The Art of Layering: 5 Pro Tips on Dressing Kids for Winter

Winters are an amazing time – there is gajar ka halwa and a nip in the air. The world seems more beautiful with picnics and day outings. However, for moms – it is a time when we fret about our babies wearing “enough” clothes so that they don’t catch a cold. There is always someone who will tell us that our kids aren’t wearing enough clothes, so take a guilt trip and layer up for the winter. And then someone will say that the kids are feeling hot under so many layers, so feel bad and let them breathe. In this blog, we’ll explore some Pro Tips on Dressing Kids for Winter.

Anyways, I have discovered the best thumb rule for dressing up in winter. The secret is called “ Mom + 1” – that is, my child wears 1 layer of clothes more than I am wearing.

This golden rule has served me well over the years through the winters of India across light winters (in places like Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata etc) and heavy winters (in Delhi, Jaipur, and Jammu). Here are my tips on how to layer up in style.

Pro Tips on Dressing Kids for Winter Season

  1. Inner wear: This is your secret weapon for creating the most warmth. Make the vest a slightly thicker layer than the one you used in summer. In light winters though, a thicker vest (or a thin vest + a sleeved t-shirt) works well. Pick a sleeve that alternates with the outer layer – if the outer layer is half-sleeved, pick a full sleeve inner t-shirt and vice versa.

For heavy winters, you could pick a thermal vest that keeps the baby warm. My favourite brands for heavy winters are Bodycare and Kidley – and they tend to offer these in sleeveless and full-sleeve variants.

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  1. Outer layer when staying at home: I tend to gravitate towards cotton sweatshirts that are breathable yet warm. These work well for all kinds of winters in India. If the baby is less than 6 months, I would recommend picking tees that open up in the front, so that it is easier for them to wear. There are some really cute options on Jollee that I came across ( If you are in a place with heavy winters, add another layer of warmth with a knitted top or knitted sweater. Do keep the Mom + 1 rule in mind, to avoid under or over-dressing.
  1. Outer layer when going out: If the weather is sunny yet cool, we go out with the same number of layers as at home. However, if the weather feels windy I tend to add a hooded jacket for the baby because it serves as an additional protective layer. Something like this works well:

In places of heavy winters, you could also invest in fleece or velvet sleepsuits (

These then provide enough warmth without adding to the bulk.

  1. Caps and Socks: In my experience, there are very few kids who like both of these. So, pick what your child is comfortable with. Moreover, traditional wisdom says to either cover the head or the feet to protect the baby from the cold. Pick the caps and socks that can be tied – the little ones are great at coming out of them otherwise.

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5. Pro Tip: To clean baby winter wear well, add some soapnut powder (reetha powder) in addition to the detergent of your choice. It helps keep them clean and soft at the same time.

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