Last Updated on April 21, 2020 by Kinacle.

Protecting Baby’s Skin In Winter – Everything You Need To KnowYour baby’s skin is scrumptiously soft, new and delicate. Therefore, it’s going to need a little additional protection during the harsh, cold winter months. The good news is, it’s pretty easy to ensure baby’s skin is unaffected by the harsh winter weather. 

Below, you’ll discover everything you need to know to help your little one avoid common winter-related skin issues.  

Protecting Baby Against Heat Rash

Heat rash? In winter? Yep, believe it or not, heat rash isn’t just a problem you need to deal with during summer. As babies are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature, they can easily become overheated when you dress them in thick, warm winter clothing. So, how can you avoid winter triggered heat rash? 

Obviously, you want to ensure your little one is warm, but how can you ensure they’re not too warm? The answer is layers. Dressing baby in layers of clothing enables you to easily take a layer off if they start getting too hot. As a general rule, it’s said that babies need one extra layer than adults do.  

If baby does get heat rash, you could use a very low dose, hydrocortisone which you can purchase over the counter. However, it’s a good idea to check with your pediatrician or doctor beforehand given that hydrocortisone is a medication and not just a standard lotion. This also means it shouldn’t be used for more than two days. Your doctor will be able to give you the best advice on how to treat it however so be sure to talk to them first.  

Bathe Them In Warm, Not Hot, Water

Ideally, baby should be given a bath each night as this really helps to settle them for bed, as well as keeping them nice and clean.  However, as tempting as it might be, you should avoid running a hot bath in winter.  

As with adults, the hot water can really dry out the skin in winter. So, it’s recommended you stick to warm water, as well as shortening bath time to around 5-10 minutes. The younger your baby, the shorter bath time should be in winter.  

Protect Baby’s Lips

The last thing you typically think about when it comes to caring for your baby’s skin in winter is their lips. After all, baby’s lips tend to remain consistently wet with either drool or with remnants from a runny nose. However, this moisture can actually wear down the protective layer of the lips; especially in the cold winter months.  

Once the protective layer has been worn down, your baby’s lips can become chapped and sore. To prevent it, you can use a little petroleum jelly or a natural, baby-friendly lip-balm. Again, it may be best to seek advice from your pediatrician before applying anything to baby’s lips, just to double check it’s safe to do so.  

Make Use Of A Humidifier

Humidifiers are a godsend in winter. As the home is kept consistently heated throughout the colder months, it can really suck the moisture out of the air. This in turn can lead to severe dry skin and potentially also trigger skin conditions such as eczema.  

Humidifiers help to keep the air moisturized and prevent dry skin conditions. Therefore, it’s worth placing one in baby’s bedroom overnight. Just be sure to change the water in the humidifier each day.  

Don’t Forget The Mittens, Socks, Hat And Stroller Hood

When you’re heading out, as well as ensuring baby is dressed in layers, you’ll want to make sure their head, hands and feet are protected against the elements. Never leave home without ensuring your baby is wearing mittens, socks, a hat and a stroller hood. The stroller hood will protect your little one from the harsh winds, as well as the cold.  

Just remember to keep checking your baby isn’t getting too hot. If they do show signs of getting overheated, try taking just a layer of clothing off the body, rather than the gloves and hat.  

Moisturize Baby’s Cheeks

Another tip for when you venture outdoors, is to ensure your baby’s cheeks are moisturized. Like the lips, the cheeks can benefit from a thin layer of petroleum jelly. This is safe for baby’s skin, but you might want to double check with your doctor or pediatrician just to be sure.  

It’s actually a good idea to moisturize all areas of your baby’s skin which are exposed to the elements. You should also moisturize your baby after a bath, while the skin is still a little damp. This is especially important if you are using an ointment rather than a cream. Ointments can be a little greasy, but you can reduce this by applying them when the skin is still a little wet.  

Continue Using Sunscreen

You’d think in winter the last thing you need to worry about is sunscreen. However, while it may be cold, UV rays can still be pretty high throughout the winter months. Therefore, it’s a good idea to still apply sunscreen to baby’s skin prior to heading out. 

It should contain at least a SPF30.It’s also worth noting that if baby is under six months old, you’ll also want to use a sunscreen which contains either a titanium dioxide or zinc oxide physical blocker. As with anything new however, it’s always worth seeking advice from a medical professional beforehand.  


Keeping baby’s skin healthy in winter can be tricky due to the cold temperatures and lack of moisture in the air. However, the tips above will help to minimize the risk of winter-related skin issues. If you notice your baby’s skin is consistently red and dry, it would be worth visiting a doctor. They will be able to diagnose whether anything is wrong and if a medicated moisturizer may be needed.

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  1. Extremely helpful post! All of your tips are great. I always liked to use “natural” skin care products for my kids when they were babies and toddlers. Their skin is so much more sensitive, like you said, that they react a lot more harshly to the chemicals in “name brand” lotions and ointments. There are A LOT of different “home-remedies” for dry skin that are safer for our babies’ skin that we can look up online as well.

    I have always used petroleum jelly as well which is a godsend in the winter, not only for the kids, but for adults as well! And yes, yes, and YES to keeping a humidifier running in baby’s room all night as well. I always found that keeping the humidifier running always help my babies sinuses when they had a nasty cold. It also soothed my son’s asthma symptoms at night.

    Thanks for sharing all of the amazing tips! My cousin just recently had a baby and I think she would absolutely benefit from your blog! I’ll be sending her your way! 🙂

    1. Thank you very much for the wonderful feedback 🙂 Yes, please share it with your cousin and all other parents who need the information.

      Natural skin care products are indeed safe as compared to chemical-based ones, but as always, consult a doctor before using the items on a baby because they have very sensitive skin 🙂

  2. This is a very helpful article and I really appreciate it. Even though we don’t have winter here in our country, December up until February to March are cold months. During this season we always that our baby is protected with some warms sweaters. That is true when cold season their skin really get red and dry and we make sure we apply moisturizer for our baby and petroleum jelly as well. Baby oil is on the least as well. Just like what you mentioned, we always make sure to use warm water to bathe our baby in less than 5 minutes as per advice by his doctor.
    What we are going to do now is to apply a little petroleum jelly to his lips whenever we go out. Thanks for the advice.

    1. You’re welcome, joey. Yes, petroleum jelly works wonders in both young and old so make sure you apply it on your baby’s lips from time to time. I never liked chapped lips as an adult so I’m sure it can also make kids uncomfortable. Keeping them warm and comfortable during the cold weather is important.

  3. Even adults are very cold and look for any means to get warmth during winter season, so you can imagine the condition of babies during such periods. Every parent must be very careful during winter break in ensuring to cover up their babies very well to avoid stories of cold flu and pneumonia.

    Nothing should be overlooked in making sure that the child is always found in a warm temperate surrounding for their good health. The information provided here in this article is good enough to help parents out during such cold freezing winter.

    1. So true. If adults need to get warm during the cold weather, so do babies because they are humans, too 🙂 Babies need extra care during this season because they would be very uncomfortable if they suffer from colds or flu. Poor babies.

  4. One thing we need to understand as adults is the need to protect our little ones from changes in temperature whether during the summer or winter. It’s nice to read the way we can prevent skin rash on them during the winter period and understanding that sunscreen is necessary then is amazing too.

    1. Yes, indeed. Protecting babies during the summer or winter is crucial. I would say these seasons affect babies the most, especially these days when summer becomes really hot, and winter really cold.

      We should also never underestimate the use of sunscreen because it protects babies, even adults, from the harsh sun rays.

  5. Babies can’t talk and they can’t really tell us whether they’re feeling hot or cold. Being able to know the type of clothing your baby needs to keep comfortably warm in cold weather can help you keep baby happy and safe from cold illnesses.
    If it is too cold, babies may need to wear some gloves an we have to keep in mind to remove extra layers of sweaters indoors or enter a warm room because we don’t want our baby to overheat.

    1. I totally agree with you. Parents should monitor baby’s temperature as he/she could feel really warm when inside the house but he/she would not be able to speak of it. The baby may cry to indicate discomfort but sometimes he/she doesn’t so it’s important for parents to be on guard.

  6. In the winter it is very common for parents to wrap the bay in warm clothes. However, you should be aware that if the baby perspires and his wet clothes are not changed immediately, he might catch a cold, even pneumonia. It is necessary to make the baby warm, but you should also constantly check his inner clothes and change clothes if they are wet with sweat.

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