With winter coming up, you may be wondering if it’s safe to take your new baby outside in the cold. Unless the outdoor temperature is below freezing, getting outside is good for your baby’s health. Keep in mind that by the time a baby is 3 months old, they develop more subcutaneous fat which allows them to conserve heat more than a younger baby. Still, all infants are unable to regulate their body temperature as well as an adult. Therefore, it’s important that you keep your baby warm in the winter and avoid overheating in the summer.
How to Keep Baby Warm in the Winter
1. Wear Layers.
This is pretty well-known advice and goes along with the recommendation that you should keep baby warm by dressing them as warmly as you would dress yourself.
Remember how hot you were toward the end of your pregnancy? Babywearing can generate that same heat by having baby’s body pressed up against yours. It’s like wearing a mini heater on your body. The parts of your bodies that are touching will be warm. You will still need to ensure that other parts, like baby’s arms, legs, feet, hands, and of course head are kept warm.
3. Layer up.
If baby will be traveling in a stroller, consider putting them in a snowsuit or adding a fleece layer in addition to a blanket on top.
4. Put a hat on baby.
The head is the site of 40% of heat production, so keeping a hat on baby will help keep some of that warmth in. Do not put a hat on your baby when you are indoors as this can cause overheating. Don’t forget mittens and long socks. In general, make sure all parts of the baby’s extremities are covered to make sure you keep baby warm.
5. Get a winter cover.
Use a babywearing winter cover or jacket that will go over their legs and arms, keeping their extremities warm and protected from the elements.
6. Stay dry.
Wet clothes against baby’s skin in the winter puts them at a greater risk of hypothermia.
7. Prevent chapped skin.
Use products such as Aquaphor on the exposed skin to ensure that baby’s skin stays moisturized. A light layer is sufficient.
How Do I Know If Baby Is Too Cold?
Look out for these important warning signs that baby is getting too cold:
Cold or red hands and/or feet
Lethargy (more sleepy than normal)
With a few extra precautions and a little extra attention, you can keep the baby warm (but not too warm!) no matter what season it is. What are your favorite ways to keep your baby toasty? Let us know in the comments below.