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A complete winter newborn essentials checklist 

Expecting a baby this winter and want to know what essentials you will need?

If this is your first baby then you may be wondering exactly how many clothes and other cosy essentials should be on your checklist ahead of your due date. 

Winter baby

In this guide I’m going to share exactly what baby clothes you need – broken down by size – plus the other essentials that will be important for a winter baby! 

This post contains affiliate links.

What do you need to buy for a winter baby?

The essentials you need for a winter baby are not too far off what you need for a summer baby, but the focus on clothing and blankets is layering up for warmth! 

To keep babies warm the key is breathable layers. This way if they become too hot you can easily remove a layer. Cotton is best for baby’s delicate skin. 

Your basic baby outfit should begin with a bodysuit – this is a short or long sleeved top that fits over the nappy with poppers. If you’re confused about the baby clothing terminology then I recommend my guide to the different types of baby clothes here. 

On top of the bodysuit you put a babygro – which is long sleeved with legs and normally covers the feet too. In winter you definitely want ones that cover the feet. Although you can add socks with footless babygros, little ones often kick these off as they fidget around. 

Some babygros also comes with scratch mits build in to the sleeve that just tuck over your baby’s hands. I really recommend looking for this feature! 

If not you can buy scratch mits separately. They had the double benefit of preventing baby from scratching their face and keeping their hands warm. 

If it’s chilly indoors then you can add a cardigan on top of those two layers. A light cotton hat can also be worn indoors to keep them warm, as most heat is lost through the head. 

A new baby will generally be sleeping a lot either in your arms or in their Moses basket or crib. You can keep them wrapped up in a swaddle blanket – such as a giant muslin – or cover them up with cellular blankets. 

Duvets are not appropriate for babies as they are too heavy, so you add warmth by layering baby blankets. 

I had cute fleece blankets for my babies in winter. These were perfect as although they were snug they weren’t too heavy and I would just pop these on top of a cellular blanket. 

For going out and about a padded pram suit is the best way to keep them warm along with a cosy hat – make sure it is lined with cotton so their scalp is not irritated. You can then add blankets on top to make sure they’re warm. 

Some pram suits come with mittens built in but you can also buy these separately to keep their hands and fingers warm. 

So in winter it’s about layers of clothing and blankets to keep baby warm. 

You can check whether they are comfy by sticking two fingers down the back of the neck of their clothing to feel whether they are too warm. 

You may also like: Newborn baby sleep tips

How to dress a baby at night in winter 

Keeping a newborn baby warm and cosy is essential. In those early weeks your baby is particularly vulnerable to the cold, as they cannot regulate their own temperature and they cannot verbalise to you when they are chilly! 

It’s particularly nerve-wracking at night because you can’t keep an eye on them all of the time like during the day. 

The temptation can be to pile blankets on top of them, but over dressing them (combined with central heating) can lead to your baby becoming too hot. It’s a minefield, right!?

The one thing that really helped me figure out how to dress my baby for cold weather was a room thermometer. I personally love the Gro Egg because it changes colour depending on whether room temperature is optimal or too hot/cold.

If you’re in the UK you can shop for a Gro Egg here.

If you’re in the US find baby room thermometers here.

By following what the temperature is you can figure out how many layers to put them in when you pop them down for a nap. In the early weeks your baby will be too big for wearable sleep sacks, or baby sleeping bags, which are great because baby cannot kick them off their legs and become chilly in the night. 

So the best thing to do is take light blankets and layer these up depending on the temperature. 

My second baby was born in December so I developed a good routine for making sure she was comfy at night. 

I would put her down in a body suit with a babygro on top, so she had on two layers. Then I would add a cellular blanket over her followed by a fleece baby blanket. 

Before I went to bed I would check in on her and see if she was still cold or the temperature on the room thermometer had dropped. If she was too cold then I would add another blanket over the top to keep her warm.  

This guide gives you an idea of how to dress your baby at night when using wearable sleeping bags for your baby. They should be able to use these from six weeks, but always check the manufacturers guidance on appropriate weight before you go ahead. 

How to dress baby in winter at night

You may also like: Final trimester checklist

Winter baby essentials checklist 

These are the winter baby things you will need, with the baby clothes essentials broken down by size so that you have an idea of how many newborn size clothes and 0-3 month clothes you will need. 

Just to note that this is very much just a list to get you started, and it is entirely possible you will want more body suits and babygros depending on how often you plan to wash baby’s clothes. 

It can also depend on whether you have a dryer or not, as having to air dry clothes in winter can take a little longer. 

So think about how many times a week you are prepared to do laundry. 

How many clothes you need may also depend on how often your baby needs changing. Most babies can wear just the one outfit all day (sometimes I kept my babies in the same outfit for a whole day and night then into the next day). If it wasn’t covered in poop or spit-up then I wasn’t worries. 

However some babies may bring up a little milk during burping, which if they don’t have a bib on can get onto the clothes, or they may have a leaky nappy. 

We’ve got socks on this list, however if you purchase babygros that include covered feet then you won’t need these. It really depends if you’re going to be dressing your baby in outfits that include trousers or footless onesies. When it comes to dresses you may want to consider getting tights.

I’ve not included dresses, tights or trousers here as this is a newborn basics list for winter. If you do want to get cute outfits these may be things your friends and family gift you. 

Start off with what’s on this list and pretty soon you will have an idea of whether you need to add another couple of items here and there so that you can keep up with the washing. 

Here are the key things you will need:

  • Bodysuit. This is a long or short sleeved top that fits over the nappy with poppers. Consider buying a mixture of long and short sleeved body suits so that you have a choice depending on the weather.
  • Babygro. This is an all in one, also known as a
  • Cardigan. With the other baby clothes on this essentials list I suggest buying newborn and 0-3 months sizes but you can probably get away with just buying the bigger size with the cardigan and roll up the sleeves if needed.
  • Scratch mits. These can help to keep your baby’s hands cozy but mainly are there to stop them from scratching themselves on the face. You can also help to prevent this by keeping their nails short.
  • Socks. Baby socks aren’t a necessities if you are buying babygros that include feet. If you find your baby keeps pulling or kicking off their socks you can buy covers that go over the socks to keep them in place, but it’s much simpler to go with footie babygros.
  • Bedroom thermometer. This is an absolute winter essentials for your baby. It tells you exactly what temperature the room is and this guides you on what baby should be wearing when going down for the night.
  • Blankets. I recommend a mixture of cellular blankets and cozy blankets, such as fleece, so that you can add and remove layers depending on the temperature.
  • Sleeping bags. These are an essential whenever your baby is born! They mean your baby cannot kick off the covers in the night. The age you can start using sleeping bags for babies is around six weeks (always follow the guidance for weight on the manufacturer’s label).
  • Warm pramsuit. This is for when you’re out and about with your baby. Most newborn pramsuits cover the feet and include a hood. They’re like a onesie coat.
  • Hats. For the winter months you’ll want a hat for wearing outside which preferably covers their ears. Go for one with cotton lining. For indoors get simple light cotton hats.
Baby essentialHow many to buy
Bodysuit (Newborn size) 5
Body suit (0-3 months) 7
Babygro (Newborn size)5
Babygro (0-3 months)7
Socks (Newborn size)5
Socks (0-3 months) 5
Scratch mits3
Cardigans (0-3 months)3
Bedroom thermometer 1
Bibs10
Warm pramsuit 1
Mittens2 pairs
Cotton hats 3
Warm outdoor hat1
Cellular blankets3
Warm blankets 2
Baby sleeping bags (0-3 months)2
winter newborn baby essentials

Other baby essentials you will need (any time of year)

So the above list is crucial for keeping your baby warm in and out of the house, but what about the other stuff that you need for your baby?

I have a newborn essentials checklist over on this post, which also features a guide on picking out the best products. However here’s a run-through of the other things you will need for your winter baby. 

  • Crib or cot bed 
  • Mattress
  • Fitted mattress sheet x3
  • Waterproof mattress cover x2
  • Baby carrier 
  • Pushchair 
  • Car seat 
  • Bottles x 7 (if bottle feeding)
  • Bottle brush for cleaning 
  • Breast pump (if breastfeeding)
  • Breast pads (get these whether you’re nursing or not as your milk will come in after birth regardless of whether you intend to breastfeed)
  • Steriliser 
  • Breast milk storage bags
  • Nail clippers 
  • Baby bath wash 
  • Baby moisturiser 
  • Thermometer 
  • Nappies 
  • Wipes
  • Changing mat 
  • Towel – look for a baby towel that features a hood so you can cover them head to toe after they get out of the bath 
  • Wash cloth 
  • Toys 
  • Baby books 

A simple way to keep track of your essentials shopping list 

 By creating an Amazon baby registry you can keep track of exactly what you need. Then you can share the list with friends and family so that they know what to get you as a gift! 

You can set up your Wishlist right here for UK users. 

If you’re in the US then set up your Amazon registry here. 

It’s totally free to do and you can keep adding items as you go. 

A few things you really don’t need for baby

There are a number of so-called baby essentials that actually you really do not need!

I have a complete guide to baby stuff you don’t need but these are a few key items to avoid.

Cot bed bumpers 

These are actually not recommended by safe sleep experts as anything additional in the bed can be a suffocation risk. 

As a mother whose babies frequently bonked their head against the railings of their cot, trust me they turned out just fine! 

Baby shoes 

You may worry about your little one getting chilly toes when they are out and about but you can keep them cosy with blankets and padded onesies. 

You do not need baby shoes until your little one starts walking. 

Baby bathtub 

You can buy seats that fit into your existing bath to support baby when they’re having a wash. However in the early days it’s just simpler to bathe them in the sink! 

A baby bathtub will last a few weeks and then you’ll just be struggling with where to put it. 

Winter newborn baby essentials
Winter baby essentials

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