Dressing your baby for the winter is, without doubt, a daunting task. But, if you are careful enough to layer up your little one just right, then you will find that the daily walk outside will be a happy experience for both of you. The fresh air and cool breeze outside will definitely perk up your bundle of joy.
Below-freezing temperatures may pose a risk to newborns and babies. It will, therefore, be best to put off going out with your little one until the temperatures improve. Above-freezing temperatures coupled with strong wind or rain should also be avoided. Babies lose body heat too soon and you cannot risk taking your baby out when the weather conditions are hostile.
Another reason that may cause hesitation in parents is health complications in their babies. If you are unsure, it is best to consult the doctor before venturing out. Preterm babies also need special care.
So now that you know it is recommended to take your baby out in winter provided your little one is up for it, here are a few tips to dress your tot perfectly for the cold.
Add One More Layer
A slightly older baby can be dressed adequately if you ensure that they need a layer more than what their mom wears.
If you are planning to slip a sweater on top of your shirt and jeans, then ensure your little one has a warm bodysuit or onesie beneath his regular day clothes. Layer with a sweater and a hoodie to provide enough warmth for your baby.
If you feel that it’s cold enough for a heavy winter coat, then your baby will need a snowsuit or a bunting to keep warm.
Cover up During Walks
You can take your baby out for short walks if it’s not too windy. A long-sleeved outfit, sweater and a coat or a bunting will be enough to keep your baby warm. Also, remember that body heat escapes fastest through your baby’s hands, feet and head, so keep them covered.
If the bunting does not cover the feet, slip a pair of insulated booties on to their feet. Mittens on the tiny hands and a snug-fitting hat will get your baby all ready to face the cold.
A windscreen on the stroller will provide protection from cold winds. You can also put in an attachable sleeping bag in the stroller for added comfort. Just ensure you do not use it in the car seat because they become compressed in the event of an impact risking injury to your baby.
It is important that you watch your baby at all times to see that she’s comfortable.
Keep an eye out for signs of trouble. If your baby’s eyes tear up or she gets cranky, then she may be getting too cold for comfort. Bluish tinge to lips, shivering or an unusually pale pallor to ears or nose are all signs of hypothermia, where your baby’s body temperature falls too low. It is important you take your baby indoors or somewhere warm as soon as possible.
If your baby is in a carrier, ensure you slip on a babywearing coat over both of you. If not a babywearing coat, it is also possible to get extender panels that can zip into your own coat. Ensure that you do not zip your coat all the way up. It should be up only till the base of your baby’s neck and must leave the face uncovered. Staying close to your body will give your baby warmth and you will find it easy to watch over your little one as well.
Easy to Get on, Easy to Get Off
Babies lose body heat faster than adults, but they also find it harder to cool down. When winter-proofing your baby, ensure that the layers are as easy to take off as to slip into. So, when you come home from your walk, you can immediately remove the baby’s coat and sweater for her to feel comfortable in warmer room temperature. If you have stepped into a store, remove at least one layer of your baby’s clothing. Doing so will also prevent sweating, which can make your baby feel damp and colder when you step out again.
Rather than under-dressing, moms tend to overdress their babies. So, it is necessary that you check your baby to see that she is not getting too warm either. Her hand and feet will be cool and the belly will be slightly warm. If the toes and belly are all equally warm, then you have overdressed your baby. Contrarily, if the belly feels cool to touch, then it means your little one is struggling to maintain body warmth and it’s time to layer up.
Take Special Care in Car Seats
You must be aware that cozies or sleeping bags, and other products that line the car seats are now considered a big risk. This is because they interfere with the harness and compromise the safety of your baby, in case of an accident. Bulky clothes and puffy snowsuits are also a big no-no while your baby is the in the car. So how do you keep your little one comfortable?
A one-piece fleece outfit that is long-sleeved and footed will be comfortable. Dress your baby in thin outerwear that provides the same warmth as bulky outfits. Materials like Quallofil and Thinsulate are not only light, but also provide protection from cold. Once your baby is buckled in, you can tuck a thick blanket around to keep her warm.
Specialized outdoor gear, though expensive, is ideal if your baby is going to be out a lot. Look for online discounts, freebies and coupons to get good deals on baby gear.
Regardless of how cold the winter is, you will be able to keep your baby warm only if you invest in the right clothes and quality winter gear. Always be careful to see what your baby is up to and learn to recognize signs of discomfort. With time, you will soon become a pro at winter-proofing your baby.