Unlike adults, a baby finds it harder to resist the cold before he’s two years old because his temperature regulating system is not quite at its peak. That's why you need to take some essential measures to make sure that every outing with your baby, even in very cold weather, is beneficial to him.
How to dress baby?
Always prefer many light layers of clothing rather than one thick layer, allowing you to make a few adjustments according to the temperature. Indeed, dressing your baby with layered clothing insulates him more effectively against the cold than single thick clothing. Nevertheless, the child must first and foremost feel comfortable in his clothes and not be constricted. The air flowing through the clothing’s layers is useful to maintain body temperature.
The extremities need extra protection. We are talking about the head, ears, hands and feet, because they are the body parts most at risk of frostbite. So, hats, mittens, socks and boots should be mandatory in winter. It is important for baby to wear boots of his size. In fact, if they’re too small, his feet will be compressed and therefore at risk of frostbite. On the other hand, oversized boots would not be warm enough for your baby's feet.
Get your baby ready at the very last minute, just before leaving. If he’s dressed too early, he would feel the difference in temperature and could get cold. Also, when you enter a heated area, it is better to remove some of your baby’s clothing, even if it’s only his mittens and hat to make sure he doesn’t get too hot, sweat and then get cold when you go back outside.
Hydrating your baby : skin
In winter, the baby’s skin has a tendency to dry because of the colder temperature. It’s thus important to hydrate it by applying a moisturizer on his face and hands to prevent chapping. It’s recommended to use a cream that is not water based because it could increase the skin’s freezing. Even if we tend to underestimate them, the sun’s rays can be strong at certain times of the day, even in winter. The rays’ reflection is at its maximum on the snow, so sunscreen and lip balm are recommended.
Before the age of 6 months, it is recommended not to apply sunscreen on your baby's skin because it is too delicate. However, some sunscreens, such as Klorane Baby or Vichy, are spring water-based and therefore hypoallergenic, allowing you to apply it on your baby’s skin. Sunscreen used in winter must have an SPF of at least 15 and be without paba, as this can cause allergic reactions. Creams found in drugstores, such as Coppertone Water Babies or Neutrogena, are the best choices to protect your baby’s skin effectively.
Hydrating your baby : feedings
Despite the cold, offering milk (breastfeeding or infant formula) or water is essential for long walks outside. The winter cold is almost as dehydrating as the summer heat, so don’t forget to give your baby fluids regularly.
Baby slings in winter
Once you’ve started using a baby carrier, you won’t want to give it up, even in winter! The question that now arises is: how to face the harsh winter when you’re carrying your baby in a sling?
Using a baby sling in winter is an advantage provided that allows the parent to be close to his baby and can thus easily check whether his face, hands and feet are warm at all times.