Baby, it’s cold outside! No…seriously, it’s cold outside. If we’re shivering, what about our little ones? Babies can’t regulate their body temperature like we can, and so they tend to lose heat more rapidly. What’s the best way to go about keeping baby warm during the winter months? Read on to find out.
In the Car
There are all sorts of buntings and covers that attach to the car seat, but if you’re in a car accident, these can actually bunch up and cause injury to your baby, so it’s best to avoid them. And no matter how cute the winter jacket you bought your baby is, don’t strap them in the car seat while wearing it; it can also increase risk of injury in a crash and prevent a good fit with the car seat straps. Instead, dress your baby as usual, and then tuck a blanket around him after he’s strapped in. You can put the arms of the jacket on your baby, with the back of the jacket on the front, like a blanket, but remove it once safely in the car. As the temperature drops, try layering with a footy sleeper (especially a fleece one, if it’s a really cold day!).
Because babies can’t regulate their temperature like we can, it’s always good to try to dress your baby in one layer more than you would dress yourself. A hat helps keep him warm, as do gloves/mittens. If you’re taking a walk with the stroller, a bunting bag is fine for the stroller seat, but not for a car seat. Invest in a rain cover – not only does this keep out rain, snow, and wind, but also helps to keep heat in.
Even inside, the “add an extra layer” rule for dressing baby still applies, although you want to make sure your heat sensitive baby isn’t too hot. If they’re flushed or sweaty, you can take off a layer. During the day, if your baby isn’t wearing a footie outfit, socks and/or booties help keep their feet warm. When you come in from being outside, remove any extra layers, even if your baby is sleeping, so they don’t get too hot.
At night, it’s important not to overheat your baby, since this can increase the risk of SIDS. Erring on the cooler side is better, especially since babies will be most comfortable in temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees for sleep. Depending on the pajamas your baby wears (fleece vs cotton, etc), a swaddle sack of cotton or fleece can add a comfortable but breathable layer. Switching out the cotton fitted crib sheet for a fitted flannel crib sheet might also be an option, in colder climates. An easy way to check if your baby is too hot is to feel their neck while sleeping. If it’s sweaty, they’re overheated. Remember, no loose blankets in the crib for at least a year. If you’re co-sleeping, you can get away with dressing your baby in fewer or lighter layers, since they’ll get body heat from you.
How to tell if you’ve dressed baby warm enough? According to Mom365.com, when you come in from outside, the toes should be cool (not cold), and the belly should be warm. If the belly is cold, another layer is needed. If toes and belly are warm, he’s overdressed.
How do you dress your baby in the winter? What are your tips and tricks for keeping baby warm?