Live somewhere that gets really cold during winter?
Then you probably know that raising a newborn can pose some different challenges during the cooler months. As the temperature drops, you may wonder what layers are appropriate and how to bundle her up without posing a safety risk. Then there’s other issues to think about, such as icy sidewalks, dry skin and flu germs.
In this post, we’re covering 16 baby care tips you should know during winter.
16 Hacks To Keep Baby Warm and Safe During Winter
#1 Use Zip Ties for Better Stroller Traction
If you live somewhere that has snowy and icy sidewalks, you may have experienced a slippery walk with your stroller. Some moms have found an easy way to combat this: zip ties. Try putting zip ties between the spokes with the clasp facing the hub. The number of ties you use should depend on how icy it is/how much traction you need. Remember to test drive it without your baby first!
#2 Use a Fitted Flannel Sheet, Not Blankets
On the particularly cold days, it can be tempting to wrap your baby up in tons of blankets. However, as you probably know, putting blankets in your baby’s crib increases her risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Another way to keep her warm is to use a fitted sheet that tightly hugs the mattress. Instead of using a thin material, use a flannel sheet.
#3 Use a Sleep Sack
Another alternative to blankets are sleep sacks. These are basically wearable blankets that still allow your baby to move her arms. Make sure you choose the right size so the fabric doesn’t fit too loose. Footed onesies are also a safe must-have for keeping the warm air close to the body during winter.
#4 One More Layer
If you’re not sure how to dress your baby for the weather, consider this general rule of thumb: dress her in one more layer than you’re wearing (premature babies may need more clothing).
For example, if you’re leaving the house in a shirt and jacket, put your baby in the same but add a sweater between the layers. The same is usually true for staying indoors. If you’re comfortable in a long-sleeve shirt, your baby may be a comfortable temperature in a sweater. Remember: babies are small but they can still get overheated, so make sure not to bundle her up too much.
#5 Use a Snotty Buddy Instead of a Bulb Syringe
Many parents will notice their babies sniffling during winter and getting the snot out can be a hassle. Usually, the hospital will give you a bulb syringe, but if you’ve used one, you’ve probably noticed how ineffective it is. After multiple uses, it can start to annoy your baby and cause irritation. However, it’s still important to remove mucus because a backup can cause breathing problems and can make their illness last longer.
A much easier alternative is the Snotty Buddy. It’s easy to use: One end is inserted into your mouth and the other into your baby’s nose. Then, inhaling rapidly, suck up the mucus from your baby’s nose. It sounds gross, but the filter prevents any snot or bacteria from entering your mouth, so it’s completely safe. Even skeptical parents get used to the Snotty Buddy quickly because it’s much quicker to use and the baby fusses less. The filters are also replaceable so it can always be kept clean. If you need some extra reassurance, the product is designed and endorsed by pediatricians.
#6 Buy Clothes with Crotch Openings
Every time you change your baby’s diaper, she’s exposed to the cold air and can make a fuss. To make it a little easier and warmer, try to purchase clothes with crotch openings. With these, you can simply undo the flap without the need to completely undress her.
#7 Use a Portable Heater When Needed
A portable heater isn’t an alternative to central heat, but it can be a good solution when you need a certain space warmer. For example, on really cold nights, you can use a portable heater to heat up you and your baby’s room without heating the entire house. It’s also good to use for added heat when you’re finished bathing your baby. Instead of going from warm water to frigid air, she’ll be a little more comfortable while you change her into her clothes.
#8 Use Moisturizing Soaps and Lotions
Your skin probably gets a little drier during colder months, and so can your baby’s. To prevent any irritation, choose soaps and lotions with moisturizing ingredients that are made for babies. If you notice that she’s getting chapped lips, search for a baby-safe lip balm. If your baby has very sensitive skin, remember to test the product on a small patch first.
#9 Invest in a Humidifier
Keeping with the theme of dryness, it’s also a good idea to purchase a cool mist humidifier if you don’t already have one. Not only is dry air itchy, but it can also make it easier for your little one to catch a cold.
#10 Use Blankets Instead of Jackets for Car Seats
Bundling your baby up for a stroller walk isn’t the same as bundling her up for a car ride. In fact, if your baby is going into a car seat, experts recommend against puffy jackets and snowsuits. While some blogs recommend bunting bags as an alternative, they are also a bad idea since they’re still bulky enough to pose a safety risk. Instead, place your baby inside the car seat harness and place blankets over top. Placing thick fabric inside the harness means that it may not fit snug enough to protect your baby should anything unfortunate happen.
#11 Baby Balaclavas
Since heat escapes out of a baby’s head, wearing a hat outside is essential in the cold weather. However, many babies are irritated by hats and pull them off soon after you put them on. Instead of fighting her, consider getting her a balaclava. These cover your baby’s head and neck, leaving a hole for her face. Since they’re fitted, she won’t be able to pull it off mid-walk.
#12 Use Baby Sunscreen
You don’t need to live in a hot climate to get a sunburn during winter. Even when the snow is crisp and the air is frigid, if the sun is shining, the rays can still damage skin. If you’re planning to be outside for a while (ex. taking your baby for a walk), apply some baby-safe sunscreen on her face to be safe.
#13 Keep Sanitizer Available
It’s always a good idea to keep your baby free of the bad bacteria, but it’s especially important during the winter when flu season is in full force. One of the tips we shared in our baby flu prevention post was to keep sanitizer by the front door or in common areas to encourage guests to use it. If you purchase a big pump bottle, you may find that people intuitively take a squirt just as they do in the hospital. This way, when someone touches your baby or any surfaces, they’re less likely to transfer germs.
#14 Use Nursing Tops
If you can afford it, you should also invest in some nursing tops to make breastfeeding a little warmer. These shirts allow you to expose the necessary parts without making your entire upper body shiver.
#15 Is Your Baby Warm Enough? Use the Toe and Stomach Check
You’ve bundled your baby up, but how do you know how many layers she needs to keep warm? When you come back inside after your walk, use your hands to check the temperature of her toes and stomach. If she’s wearing the appropriate amount of clothing, her stomach should feel warm and her toes should be a little cool. A cold stomach and cold toes could mean that she needs another layer. If both areas are warm, she could be overdressed. Adjust the layers as necessary for her next walk, according to the temperature outside.
#16 Make a Night Supplies Basket
If you live in a cold climate, you know the pain of getting up in the middle of the night when the entire house is freezing cold. When you have a newborn, you don’t have a choice, but you can make it a little easier to get up. Make a basket full of the essentials you may need in the night: diapers, wipes, burp cloths, water bottles, spare outfits, etc. This way, when you get up, you can get the job done quicker because you won’t be searching all over the cold house for supplies.
Do you have any baby care tips for winter? If so, share them in the comments below! Be sure to send this post to your mom friends, too!
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