Winter is already here in the Southern Hemisphere. Gone are the beach days and balmy nights where your baby could crawl around sans-clothes, feeling the heat on their delicate skin.
It’s now time to rug up your precious little ones in preparation for the drop in temperature. As it gets colder, it’s important to remember that babies feel the cold differently to us adults.
How Babies React in Colder Climates
According to paediatrician Jennifer Shu, M.D., co-author of Heading Home With Your Newborn, babies – especially newborns – are unable to regulate their own temperature and their bodies can lose heat quickly from their hands, head and feet.
Of course, young babies can’t tell you when they’re too hot or too cold, just as they can’t tell you when they’re hungry, tired or sick. In winter, it’s crucial to watch out for cues to help regulate your baby’s temperature:
- Your baby might be too hot if the back of their neck is warm or sweaty, a bumpy rash has appeared on their stomach, or their cheeks are flushed.
- Your baby might be too cold if their lips have changed to a darker colour, or the nose, fingertips or ears appear pale.
Here are our best tips for keeping your baby warm this winter – and don’t worry, it doesn’t involve your wriggly bub wearing a puffy ski jacket all season.
6 Tips to Prepare Your Baby for the Cold
1. Set the optimal baby room temperature
It is much easier to ensure you have a happy and perfectly temperate baby in the comfort of your own home. When you are indoors, be wary that your baby has an ideal room temperature all year round (around 16-20 degrees celsius).
So instead of blasting the heater this season (and your electricity bill), consider cooling the jets on your indoor winter sauna to protect your baby from overheating.
2. Protect your baby’s head and toes
A great tip for winter-ready parents is to keep a beanie and a pair of booties near your front door. That way, every time you leave the house you can prepare your baby’s tiny head and toes for the elements.
Our Boody beanies and booties are the perfect pair to prepare baby for the chill; plus, they’re super soft, eco-friendly, and thermo-regulating. A must-have this winter season!
3. Be prepared for bed time
Whilst you may snuggle up in your doona to stay warm at night, is it not a recommended method for those in the early stages of life.
Instead, Baby Center Australia proposes parents use 2-3 blankets tucked in under the mattress (when the temperature is under 18 degrees) or a baby-approved sleeping bag.
Sleeping bags are a great alternative to blankets, as they keep your baby’s temperature consistent all night long.
4. Take advantage of the onesie
From newborns to crawlers, onesies are an ideal outfit season-to-season, and come in a range of styles and colours. As it gets colder, find a onesie that works for your baby (and you) – a practical baby bodysuit will do you the world of wonder as you try to keep out of the chill.
Your onesie checklist should include:
- A soft, durable material
- Long sleeves
- A zip for quick dressing (skip the button-ups)
- Built-in socks and mittens
Quick tip: if you feel your baby is still cold in a onesie, try adding extra socks and mittens above or underneath the onesie for extra warmth.
5. Do the wrap
Muslin wraps are typically popular during the summertime; the lighter, delicate fabric is made for breathability. But in the early days, babies need to be swaddled to prevent overstimulation and to help regulate their changing temperatures (it also keeps their arms and legs from squirming).
When the weather shifts, switch out the muslin wraps for something a little warmer. Try Boody’s Stretch Jersey Wrap for Babies, an indispensable wrap for winter babies.
6. Layer up!
Now you’ve mastered the art of keeping your baby nice and warm at home, facing the great wide world can be a whole other issue.
The best preparation is to simply layer your baby’s clothing, especially when moving from indoors to outdoors. Start with a t-shirt and leggings combo or a onesie and go from there; as a guide, dress your baby in the same amount of layers as you, then add another.
Remember, some babies like to be warmer than others. You know your baby best. Winter is the ultimate time of year to spend quality time with your bub and keeping them warm with lots of snuggles.