Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Preparing Your Newborn for Winter
A Wintry Arrival
A winter due date can prompt a lot of daydreams for an expecting mother: spending time cozied up to baby as the snow falls outside, chowing down on lots of delicious seasonal cooking while pregnant or nursing, Winter Wonderland-themed birthday parties for years to come… all such pleasant aspects of having a baby during the chilliest months of the year!
If you’re likely to receive the greatest gift of all this holiday season, you’ve probably already started the nesting process — this can be anything from reorganizing the entire house to arranging the baby’s clothes neatly in a drawer. But, with pregnancy brain working against you the entire time, it’s easy to forget something before your bundle of joy arrives.
So, to avoid any panicked frenzies through this winter’s flurries, we’ve created a checklist for those of you expecting soon, featuring special items you may have forgotten for your winter baby:
- Long underwear for the mom-to-be (and other considerations for your own health)
It’s good for an expecting mother, as well as a newborn, to get outside and take in some fresh air during the day. Whether you’re still pregnant or you’ve just introduced your little one to the world, staying warm and healthy during the winter is important for you, too!
Stretchy and comfortable, long underwear is a great solution for particularly chilly or windy days, especially since you won’t be doing anything too strenuous to produce additional body heat (you can let someone else shovel the snow off the driveway this winter). Be sure to take frequent naps to help ward off illness through cold and flu season — Tummy Cradle can help with that!
- Plus-one layer for the babe
Babies lose heat quicker than we do, so it’s recommended that they wear everything you’re wearing plus one additional layer. For example, if you’re comfortable with a long-sleeve tee shirt and a jacket, make sure your little one is wearing a jacket, long-sleeves and a sweater.
Waterproof items, such as a snowsuit or quality boots, are especially important when you’re bringing your baby outside!
- Car seat with cold weather boot
We’re sure you’ve already picked out the perfect car seat, but will it keep your baby warm enough?
Instead of putting your puffy-coated baby in the car seat fully dressed (which leaves the seat belt too loose to be safe), invest in a cold weather boot cover for your car seat. A blanket can be a great alternative, as long as it goes over the baby once he or she is already strapped in.
- Zip-up stroller bag/rain shield
Same logic applies here: be sure to keep your baby warm while you’re out and about! Rain shields protect your mini from all kinds of wet weather and are especially important if you live in a rainy area.
- Sleep sack (or several)
You want to be careful, however, to not over-layer once you’re back inside. It almost makes sense to err on the side of overdressing versus underdressing; but an overheated infant can be a dangerous situation.
A sleep sack offers a great solution to keeping your baby at good temperature without any loose covers (which are also not recommended). Plus, it’s easier to get shed when there’s an evitable middle-of-the-night diaper change!
The dry winter can be tough on anyone’s skins, especially a newborn’s. Having a humidifier in the nursery can help keep prevent those chapped noses and mouths we hate to see on our little ones.
If the baby’s dries out a little while you’re away from the humidifier, it’s also good to have fragrance-free lotion handy — we’ve heard rumors of coconut oil being a great, natural alternative!
- Room thermometer
Even with a thermostat, it’s important to be aware of the temperature in the nursery based on where it is in the house. The ideal temperature — according to Dr. Carol Kramer-Arsenault, author of The Baby Nurse Bible — is between 68° and 72°.
The last thing on our list is something we all forget every year for ourselves, so, naturally, it’s easy to forget for the baby: sunscreen. The sun’s rays are just as potent in the winter as they are in the summer — in fact, the risk of sunburn can be even higher during the winter than in the summer because people are unsuspecting and — according to the World Health Organization — snow reflects harmful rays.
Preparing as Parents
Now you know! If you’re reading this proactively, these are definitely some great things to request as baby shower gifts. Either way, enjoy the first few frosty months of motherhood, comfortable in the fact that you were as ready as you could be!