When Is It Too Cold For Baby To Be Outside?

happy laughing baby girl enjoying a walk in a snowy winter park sitting in a warm stroller with sheepskin hood wearing a white jacket and hat

Surviving New York in February is never an easy task. I know there are colder places out there, but maybe I was a snowbird in another life, because this is about as cold as I can take. Now, add a baby into the mix, and things just got a little more complicated. No longer are you bundling for one, but you need to bundle for two. Living in Brooklyn, we spend a ton of our time commuting on foot. We have a car (luckily for those unbearable days), but we rarely use it for our daily needs. We are city people. That’s what we do. We walk. So what do you do when it gets to be frigidly cold outside…and you have a baby? Do you tell the baby to suck it up, bundle up, and head out for some winter activities? Is there a limit to the cold your baby can take? When do you say, “Baby it’s TOO cold outside?”

Personally, it is sometimes unavoidable living in Brooklyn to keep a baby indoors throughout the winter months. I also don’t think it’s a bad idea most of the time. I love the idea of fresh air for both my son and myself. We also both go a little stir crazy otherwise. If your baby is properly dressed for winter, I believe that it is usually okay to spend some time outdoors. I bundle my son up with lots of layers, a hat, mittens, and an arctic style bunting (basically a sleeping bag). If it’s windy, I also use a clear wind/rain cover to block the wind from whipping in his face.  Another great idea is to wear your baby in the cold temperatures.  Wrap baby up in your coat or an extra blanket, and there is nothing like a little body heat to keep baby warm when you have to go outside.

The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t have any hard and fast rules about what may be too cold for baby. You do need to be careful though, because babies improperly dressed could get hypothermia or frostbite in just a short amount of time. Some signs of a baby being too cold are red cheeks or fussiness.


Some say if it’s below 20 degrees, maybe it’s a good idea to stay inside. Others will venture outside until the temps hit single digits. In some places, temperature is never a deterrent, although serious wind chill could be reason enough to stay inside as well.

What do you think? When is it too cold for baby to be outside?