Keeping your baby warm during the cold winter days can be a real challenge for the first time moms, particularly because it is always difficult for you to guess if she is getting cold or too hot. However, if you can observe her closely you are sure to understand if she is comfortable or not. If you are a new mother struggling with keeping your baby warm this winter, this article can be of real help. Babies can get cold even at a temperature that might be just comfortable for you and hence it is necessary that you judge it by how your baby feels and not by how you are feeling about the temperature. Read on to know how you can keep your baby warm no matter how cold the winter is and here we will start with how to keep her warm during the cold winter nights,
[ Hindi version ]
Set the room temperature right
It is important that you keep your baby warm but not too warm even during freezing winter. Over-warmingyour baby has been related to an increased risk of SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and hence it is not only about keeping your baby warm but also about keeping her comfortable. To give your child a comfortable atmosphere, particularly when she is sleeping, try to maintain the room temperature between 20 and 16 degree Celsius. Having a thermometer in the room to measure the exact room temperature can be helpful to ensure that the room temperature is perfect.
Also make it a point to place your baby away from the heat radiators and do not use a heating blanket or even a hot water bottle in her cot just to keep her warm, as that might increase the temperature of the infant much more than the room temperature.
Prepare the cot in the right way
Preparing the cribof your baby in the right way also plays an important role in keeping her warm during the long winter nights. As already mentioned using an electronic heating quilt in her bed is not really a great idea as that can increase the body temperature of the infant without letting you feel that. So, opt for layering to prepare the cot.
Using flannel fitted sheets for preparing the cot can be a good idea. Also make sure that you have plenty of sheets in extra for change during the night. Layering up the sheets can ensure a warmer and cozier bed for your child. If you find that the sheets are cold, it is a good idea to not to put your baby to sleep on the cold bed. Use a warm glass water bottle or an electronic heater to warm up the beddings of your child before you put her to sleep. However, always ensure to remove the heater from the bed and check if the temperature of the bedding is not too hot before you place your baby in it.
Put her in right clothes
Before you put your baby to sleep it is important to put her in the right clothes that will work as the first layer of insulation on her body. Put her in light cotton clothes before placing her in bed. Opting for heavy or woolen clothes is not a good option even though it might seem to be the best way to keep her warm. Heavy woolen clothes can make your baby feel uncomfortable and can also cause her to sweat during the night, you without even knowing it. So, make it a point to put her in soft cotton clothes that can absorb sweat, in case there is any.
Putting on socks or gloves on your infant before placing her to sleep is not a good option even if it is too cold but if the temperature is really low, and you are not using a room heater for maintaining the temperature of the room, covering the head of the baby with a light cotton made loose fit cap can be effective to keep her warm. However, it is important to check repeatedly that the cotton cap is not making her head to sweat.
Get the infant under proper covers
Covering up your infant is surely an effective way to keep her warm. Blankets are a typical option for covering your child. However, instead of covering the baby with a thick heavy blanket always opt to cover her with more than one light weight quilts. This will not only make it easier for you to handle the child if you need to change her during the night, but will also make it more comfortable for the baby.
Another good alternative to layering up blankets is to use a wearable blanket with zips at the front. You can simply put on this blanket on your baby once she is in her sleeping clothes. These blankets are often footed and sleeveless to ensure that the baby has all the freedom of movement even during sleeping in the blanket. These zipped blankets can do a great job in keeping your baby warm during the long winter nights and the best thing with these blankets is that they can be removed and put on with ease and do not run the risk of being misplaced during the night due to the movement of the infant.
Covering up the child with a light blanket over the wearable one can also be a effective if you are not using a room heater. Keep in mind that instead of using a heavy blanket, layering up your child with light blankets will keep her warmer, as in this case the air trapped in between the layers of the blankets will work as an insulator.
Keep a temperature check
Even after using a room thermometer to check if the temperature of the room is right and comfortable for your baby to sleep, it is important to check the temperature of the body of your infant as well during the night just to ensure that she is comfortable and not feeling cold or too hot. You can check the temperature of the body of your baby by touching her belly with your palm. Checking her body temperature by touching her hands or legs is not scientific and is sure to give you a very wrong idea about the actual body temperature of the child, because normally, hands and feet tend to be much colder than the body.
So, make it a point to check several times during the night if the temperature of your baby is just right. If you find that the child has been sweating, remove a layer of blanket and if you find that the child is feeling cold add another light cover on the top.
Keeping your baby warm when she is awake and indoors during winter
Having stated about how to keep your baby warm during the cold long nights of winter when she is sleeping now let us get to keeping her warm during the day, when she is awake. If you are using a room heater, even then too it is important to put on a warm, soft cloth on your child as soon as you remove the layers of quilt. In case you are not using a room heater, or it is still cold enough even after the heater is on, make it a point to cover up your child with more than one layer of fitted yet light warm clothes.
If you are using woolens to keep her warm, always make the baby wear a layer of cotton clothes first. Use a light cotton cap to cover her head and ensure that she is wearing proper warm socks. When your baby is awake she is most expected to make her moves which can naturally increase the temperature of her body and hence it is important for you to keep a continuous check if the child is sweating and adjust the layer of clothes according to the body temperature of the infant.
Keeping your infant warm during going out on winter days
Your infant can enjoy a trip to the supermarket or to the park even during the cold winter days, but before you can take her out ensuring that she is in proper winter clothes is a must. Snowsuit or bunting can be the most handy option to keep your baby warm while going out during winter. Simply put on the snowsuit over her outfit. These suits come with fitted hands and legs and also include hoods, providing an all in one solution. Also put on a soft hat and mittens if her hands are exposed. Woolen socks and winter boots can be the best way to keep her feet warm.
If you are not using a snowsuit you can opt for layered clothing and then cover her up with a light blanket; finally top it with a heavy blanket of wool or fleece before going out.
[ Hindi version ]
Some added notes
- Always keep in mind that you need to keep your baby warm but not uncomfortable. So, while dressing him/her make it a point to ensure that the child is actually comfortable in the clothing you are putting on him/her.
- Always opt for soft, absorbing clothes to make the inner layers of the clothing and the thicker ones should be used on the top. This strategy will ensure that even if your baby happens to sweat a bit, it will be absorbed by the inner layers without causing any uncomfortableness.
- It is important to keep in mind that when you are feeling hot, your baby might still feel cold. On the other hand, your baby might be actually feeling hot enough in his/her layers of clothing even when the outside temperature is low for you. So, do not decide the clothing of your child according to the temperature you feel, rather notice the child, check his/her body temperature before layering the baby up with clothes.
- While you need to protect your child from cold, it is also vital to keep in mind that it is the alternating hot and cold which causes maximum harm. So, do not keep your baby in the same clothing when you take him/her indoors or when you take him/her outdoors. If there is cold outside, make it a point to put on a heavy jacket on the top before taking him/her out and also make it a point to remove not only that jacket, even a few of the inner layers if the temperature after getting indoors is high or even normal.
- In case, after clothing your baby seems to lose his/her mood, know for sure that he/she is not comfortable in the clothing and hence rearrange it to make it more comfortable for the child.