Are you worried about keeping your baby warm and healthy this winter? It’s common for parents to worry when the colder weather starts to set in; especially in areas where snow is a common occurrence during the winter months. However, the good news is it’s really not as difficult as you might think to ensure your little one is warm, snug and healthy.
You don’t have to stay stuck indoors either. In fact, a little winter air is great for both you and baby. So, rather than hibernating for a few months (however tempting that may be!), check out the tips below on how to keep baby warm and healthy this winter.
Venturing Outdoors? Don’t Forget The Layers!
As well as being unhealthy, staying indoors for the entire winter sadly isn’t realistic. There’s going to be times you need to venture out into the cold with your little one. However, provided you dress baby correctly, it really shouldn’t be an issue.
The key is to dress your baby in layers. That way, if they become too hot or cold, you can simply take off, or put on, another layer. As a general rule of thumb, babies need one extra layer than adults do during the colder weather. A lot of parents use this for guidance, creating a “plus one” mindset. Basically, with the plus one method, you look at how many layers you’re wearing to feel comfortably warm, then give baby an extra layer than what you’re wearing.
You’ll also want to ensure baby has gloves, a hat and socks. All of the layers work to trap the warmth close to your little one’s body.
Winter-Proof Baby’s Crib
It isn’t just the cold weather outside you need to think about. The house typically tends to get a lot colder in winter too; especially during the night. So, you’re going to need to winter-proof baby’s crib, too.
While it may seem like a good idea, using an electronic based comforter in the crib can be problematic. It may sound cozy, but a heated comforter could easily cause baby to become too hot during the night.
Now, some advice you’ll find online, is to use the same kind of layering system as you would with clothing. That means, adding layers of blankets to the bed. However, this can actually be a lot more dangerous than adding an electric comforter. Some experts warn that layers in the crib could lead to suffocation. It’s also been linked to cases of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). So, it’s definitely recommended you don’t try using layers.
So, if you can’t use extra blankets, what can you use to keep baby warm? Well, a winter style bodysuit could be a great option. Or, you could try the swaddle blankets too. These are actually great for encouraging baby to sleep too so you may want to consider using them purely for that purpose!
If you are concerned, it’s worth chatting to your pediatrician or doctor to see what they recommend.
Prevent Dry And Itchy Skin
Dry and itchy skin is a common issue for adults during winter, but it’s also a potential problem for baby too. You’ll notice it starts to get a lot drier in the house, especially if you have the heating on a lot.
A good solution is to invest in a dehumidifier for baby’s room. This will add moisture to the air, preventing the skin from drying out. The only thing to be aware of here, is that the humidifier should be a cool mist variety. This is largely because if it’s a warm mist variety, it’s going to be quite hot to touch. While your baby isn’t likely to get out of their crib, walk across the room and touch it, it will still blow out warm air and potentially cause baby to overheat. So, stick to a cool mist dehumidifier to be safe.
Another tip is to keep baths at a lukewarm temperature and limit bath time to around just 10 minutes. Avoid using soap during winter too. Instead, try to use a hypoallergenic cleanser. Pat baby dry, then apply a hypoallergenic moisturizer.
Finally, it’s also a good idea to apply an emollient before you and your little one head out. The harsh winds can really irritate baby’s skin, so applying emollient onto the lips and the face can help to prevent baby’s skin from drying out.
Pay Attention To Baby’s Diet
Even if you haven’t started weaning your baby yet, you’ll still want to pay attention to their diet. If you’re breastfeeding, what you eat will be passed onto your little one. So, to decrease their chances of getting sick, it’s a good idea to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Focus on fruits and vegetables which are high in vitamins and minerals. This will help baby’s immune system, as well as yours, lowering the risk of illness.
Take Extra Hygiene Precautions
As baby’s immune system isn’t fully developed, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking extra hygienic precautions. This means, washing your hands for longer than usual, and keeping baby home more during the winter.
Of course, as mentioned earlier, you don’t have to stay indoors the entire time. However, it’s especially important to keep baby home during the first six months after birth. This is when they are at their most vulnerable and could easily pick up a virus.
Provide A Stress-Free Environment
When you’re looking for tips to keep baby healthy this winter, you probably didn’t expect to see a stress reduction tip! However, it’s actually been shown that infants living in a happy, healthy environment, are a lot more resistant to colds and viruses.
It makes sense when you think about it. Although an emotional response, stress can have a negative impact on your physical health. If baby is stressed out and unhappy a lot, it’s therefore going to weaken their immune system further.
So, focus on creating a happy, fun environment for your little one. This can have a surprisingly positive effect on their overall health.
Regularly Check Baby’s Temperature
It may be pretty cold for you, but your baby may be warmer than you might think. Their temperature can also change pretty rapidly. Therefore, it’s a good idea to continuously check baby’s temperature throughout the day.
If you’ve wrapped your baby up in layers to head out of the house, remember to check their temperature several times while you’re out. If their lips, hands and feet start to turn blue, it’s a big indication that they’re too cold. If on the other hand, they’re sweating and feel hot to the touch, you’ll want to take a layer of clothing off. Always check the temperature frequently throughout the winter days.
These are just some of the top tips guaranteed to help you keep baby warm and healthy this winter. However, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor or pediatrician and ask for their advice. While there are things you can do to keep baby warm and healthy this winter, it’s actually not as difficult as you might think.