Many parents worry about the cold weather in winter and how to dress their little ones. Well worry no more, we’ve got tips for keeping your baby cozy and warm.
In the Car
First things first, bulky coats, sleeping bags and covers that attach to the bottom and inside of the car seat are now a big no go area. This is because they can compress in a car accident, which increases your baby’s risk of an injury.
Dress your baby in thin layers and tuck a blanket in snuggly around them, of course once buckled safely into the car seat. On very cold days, use a long sleeved sleepsuit under a footed fleece outfit. Depending on the temperature you can also add a thin sweater. Once your car has heated up you can remove the blanket if your baby seems warm.
Out & About
Fresh air is important for babies, even when the weather is on the chilly side. As long as your baby was born full term, then a 15-30 minute walk can do wonders for both of you. If your baby was born premature or has a medical condition then speak with your GP or Health Visitor first.
Since babies lose heat more quickly than adults do, a good rule of thumb is to dress your baby in one more layer that you would normally wear. So if you are going out in a long sleeved cotton top and a jacket, then add a sweater or cardigan to your baby’s outfit.
Always top the outfit off with mittens and a well fitting hat. If your baby’s outfit isn’t an all in one covering the feet then they will need warm booties. You can attach a sleeping bag/footmuff to the stroller for a walk, but again do not use this in the car.
You can also consider putting on the raincover to help protect your baby’s delicate skin from cold winds. You will know your baby has spent enough time outside if their eyes start to tear and they become fussy or start crying.
Although rare, it’s also important to look out for signs of hypothermia including blue lips, shivering or an unusually pale appearance to either the nose of ears.
In the Snow
Dressing a child of any age for playing in the snow can be a hassle, however don’t let that prevent your little one from exploring and experiencing it. Let’s face it we get so little snow in the UK they’re only likely to get the opportunity to enjoy it a few times throughout childhood.
The rules for dressing a child for the snow are the same as with any other cold weather, but with a bigger emphasis on staying dry. A waterproof snowsuit, snow jacket and waterproof trousers are ideal, along with waterproof boots. Don’t forget the all important hat and waterproof gloves/mittens. Be ready to dry and warm little ones quickly once they come back indoors.
It’s tempting to bundle up little ones, even when staying inside, but don’t go overboard. The one more layer rule applies indoors also, so if you’re feeling comfortable in two layers then add an extra for your baby.
A good way to check your baby’s temperature is to place a hand on the tummy, back or neck; it should feel warm but not sweaty. Your baby’s hands and feet will usually be cooler and that’s normal. Keeping your baby from becoming too warm is especially important when sleeping; this is because overheating is a contributory factor in SIDS.
If you are using light bedding such as sheets and blankets, make sure the ends are tucked in, with no loose ends. Also, baby sleeping bags should be well fitted, especially around the neck and arms, so your baby cannot wriggle down inside. A temperature of 16-20C is just right and a thermometer may help you to check this.
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