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Words by Laura Culbert. Photography by Anne Peeters. Published: 18/05/23

Our edit of baby winter essentials will keep your most precious cargo cosy when you're on the go.

While it can be tempting to snuggle up with your baby indoors all winter, there are plenty of reasons to head outside. Dressed appropriately in baby winter clothes, your little one will love the change of scenery – it will stimulate their senses and help them learn about the world around them. It also gives you both a breath of fresh air and can calm your baby on even the fussiest of days.

But there are some things to consider before stepping outdoors. It's true that babies and young children can’t regulate their core temperature as well as adults. They also have less body fat to keep them warm. Generally speaking, the younger the child is, the harder it is for them to cope with the cold. The key to feeling confident when heading outdoors with a baby (particularly a newborn) is to be prepared with the right baby clothes for the cold months in Australia. Here's everything you need to think about, from baby winter clothes to on-the-go accessories like nappy bags, baby play mats and winter blankets. Plus, you'll find fun winter activities you can do with little ones and stylish ways to update your own wardrobe.

Shop baby winter clothes, snuggly newborn essentials and affordable warm baby blankets at Target — and don't worry, we have those winter pram essentials covered, too.

Layering 101

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>bub. Organic Cotton Newborn Beanies 2 Pack. Shop now

bub. Organic Cotton Newborn Beanies 2 Pack

Baby PU Sneakers. Shop now

Baby PU Sneakers

Wondering how to dress a newborn in winter? Layering baby clothing is the answer.

Heat gets trapped between the layers of rompers, onesies and baby jackets, effectively creating a form of insulation for your little one (the same theory also applies to adults). Baby outfits comprised of layers also allow you to easily add and remove pieces as the temperature varies throughout the day.

The basic rule of thumb is that babies need one more layer of clothing than an adult. So, for inside play or while travelling in the car, that might mean both sleeveless and long-sleeve onesies, then a baby jumper, warm baby pants and socks. When you’re ready to head outside, add a jacket or cardigan. Once your baby gets a little older, boots or shoes will help provide extra warmth (and deter little ones who like to pull off their socks!). Sneakers are a versatile option, or look to fuzzy baby boots for the ultimate in winter cosiness. And don’t forget the beanie and mittens. Babies control their temperature through their face and head, so a baby hat like a beanie or bonnet is an absolute essential.

Lastly, opt for soft, breathable materials to keep your little one feeling content. A snug fit will also add to the comfort level, no matter how many layers they’re wearing.

How to Stay Warm Outdoors

If you're heading out with the pram, there are plenty of accessories to help keep your little one toasty in the cold.

A lambswool pram insert will add warmth in winter while also being cool in summer, making it a great year-round option. Tuck bub in with a warm baby blanket and add a snuggly plush toy to keep them entertained. Another good idea is to use a rain cover – even when there are no showers forecast, a rain cover doubles up as a windbreak, protecting them from cold seasonal gusts and breezes.

Another alternative is to use a baby carrier or baby swaddle. Your body heat will act like a hot water bottle, helping to keep bub warm – something to bear in mind when you dress them beforehand. You can even button up your own coat around you and your little one. Just make sure their head isn’t covered; it’s also a good idea to face them in towards you to avoid wind chill. (Before placing your baby in a carrier, be sure to read up on the safety guidelines.)

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Baby Reversible Puffer Jacket. Shop now

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Finding a Nappy Bag that Works For You

Any time you take a child out, there’s a whole host of things that need to go with you, from play mats to a changing mat, nappies and spare dummies.

Come winter, you may need even more additions to your nappy bag, including a warm baby blanket and extra clothing layers. Our tip is to always pack at least one spare outfit. A nappy leak or a little bit of rain (or a splash in a puddle for bigger kids) will make clothing damp and uncomfortable. A quick change into their (equally cute and cosy) spare clothes will ensure they stay dry and happy.

The good news is that, these days, there are many different types of baby bags available to suit every kind of mum. Backpack versions are handy when you have your hands full carrying your little one (and the shopping, and your coffee). Or there are shopper-style totes with some clever additions, such as insulated bottle holders and wipe-clean change mats. Whatever you choose, make sure it suits your lifestyle – if it’s not easy to grab, wear and go, you’ll never use it.

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Cleo Nappy Backpack with Change Mat. Shop now

Cleo Nappy Backpack with Change Mat

Dreambaby Carry-All Nappy Backpack With Comfortable Padded Change Mat. Shop now

Dreambaby Carry-All Nappy Backpack With Comfortable Padded Change Mat

bub. Organic Cotton Cable Knit Blanket. Shop now

bub. Organic Cotton Cable Knit Blanket

Dreambaby Carry-All Nappy Tote With Comfortable Padded Change Mat. Shop now

Dreambaby Carry-All Nappy Tote With Comfortable Padded Change Mat

Picking the Perfect Pram

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Cleo Escape Compact Pram. Shop now

Cleo Escape Compact Pram

When it comes to buying a pram or baby stroller, there are a few things to consider to make sure it’s a safe option for your baby.

First and foremost, it needs to meet Australian safety standards. It should have a five-point harness that goes over the baby’s shoulders and hips and through their legs, plus a solid, sturdy frame and a wrist strap on the handle. There needs to be at least one visible, red brake and it should be used every time you stop, even if you’ve only pulled up for a few minutes and it’s a flat surface (you’d be surprised by how easily a wriggling child can get the wheels moving). You also want to make sure that there are no gaps in the pram frame where little hands or feet can get trapped.

And be mindful of how much storage is available at the bottom of the pram. You need to have enough so that you won’t be tempted to hang your nappy bag and other bags off the handle, which could potentially make the pram unstable enough to tip over.

Keeping Kids Entertained on Colder Days

In Summer, finding things to do outdoors with your baby is easy – walks, picnics, visits to the park. But in the cooler months, it can be a little bit harder to come up with fun activities to keep your little one entertained.

Your local library is always a great idea. Not only do they usually have a special kids’ area with books and baby toys, many also hold free storytime and nursery rhyme sessions. A trip to a kid-friendly museum is another way to go ‘outside’ while still enjoying the comforts of staying indoors. Or, if it’s a particularly windy day, fly a kite outside and let your little one be mesmerised by the moving colours.

Of course, you won’t be able to stay outside for too long, so try setting up a sensory area inside for your bub with a play pen or baby play gym. Use a range of different toys to stimulate your baby’s senses, or experiment with touching different pantry staples, such as flour, rice and water. Yes, it will get messy, but that’s all part of the fun (and a warm bubble bath with bath toys afterwards is a nice treat on a winter’s day).

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Ingenuity Baby Milestone Playmat. Shop now

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Don't Forget About Mum

You always put your baby first, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on some fresh wardrobe updates, too.

Your new-season checklist has three priorities: style, comfort and ease of movement (cleaning up after a little one is akin to an Olympic sport!). Jeans will be your best friend, helping you to always look put together when you feel anything but. A traditional washed blue shade will go with everything, or opt for a hides-all-stains black pair. Not sure what style will suit your new body? Check out our denim fit guide.

A basic tee teamed with an on-trend cardigan or soft knitwear will bring extra warmth, making you feel like you're wrapped up in a blanket even when you leave your house. If you're breastfeeding, consider wearing the cardigan over a maternity cami to allow for easy access. Complete the cosy look with practical sneakers or comfy slides (socks optional but highly recommended).

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Washed Crew Neck Jumper. Shop now

Washed Crew Neck Jumper

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Shape Your Body Super High Rise Crop Length Straight Denim Jeans. Shop now

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Gracie Denim Paperbag Super High Rise Ankle Length Jeans. Shop now

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Shop Baby Winter Essentials

Not all brands or items are available at all stores or online. Due to unforeseen circumstances, some items in this article may not be available at the time of publication. This article is created for your inspiration and some items shown are for illustration purposes only.

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