Reader problems – How do I dress my baby appropriately in cold weather?

‘It seems too cold out for a normal coat, but when people see my baby dressed in a snowsuit they tell me he will get too hot. I also get told to take off his hat in shops but i don’t like to disturb him if he is asleep. What should i do?’ (Anon, 31)

Firstly don’t feel bad, you can’t possibly be expected to make such a critical judgement for yourself. The best thing to do is to bring several different outfit changes with you when you leave the house and adjust layering based on public opinion.

It might seem rude and unnecessary for people to comment on your choice of attire but they are only acting in interest of your babies safety. Learn to appreciate genuine concern.

Never make excuses. Yes your baby may be asleep but you should always remove their outerwear the minute you cross the threshold of a shop. It doesn’t matter if you are only popping in for a tube of toothpaste, babies have been known to spontaneously combust from overheating within 5 minutes. FACT.


If in doubt don’t wait to be told, ask first. Waft your buggy in the faces of seasoned looking, bored, females* and let the comments roll in. (*I personally have the biggest hit rate with this demographic but it is not exclusive; luckily there are a lot of very ‘helpful’ people out there).

If you are struggling to find anyone matching the criteria head straight to the nearest pharmacy or post office and get in line, this is prime hunting ground. See more that one together? Perfect – BOGOF judgement! #winning

Remember the most important thing is to always keep everyone else happy. When you have a baby you become public property – embrace it.


Do you have a problem? For free, impartial, gin fueled advice from our resident parenting expert please email All correspondence will be treated in the strictest confidence (probably).

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52 thoughts on “Reader problems – How do I dress my baby appropriately in cold weather?

  1. Kerrie McGiveron

    Love the picture. I hope yoou get loads of problem-page style letters now in your new role as parenting expert :) x My kids are always either too cold, or too hot. I can NEVER get it right…so I’m told xxx

  2. Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork

    This has made my day, so funny!
    I’d just like to add that if anyone is still struggling to find suitable adjudicators after having read this excellent advice, they should come and visit me in Italy. Here noone is shy and EVERYONE from old bids to (male!) market traders will be happy to tell you how to bring up your child.

  3. Shannon

    Very funny post. The best advice is the article itself, being a parent without humor is like being an accountant without a calculator. You can do it, but it’s gonna be a heck of a lot harder and more stressful. Cheers!

  4. Amy

    Excellent advice. I’m lucky because sometimes older women who live near me accost me with their judgements and advice on my own doorstep. It saves a lot of bother!

  5. Katie @mummydaddyme

    Very true. I was in Tescos just yesterday and LL was crying in the trolley while I was packing the shopping up. A lady said to me ‘kindly’ ‘Oh look at her poor thing she’s very upset, she has a cold, I think she needs a cuddle,’ before looking at me disapprovingly like I was the devil mother. Grrr. ;)

    1. hurrahforgin

      Oh that’s another pet hate! People thinking you should get your child out of the buggy just because they are crying – how the hell is that going to help if you are packing up the shopping? They would scream 10x louder the minute you put them back!

  6. Suddenly Mummy (@suddenly_mummy)

    On bringing my latest foster baby home from hospital recently I was given two pieces of advice from the Midwife: ‘no hats in the house’ and (and this is direct quote!) ‘We don’t recommend for babies to fall asleep on men’s stomachs any more because men are hotter than women and the baby can overheat.’

    So be aware! It’s not just how you dress them, it’s whose stomach you let them lie on!

  7. seychellesmama

    Amazing!! We don’t have that so much here (obviously) but apparently my baby is always ‘hungry’ any person that sees him and he makes any kind of noise or hand in the mouth “ohhhh he’s hungry”……… he though, perhaps he just puts his hand in his mouth to stop himself from telling you to get out his face!!!? *aaaand relax*

  8. hodgepodgecraft

    As usual, you CRACK ME UP!

    Have you found that the unsolicited advice has lessened since becoming a mum of 2? I know I have (thank GOODNESS)…
    But I do remember a woman berating me for having taken my (well wrapped, totally snuggled-in-a-sling AND FAST ASLEEP firstborn, who was about 6 weeks old) out of the house on a windy day. I think she seriously expected me to stay indoors until Spring.

    Some people, eh..? ;)

  9. Jude

    Ha! Hilarious as always. I’m the neglectful-mum who flings a coat over the carseat in the hope she’ll hold it over herself. Anything to avoid the getting-dressed battle.

  10. Discombobulated

    A bit late to the party but OMG I can’t remember laughing so much. I was snorting and crying and incomprehensible and blowing snot bubbles. Thank you x


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