As the cold and freezing days of winter are approaching, your concern for your tiny baby’s health is likely to increase. The winter season is tough for newborn babies as well as mothers. Babies are extremely fragile and as their immune system is in the developing stage, they are more likely to fall sick and be affected by seasonal changes, particularly during winter. As the temperature dips, germs in the air make infants easily succumb to diseases. You may love the cold breeze of this season and want to step out of your house, but it may not be the best idea for your tiny baby. Keeping their entire well-being in mind, mothers must give holistic care to their babies in terms of providing them with proper nutrition, hydration, skin-care and beyond. As their immunity system is still building up, mothers ought to put in an extra effort for their little ones so that they can sail through the ‘sick season’ in good health. Here is some expert advice on baby-care during the winter season. Here is some expert advice on baby-care during the winter season.
1. Dress your baby in warm, comfortable clothes
To protect your baby from the cold bite of winter, your obvious choice would be to cover him with thick sweaters, mittens, socks, and whatnot. While these winter essentials are a necessity for the baby, too much warmth can make him uncomfortable.
A good guiding principle is to dress your baby as you’re dressed, then add a layer. For example, if you’re wearing a shirt, light sweater, and jeans, put your little one in a long-sleeved bodysuit, a shirt, a hoodie or sweater, and pants. If you’re opting for a heavy winter coat as well, tuck your baby into a snowsuit or bunting, or layer on a couple of blankets.
Make him wear clothes that cover his body but do not restrict his movement. While putting him to bed, keep his mittens and socks on as these will keep his hands and feet warm, and let him sleep peacefully.
2. Maintain the right temperature in his room
Maintain a warm temperature in your house, particularly in your baby’s room. Before the cold winds of late winters come from all directions, make sure that all heating appliances like heaters, humidifiers, and geysers are in working condition. If you reside in a place where it gets freezing cold, mostly at night, keep the windows shut and turn on the heater. If you use a heater in your baby’s room, check whether the temperature is comfortable for him or not – it should not get too hot. Also, keep your baby’s room ventilated.
And make sure that you can control the temperature of your baby. One way to determine if your baby is warm enough is to feel her toes and belly as soon as you come in from the cold. You want her toes to be on the cool side, but not cold, and her belly should feel warm. A baby with warm toes and a warm belly is overdressed. A cool belly means your baby is not able to warm herself and needs another layer.
3. Massage your baby
Do not have second thoughts regarding massaging your baby in winter, as a massage can be extremely beneficial for his skin and health. Massaging your baby with a calming balm like Vicks BabyRub* will help retain moisture in his skin and prevent it from getting dry. Regular massages will also help stimulate blood flow in his body and improve his immune function. So, do not skip massages. However, give due consideration to the time and place for the massage. Ideally, massage your baby when he is in a playful mood. Also, choose a room that is warm and comfortable for the baby.
4. Sleep Smart
With loose bedding like blankets a no-no, dressing your baby for sleep is especially important. Staying on the cool side is better than overdoing it: babies sleep better when they’re comfortable and overheated babies are at greater risk for SIDS. In the winter season, your natural instinct would be to cover your baby in layers and put a heavy blanket on him while making him sleep, but that may not be the best for your little one. While socks and mittens would keep him warm, a heavy blanket will not – it may get suffocating for him and may increase the risk of SIDS for your baby. So, use a light blanket for your baby and maintain a normal temperature in the room. Here again you’ll want to do a few layers: a bodysuit with footed PJs, and depending on the temperature of the room, a sleep sack or a cotton swaddling blanket. Check your little one’s neck to make sure he’s not too sweaty.
If your baby is in bed with you, she’s benefiting from the heat of your body and doesn’t need as many clothes as a crib-dwelling baby. A long-sleeved bodysuit and leggings or fleece sleeper might be all she needs when snuggled against mom.