padding will immediately flatten out from the force, leaving extra space under the harness. A baby or child can then slip through the straps and be thrown from the seat. 
  5. Take your time. Whether you’re driving, pushing a stroller or walking your baby in a carrier, it pays to take things slow. This is particularly true in snowy or icy conditions, where you could lose control of the car or slip and fall. 

The winter months can be a tricky time to bring a baby home from the hospital—you need all kinds of special baby gear, plus it’s easy to second-guess yourself when dressing your kiddo for the unpredictable weather. Not to mention, it’s easy to get cabin fever when you’re cooped up at home during the postpartum period

But as long as you have the winter newborn essentials outlined above, your fourth-trimester experience can be a pleasant—and safe—one for both you and your newborn baby. Plus, you’ll have plenty of extra time for snuggles. 



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