The cold winter months are hard on everyone, but especially babies and toddlers. As a parent, keeping your baby safe, warm and loved is at the heart of everything you do and it can be difficult not to worry about whether or not they are warm enough or if you are protecting them from all the germs that make winter especially harsh.
Newborn babies, in particular, do not have the ability to regulate their own temperature in the way the rest of us can, so it’s important to take extra precautions to keep them warm and one of the best ways to do this is through layering. Having a few layers also means you can remove one or more layers if the temperature suddenly rises.
Prepare your little one for the elements with this list of winter essentials:
SNOWSUIT OR HEAVY BUNTING
When it comes to the coldest days, don’t rely on a blanket alone to protect your baby or toddler from the elements. Invest in a snowsuit or bunting that fits over regular clothing as it will provide an extra layer of warmth when you are outside.
FOOTED PYJAMAS OR SLEEPSUITS
Bundling your baby isn’t safe at night as they can easily overheat, so opt for footed baby pyjamas or sleepsuits to keep them warm and comfortable instead.
A staple item in any baby’s wardrobe, a knitted sweater is an ideal layering piece. Look for a soft knit with easy buttons or snaps that will fit comfortably over long-sleeved bodysuits. If you’re looking for something to offer more warmth and protection from the elements then a baby girls coat would make a more suitable alternative.
HAT AND MITTENS
Ear infections are rampant among babies in winter because parents don’t keep their ears covered well enough. A hooded coat will not suffice, invest in a hat that pulls down snuggly, but comfortably over their ears and stays put. Mittens are also a must to protect tiny fingers from the winter chill.
Lightweight receiving blankets may not provide the warmth needed during colder months so invest in heavy fabric blankets that will make keeping your little one warm much easier. A fleece cove retains heat while providing protection from winter elements including snow, sleet and wind.
CAR SEAT COVER
These are only really good for newborns, but if you have a newborn a car seat cover can be a real lifesaver. They fit securely around infant carriers/Group 0 car seats and provide a warm, cosy environment that protects them from the elements.
Humidifiers are great for relieving coughs and congestion and will help your little one to breathe better.
While you want to keep your baby warm and cosy on those cold winter nights, it’s important not to let them get too warm as overheating is linked to an increased risk of cot death. The recommended room temperature for a baby is 16-20 degrees celsius, so use a room thermometer to keep your little one at a safe, comfortable temperature.
Cold weather can often bring with it all those annoying things like dry, itchy skin. Massaging baby lotion into their skin will help protect it from the elements and keep it moisturized and itch-free during the colder spell. When purchasing skin products for your baby, look for non-perfumed lotions and oils specially suited to sensitive skin and seek out natural, soothing and emollient ingredients such as almond, olive, coconut or palm oil.
Be sure to stock up your medicine cabinet with all the necessary baby care essentials so that if your little one comes down with a fever in the middle of the night, you have everything you need to hand. Include items such as Calpol, a thermometer, nasal aspirator, nasal spray, gripe water/infacol, cotton balls and Snufflebabe vapour rub.
If you are looking for further advice, then this Babycenter article has some great tips on how to keep your baby warm in winter.