If you’re a new parent, you must be getting crazy worrying about how to keep your baby safe and warm during the cold winter months. Especially if you’re stepping out, you need to be all the more cautious. Of course, you should avoid it if it’s dangerously cold, but not only will it give both you and your little one some fresh air, but it also helps the infant acclimate to the seasons. Besides, it helps them be in sync with the day-and-night, which in turn, often calms fussiness.
However, given that babies are not equipped to regulate their core temperature and also lose heat faster as compared to adults, it is not a good idea to take a young baby out for a long period of time during winter. Check out the following tips to dress up your baby appropriately for winter:
- Layers are a Must: Your baby’s clothing, especially in winter, must always be sufficiently layered. This is crucial as heat is trapped in between the layers. Thin cotton clothes can be highly effective in this regard; say you first dress up the little one in a thin sleeper onesie and then keep layering up as required. If they are going to be significantly low temperatures, you can go for a long-sleeved shirt and pants or even a snowsuit.
- Covering Up is Essential: Your baby should be completely covered from head to toe in winter. If you’re wearing mittens, gloves, a hat, thick socks, boots, etc., you should ensure that your baby wears them too.
- Make Sure you use Blankets Outside: Stepping out with your baby on a stroller? Don’t forget the blanket. Most strollers are also equipped with rain covers, which act as an additional layer of protection. They help preserve heat, keeping the baby warm and cozy. If you’re stepping out, it is always advisable to keep natural baby wipes handy for multiple purposes.
- Don’t Ignore Car Seat Safety: Once you get into the car, take off the baby’s bulky coat, as it can compress below the harness. Besides, it can also be too loose for safety in the event of an accident. Multiple thin layers should still be wrapped around the baby, along with a hat and mittens. Of course, don’t forget to buy bulk baby wipes!
- Use Carriers: Carriers are highly effective when it comes to using body heat to provide coziness. However, even if you’re using a carrier, make sure their head and feet are covered, as they mostly lose heat from these two areas. Also, their face should not be pressed against your chest or clothing so that their airway is free.
- Avoid Overheating: There have been instances where babies dressed in excessive layers of blanket or clothing have fallen prey to overheating, eventually paving the way for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). If you’ve been out, you should take the winter clothing off your baby as soon as you come in, even if the infant is fast asleep.
- Consider a Snowsuit: If you live in an area with heavy snow or cold temperatures, consider investing in a snowsuit or a bunting bag. These can be used when you are taking your baby outside for a walk or to play in the snow.
- Cover the Extremities: Keep your baby’s head, hands, and feet covered at all times. Use a warm hat, mittens or gloves, and booties or warm socks to keep your baby’s extremities warm and protected.
- The Room Temperature Should be Cool: When it comes to putting an infant to sleep, the room temperature should be between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, irrespective of whether it’s summer or winter. The best way to know if the baby is comfortable is to check his/her neck to see if he/she is too sweaty.
- Avoid Blankets at Bedtime: For naps and during bedtime in general, babies should be dressed in a warm sleeper or sleep sack. However, blankets are a strict no-no.
- Use a Humidifier: Winter air can be dry, which can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems for infants. Using a humidifier in your baby’s room can add moisture to the air and help keep their skin and airways hydrated.
- Protect Against the Sun: Although it may be cold outside, the sun’s rays can still be harmful to your baby’s skin. Use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 to protect your baby’s skin from UV rays when you are taking them outside.
- Keep Your Baby Dry: Wet clothing can make your baby feel cold and uncomfortable. Change your baby’s clothes immediately if they become wet, and make sure that they are wearing a waterproof jacket or snowsuit when playing in the snow or rain.
- Be Prepared for Emergencies: Make sure that you have a warm and dry backup outfit for your baby in case of emergencies. This can be useful in case your baby’s clothing becomes wet, or if you need to stay out longer than anticipated.
Keep an Eye Out for Warning Signs!
If you notice that your baby is shivering, or their hands, feet, or face are turning cold and red, or maybe even pale and hard, you should immediately bring them inside. Doctors are of the opinion that rubbing the cold area to rewarm it is not a good idea, as it could further damage the cold skin. Instead, you should use warm washcloths that will reheat the baby’s skin gently. After that, you should put on warm and dry clothes. Even other signs, such as lethargy, non-responsiveness, and blue lips or face, indicate that your baby has gotten too cold and requires medical attention.