Babies need plenty of fresh air, and taking them outside once a day for a short walk is a great idea. However, if you have a newborn (or even a slightly older baby), taking them outside when the weather is cold isn’t always going to sit well with you – parents are often worried their baby will get sick if they get too cold.
The truth is that a baby will get sick if they get too cold, but they’ll also get sick if they don’t get to go outside and breathe in the fresh air, and that means you’ll need to find various ways to take care of you baby when it’s cold. The good news is that there are lots of ways you can do this, so your baby will benefit, and you won’t have to worry. Read on to find out more.
Dress Your Baby In Layers
Just like when you’re an adult, wearing layers is a fantastic way to ensure your baby stays nice and toasty even if they’re out and about in cold weather. Layers are great because they’re so versatile, so if things start to get warmer, you can remove a layer or two, and if it gets colder, you can always add more (although do be careful – babies can’t regulate their own temperature, so you’ll need to keep checking to see how hot they are as you don’t want them to overheat due to too many clothes. Something else that’s great about layers is that they allow pockets of warm air to get caught between them, heating things up even more.
An example of how to dress a baby in layers could be to start with a bodysuit or leggings (something snug) and then put some pants, socks, and a long-sleeved top over them. Finally, add a hat, mittens, a jacket, and some booties. It’s best to use breathable materials like cotton to ensure a good level of comfort too.
Wear Your Baby
Wearing your baby is something you’ll probably be more than happy to do – it’s a wonderful way to bond with your little one, and since it also helps them to stay warm when you go outside in the cold weather, it’s an ideal excuse (not that you need one) to cuddle up.
Invest in a sling or similar piece of equipment so you can keep your arms free in case you need them (and to prevent yourself from getting too tired – even a little newborn will start to get heavy after a while), and think carefully about what you’re dressing them in – and what you’re wearing too.
We mentioned layers above, and that’s still a good idea, but if the baby is in a carrier or sling and they’re getting the benefit of your body weight, the number of layers can be reduced. Plus, you’ll need to be careful that their airway isn’t obstructed, especially when you’re wearing a heavy winter coat; make sure their face isn’t pressed right up against you and the thick material of the jacket you’re wearing.
This means the baby’s face will be more exposed to the elements, so it’s wise to learn what to do if your baby has chapped lips as that’s definitely something that can come about whether the weather is colder.
Keep The Indoor Temperature Right
Although keeping your baby safe and warm when they’re outside is crucial, don’t forget that they could become quite uncomfortable even inside if the temperature in your home could do with some adjustments – remember, just because you want the temperature at a certain level that doesn’t mean it’s right for your baby, and since they’re the priority, you’ll need to do what best for them rather than yourself (but that’s parenthood in a nutshell, so it’s something you can start getting used to).
What’s best for your baby is to keep the indoor temperature at somewhere between 68F and 72F, and ideally at the cooler end of that range. The reason for keeping things cooler indoors is that the warmer it is, the dryer it will be, and that’s not good for your baby’s delicate skin – it can cause chapped lips, like we mentioned above, as well as general soreness, especially if they’re teething and there’s excess saliva on their chins, cheeks, and necks which can irritate when it dries out.
There are lots of things to think about when you have a new baby to take care of, and many things that you might not have considered before suddenly become important. However, don’t be scared or worried; it’s just a matter of thinking things through before you act, and soon enough you’ll learn exactly what it is your baby needs.