The nights are getting darker, you’ve broken out the de-icer, and you might have already nibbled on a few early pigs in blankets… That can only mean one thing – winter is coming. And while you might want to jump ahead to festive decorations and Christmas presents, there’s a few things you need to consider first.
Babies need additional care in the colder months. Little ones are very vulnerable to sickness, so it’s important they keep warm and cosy! But our baby winter guide has all the advice you need to be prepared. Plus, we’ve got lots of ideas for getting out in the snow and enjoying some festive activities.
Keeping Baby Warm in Winter
If you’re taking your baby out in winter, wrapping him or her up in lots of layers should be your priority. Layers are better instead of one thick coat, because you can add or remove them as the temperature changes.
The general rule of thumb of keeping baby warm in winter is to add one more layer to what you’re wearing. So, if you’re wearing a jumper, jeans and a coat, dress your tot in a thermal vest, long-sleeved bodysuit, a jumper and a snowsuit. If you’re still not sure, baby’s winter wardrobe should include:
- Thermal vests
- Long-sleeved bodysuits
- Woolly hat
Remember to have a blanket or two tucked inside your baby changing bag, in case it’s extra chilly!
At night, keeping baby warm in winter has the same rule as in the day – layer up!
Newborns are normally fine wearing a long-sleeved bodysuit. Then, add layers of light blankets until baby is snug as a bug. Always tuck in the blanket below your baby’s shoulders, or you can use an infant sleeping bag if it makes things easier.
One thing to remember – don’t let your baby overheat. Check if your tiny tot is sweating or if their tummy feels hot. You can always remove a layer if your baby seems uncomfortably warm or isn’t sleeping well.
Avoiding Illness in Cold Weather
A tiny baby’s immune system isn’t always strong enough to fight off germs, but that doesn’t mean you need to stay inside for the next three months! In fact, for the first few weeks, newborn babies carry antibodies from their mother, which help to protect them from viruses.
Although, this immunity does wear off, so you’ll need to take some steps to avoid illness in winter:
Take your baby for their NHS vaccinations. These are free and protect babies from a range of different diseases. Your baby’s first vaccine is normally given at eight weeks.
- Wash your hands
Keeping your hands clean is one of the simplest ways to protect you and your baby from illness. Wash your hands often throughout the day, especially after food preparation and nappy changes. Don’t forget to wash little hands too!
- Keep surfaces germ free
No new parent can keep their home super clean and tidy (or if you can, we’d love to know how)! But it’s important to keep surfaces germ free. Use disinfectant wipes on areas like the kitchen bench and the bathroom sink to kill germs.
- Go outside
It might seem odd to go outside into the cold when you’re trying to avoid illness. But a breath of fresh air is thought to help your baby sleep better at night. What’s more, the sunlight can help your little one get their essential daily dose of vitamin D.
- Moisturise dry skin
Dry skin conditions such as eczema are more likely to flare up in winter. Use lots of baby-friendly moisturiser to stop your tot from scratching, particularly after a bath.
Baby Winter Activities
Of course, there will be plenty of days when you just don’t feel like going out into the cold. While you might like to have a duvet day in front of a good boxset, your baby would probably get bored after two minutes. So, why not try some of our baby winter activities and enjoy some cosy, indoor fun together?
- Water play – make a splash at bath time with bubbles and toys
- Jump around with a baby bouncer – they’re sure to get the giggles going
- Start a band with kitchen equipment – wooden spoons and pans make the perfect drum set
- Mirror image – babies are normally fascinated by their own reflection
- Sensory fun – let your baby explore everyday sensory toys, like a homemade rattle made from a plastic bottle filled with dried beans
Baby’s First Christmas
While not all of us love struggling through the snow or the increasing electricity bills, there’s one thing to look forward to – Christmas! And our baby winter guide wouldn’t be complete without a few gift ideas. Check them out here and find the perfect present for new parents!