Getting baby ready for winter

Here you go! The time has come to bravely face the cold and snow. You’re not the only one who has to go through the hassles of winter... your baby does too!

Unlike adults, a baby finds it harder to resist the cold before they are two years old because their 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 them.

How to dress baby?

Opt for 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 in layered clothing insulates them more effectively against the cold than a single thick piece of clothing. Nevertheless, the child must first and foremost feel comfortable in their clothes and not be constricted. The air flowing through the clothing layers is used 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 the baby to wear the right size boots. In fact, if they’re too small, their 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.

Easy tricks

Get your baby ready at the very last minute, just before leaving. If they are dressed too early, they 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 the mittens and hat to make sure they don’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 their 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 to 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 their baby and can thus easily check whether their face, hands or feet are warm at all times.

Although coats made for winter porting are available in specialty stores, here's how you can adapt your baby sling with your own winter coat. The suggested method is to first install the sling and put the baby in it, and then put on your coat. Why? This way, your baby is snuggled against you and can benefit from your body heat, which helps in keeping them at an ideal temperature and protected from the wind.

Because your baby is snuggled up against you and is thus sharing your warmth, dress them in fleece clothes and not a full snowsuit because they could get too hot.  Don’t pull up your zipper all the way to the top to ensure good air circulation for the baby.  Simply use a blanket to fill the space in between. It’s also important to cover your neck properly.

Some people may want to wear a scarf on top of their coat and then put their baby in a snowsuit. You will soon realize that it’s uncomfortable. The baby is farthest from you because of all the layers of fabric separating you. By being further away, they are also heavier. Moreover, this technique doesn’t allow any heat exchange between parent and child.

By Sophie Cumings

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