With the cooler months upon us now, it’s important that you make sure your baby stays warm and dry. The thought of dealing with a squirmy baby wrapped in blankets can be stressful, though.
We have put together some ways to make it easy to keep your baby healthy, warm and comfortable, whether you’re going to the shops or tucking him or her in at night.
How can I keep my baby warm at night without him getting too hot?
Naturally you want to keep your baby warm and cosy at night, it’s important not to let him or her get too warm. Overheating your baby is linked to an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), otherwise known as cot death.
There is no need to keep the heater on all night. Just dress your baby appropriately for the room temperature, by keeping his or her head and face uncovered, and using layers to dress him or her. The ideal temperature for a baby’s room is between 16 to 20 degrees celsius.
To prevent your baby overheating, keep his sleeping place away from radiators, heaters, fires and direct sunlight. Don’t put a hot water bottle or an electric blanket in his or her bed in any circumstances.
What helps to keep my baby at the right temperature?
Choose a fitted sheet and layers of cotton blankets for your baby’s cot, not a doona. Apart from the swaddle, sleeping bag all additional layers on blankets should be tucked in to keep the baby nice and snug. Your baby should be position towards the end of the cot. Keep plenty of extras on hand for changes, too.
Soft, one-piece, footed cotton sleepsuits help your baby stay warm all night by keeping him or her toasty from head to toe. Another way to keep your baby warm is the addition of a singlet underneath the sleepsuit. It is not recommended a baby wear a hat indoors for safety reasons.
Feel your baby’s tummy or back to see if he or she getting too hot or too cold, and adjust his or her bedding accordingly. If he or she too hot, remove one or more blankets as needed. If he’s cold, add a layer.
Other signs that your baby may be too hot include sweating, damp hair and heat rash.
Don’t feel your baby’s hands or feet to work out if he’s warm enough. It’s normal for them to feel cold. But if they look blotchy or blue, you could add mittens, socks or booties.
If your baby has a cold or fever, they’ll probably need less, rather than extra, bedding. Feeling his or her tummy or back will let you know whether you need to remove a layer to stop him or her from overheating.
To prevent your baby kicking off his covers, you could put him in a baby sleeping bag that has a zip. With a sleeping baby they aren’t able to bury themselves under the covers and their less likely to wake up because he’s feeling chilly. Sleeping bags are sleeveless, so your baby can still move his arms around while the rest of his body stays covered.
Sleeping bags come in different TOG ratings. For Australian winters, you shouldn’t need higher than a 2.5-TOG sleeping bag. Choose one without a hood that’s designed for night-time use, and is well-fitted around your baby’s arms and neck.
What should my baby wear when we leave the house?
A good rule of thumb is that a young baby needs one more layer of clothing than you do. Gather any extra clothing that you need in one place, so that you can dress your baby as quickly as possible before you head out.
Babies can lose a lot of heat through their heads, so always put a hat on your baby when going outside in winter. If their hands are exposed, put some gloves on them. Carry a spare pair if they tend to suck on their fingers. Make sure your baby wears socks to keep their feet toasty, too.
You can wrap a blanket around your baby once they are in the pram or carrier, if they are still cold. In a pram or stroller, a sheepskin liner will provide extra warmth and is highly breathable.
Remember to always remove your baby’s hat, coat and any extra layers of clothing as soon as you come indoors after being outside, even if it means waking then. Take care to do this if you go inside any shops. Many shops are kept very warm, and your baby could easily overheat.
Safety tip: In order to work properly in an accident, car seat straps must be snug. Make sure your baby isn’t wearing clothing that’s too bulky for their car seat, such as a coat, and don’t put blankets between your baby and the straps.
If your baby is in a car with the heating on, they won’t need to wear extra clothing. If the car is cold, you could add a blanket on top of the harness straps instead of underneath them. Make sure the blanket doesn’t cover their face or head, and take it off once the car warms up.
How long can my baby stay out in the cold?
Whatever the weather, it’s good for you and your baby to get some fresh air every day, whether it’s in a pram, sling, baby carrier or backpack. But if the weather is particularly bitter, you may want to keep any outdoor trips short, to prevent your baby from becoming too cold.
Your baby is unlikely to be too cold in a sling or carrier if they are dressed well because they’ll be close to you, but always check on their temperature.
Just keep in mind that while you’re working up a sweat pushing your baby around, your baby may get chilly before you do. Be aware of their behaviour. If their happy to be out at first but starts fussing after a while, they may be trying to tell you that they are cold.
It’s a good idea to check their tummy, ears and face regularly, and go inside before they get uncomfortable.
Safety tip: If your baby gets very cold, don’t try to warm their skin by rubbing it. It could make them sore. Instead, hold them skin against yours. You can tuck their hands under your armpits to warm them.
How can I keep my baby’s skin from getting chapped?
The chilly wind outside and the dry heat indoors can sap moisture from adult skin, so your baby’s delicate skin is especially vulnerable.
Keep your baby’s skin moisturised. Many lotions and creams are made especially for babies. If you’re heading outside, you could put some baby moisturising lotion or emollient on him to help prevent dry, chapped skin.
Hard water can be drying to your baby’s skin, so you don’t need to bath your baby every day in the winter months. Also, your baby may not like to be bathed when the room is cold. Close any windows and make sure the room is warm before you undress and bath them.
When you do wash your baby, use a mild baby cleanser and warm, not hot, water. Use a bath emollient if they have eczema or dry skin. Don’t let them soak in the tub for too long.
Wrap them in a towel as soon as you take them out of the water and pat, don’t rub, him dry quickly. Finish by putting a mild lotion or emollient on their skin.
Perfect Little Bundles has a range of blankets and wraps ideal for newborn babies to keep them warm during these colder months.
Living Textiles Lattice Baby Shawl made with 100% cotton are perfect for special occasions and everyday use. Soft and breathable against baby’s skin, they each come presented a lovely gift box. A gorgeous blanket to wrap bub in, or use in their pram or bassinet.
Living Textiles luxuriously soft 100% cotton jersey swaddles are an essential for baby. Generously sized, super stretchy and fantastic for swaddling, they can even be used as an extra layer in the pram or for tummy time. Living Textiles smart-swaddles are made from a uniquely woven cotton that is incredibly stretchy but still maintains its shape. Swaddling can be a great way to keep baby from being disturbed by their own startle reflex and make them feel warm and secure as if they were cocooned in the womb.
Perfect Little Bundles is excited to offer these beautiful baby muslin swaddles muslin wraps from Living Textiles. Made from 100% cotton, this 3pk of baby muslin swaddle wraps from Living Textiles are a must have for any new parent. Each swaddle wrap is generously sized at 110 x 110cm and prewashed for extra softness. Ideal for swaddling, in the stroller, bassinet and handy to keep in the nappy bag for emergencies.