Winter is coming (you know nothing, Jon Snow!) and we’re not gonna lie – keeping your little one warm and healthy is not an easy task. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, babies are not as adaptable as adults to temperature change. Besides that, they lose heat rapidly – as much as four times more quickly than adults!
Caring for a baby during winter has its challenges, but it doesn’t you should keep your baby indoors all season! To help, here are some tips to guide you through your baby’s first winter:
1. Warm the bed before putting your little one to sleep
As experts recommend that you put your baby to sleep on the back without any pillows or blankets for the fist 12 months, keeping your little one warm at night can be tricky. While flannel fitted sheets can help with this, warming his or her bed before bedtime is also an important step. To do this, you can use a hot water bottle, a heating pad, or a microwaveable bag. However, be sure to remove it before putting your child down to sleep.
2. It’s all about the layers, hats, and booties
To keep your little love warm and cozy when you’re going out, dress him or her in one layer more than what you’re wearing. Moreover, make sure your baby has a hat that covers their ears (very important!), along with mittens and booties (or socks).
3. Touch the toes and belly
Mom 365 suggests that parents should feel their babies’ toes and bellies as soon as they come in from the cold. With this method, you can determine if your baby is warm enough. Although you want her toes to be on the cool side (but not cold), and her belly should feel warm.
4. De-layer your baby as soon as you’re indoors
Be sure to take away any extra layers (i.e. hats, booties, coats) when your baby enters a warm destination – be it your home, the mall, or even a bus. This prevents your baby from sweating or overheating.
5. Hydration is key
Make sure your baby drinks plenty of liquids (breast milk, formula, or water) and is wetting at least 4 to 6 diapers a day with clear urine. “When you are well hydrated, your mucous membranes and everything in your respiratory tract is well lubricated and running more efficiently,” says Dr. Marino, DO, MPH, Associate Chair, Pediatrics, Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, NY.
6. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
Babies’ skin are sensitive and can dry up very easily – especially during the winter months. So be sure to moisturize your baby’s skin with appropriate lotions and creams. Moreover, don’t overdo baths as soap and water are also drying to your baby’s skin.
7. Use a vaporizer if your baby have a stuffy nose
A vaporizer (also known as a “warm-mist humidifier”) emits steam to help get his nose running if he is suffering from a stuffy nose. Run it during nap time and overnight because the unit’s hot water kills off bacteria and mold.
(Note: Keep it out of reach of babies and kids.)