Keeping Your Baby Warm in the Winter
From braving the cold to navigating bedroom temperatures, there are so many decisions when it comes to keeping babies warm in the winter. Our St. Elizabeth Healthcare experts weigh in on the most important things to remember about babies and cold weather – helping to ease your mind and keep your little one warm and safe this winter.
Bedtime and Babies: How Warm is Warm Enough?
It’s a debate every parent has in the cold weather months: is my baby warm enough in their crib? Safe Sleep KY recommends dressing your baby in one-piece pajamas or a wearable blanket that can be layered over an undershirt or onesie. It’s important not to overdress your baby or wrap them in a heavy blanket – this is a safety risk. Don’t put your baby to bed with a hat on either, as it could shift through the night and cover their mouth.
Keeping Baby’s Room Cozy and Safe
In addition to dressing the baby safely for bedtime, it is very important not to overheat your baby’s room. Portable heaters are not recommended – they can make the baby’s room too hot too quickly, overheating the baby and putting them at risk. Mobile babies can also get tangled in cords or even burned if they are too close to a portable heating unit. Keep your baby’s room at a comfortable temperature and dress them in a wearable blanket for extra warmth instead of bundling them up at bedtime.
Guidelines for Taking Baby Outside
It’s important to remember that little ones can’t regulate their body temperature easily, so they lose heat very quickly. Make sure to stay cautious when taking your baby outside to avoid hypothermia. A good rule of thumb? If your baby is younger than six months old, stay inside. Babies older than six months can brave the winter weather for short amounts of time. Use thin layers with a warm jacket/snowsuit if the baby will be out in the elements – but make sure to keep them sheltered from wind and blowing snow.
Keeping Car Seats Warm
Infant carrier car seats can be heavy and cumbersome to carry around – sometimes it’s easier to leave them in the car and just hustle inside with your little one. However, Tabatha Biddle, Maternal Child Health Education Specialist at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, recommends taking the carrier portion inside with the baby each time.
“Babies lose heat quickly, and popping them into a cold car seat can make their body temperature drop rapidly,” says Tabatha. “We recommend bringing the car seat carrier inside each time – even though it’s heavy, it’s worth it to keep it room-temperature year-round for the comfort and safety of your baby.”
Make sure to also use a car seat cover that only covers the top of the car seat – you don’t want anything to go underneath the baby. Once you arrive inside your destination – including the car – make sure to remove the draping fabric so your baby has fresh air.
St. Elizabeth: Your Newborn Resource
For more information on newborn safety during the winter months, please contact the St. Elizabeth Maternal Child Health Educators at (859) 655-7400. We’re here for all of your baby needs, from feeding to traveling and everything in between.