Baby, it’s cold outside!
Everyday life with a baby can be a little daunting, especially when faced with the elements of winter. Whether you’re brave enough to venture out into the freezing temperatures, or just tucking them in for a night’s sleep, you want to keep your baby warm while still being cautious of overheating. Like everything else in babyland, that can be quite the guessing game, so we broke down different scenarios, and tried our best to guide you through them.
The cardinal rule while putting them to sleep is not to pile on the bedding. Soft bedding in a crib – like blankets and pillows – increases the risk of suffocation or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). There are plenty of alternatives for keeping them warm and cuddly, like a swaddle or a sleep sack, which is sleeveless and allows arm movement. Try putting your baby in soft one-piece footed sleepers, like these. If you still feel they’re not warm enough, add a body suit underneath the sleeper to keep them extra toasty. Just remember, you want baby to stay warm, but not too warm that they overheat or feel uncomfortable.
When going out
As tempting as it may be to lock yourselves up until Spring, it’s good for your baby to get fresh air every day, whether in a stroller or a carrier. Of course, how often and how long will all depend on the temperature.
When heading out, make sure to give yourself enough time to pack things up, as there could be quite a few items to remember. Dressing baby to go outdoors will be an exercise of layering with warm clothing and additional layers like wool or fleece blankets, snowsuits and buntings.
When they’re infants, body heat most often escapes through the head, so a soft hat and mittens are very important. Also, their little feet are quite susceptible to cold, so make sure to put on a warm pair of socks or booties. If you’re going for a stroll, keep a warm stroller blanket handy.
Once indoors, take at least one layer off so they don’t perspire. If they get damp, they’ll feel a lot colder when they go back outside. If it’s hard for you to gauge how cold they actually are, as a rule of thumb, a baby needs one extra layer than you.
In the car
When you’re putting your baby in the car, try to avoid strapping them in with all the winter gear. Car seat straps need to be snug and don’t always fit properly over a lot of bulky layers. Take off their coat and make sure they are strapped in properly, you can always add a blanket on top of the safety straps.
Generally, a baby will be very vocal when they are feeling uncomfortable: they’ll be fussy, cry and refuse to eat or sleep. If you’ve checked their diaper, they’ve napped and been fed, then assume your baby is either hot or cold.
A great way to keep your baby warm while at home is skin-to-skin contact. Not only is it recommended for newborns for a whole slew of very important benefits like helping with the bonding process and regulating the baby’s respiratory and heart rates, it is also the best way to help the baby regulate his body temperature. Body heat from you or your partner can help teach the baby how to stay warm on its own.