How to Dress a Newborn in the Summer

The summer months often mean outdoor time during family gatherings, barbecues and other social events. Dressing your newborn requires more than a keen sense of baby fashion. Your baby's safety and health play a role in the clothing you choose in the summer since the heat might lead to overheating if she is wearing too many clothes. The sun's rays hitting her skin directly increase her risk for sunburn and skin damage. A balance of coverage and cool clothing keeps her content and safe during summer.

Dress your newborn in a base layer of a cotton onesie, which is a T-shirt with snaps that fasten between the legs to hold it in place. Choose light colors to keep your baby cooler if he goes outdoors. The onesie allows you to add layers or take them off as necessary with the onesie still providing coverage.

Add a pair of shorts, a skirt or a pair of lightweight pants over the onesie. Choosing a short item to go on bottom allows your newborn's legs to stay cooler, especially when she goes outdoors. For a girl, a newborn sundress can replace the onesie and bottom combination.

Dress your newborn in additional layers, such as a lightweight sleeper or long sleeved shirt if he is indoors in a cool, air-conditioned room. Feel his hands and feet periodically to ensure they aren't chilly. Add socks if his feet get cold indoors.

Dress your newborn in pajamas that are appropriate for the room's temperature when she sleeps. Choose a heavier sleeper or swaddle her in a lightweight blanket if the room is cool from air conditioning. Dress her in a lighter sleeper if your home is warm during the summer months.


Check your baby frequently to look for signs of overheating, such as hot skin, agitation and lethargy. Keep your newborn indoors or in the shade as much as possible during the summer months. Pack additional clothing options, both warmer and cooler clothes, in the diaper bag in case weather conditions or the indoor temperature of your location changes.


Avoid applying sunscreen on infants less than six months of age as much as possible, advises the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Provide shade with umbrellas or canopies instead. If you can't avoid the sun, test a small area of your baby's skin beforehand with the sunscreen and then only apply it on small areas. Use a sunscreen with a minimum of 15 sun protection factor (SPF).