The Halloween decorations have gone back in the closet and the Starbucks cups are turning red. That can mean only one thing. As they say in the fictional land of Westeros… “Winter is coming!”. Before your baby came along the worst you had to worry about was keeping your home warm enough to be habitable without wasting money, but with parenting comes not only a whole host of new worries but an elevation of existing worries. After all, you want to keep your baby warm and safe, but the inevitable costs that come with raising a newborn mean that cutting down on your energy cost is also important.
A new baby’s first winter is often a worrying time for parents, but most steps that you can take to ensure your baby stays warm involve little if any inherent cost. Don’t get me wrong, if you have the disposable income to upgrade your window glazing, add a layer of attic insulation or take the time to find the best whole house electric tankless water heater it certainly won’t be a tankless task (see what I did there). For many of us, however, it’s a simple matter of mindfulness and making a few little changes that make a big difference.
Why it’s important to keep your baby warm
None of us are immune to the effects of the cold but young babies are particularly vulnerable. They don’t have the layer of body fat that many of us depend on to stay insulated and their tiny bodies lose heat faster than those of their adult counterparts. Unlike adults and older children, babies are unable to raise their body temperature by shivering and so are entirely dependent on adult intervention to keep the effects of the cold at bay. Fortunately, this can be done with just a few easy safeguards.
Get baby out in the open
It may sound counterintuitive, but taking your baby outside the house in cold weather is important both for them and for you. Both babies and their parents need fresh air and getting out in the open will acclimatize your baby to the changing of the seasons as well as the cycle between day and night. This should have a calming effect on the baby and help to reduce sleeplessness and fussiness.
Dress baby in layers but be wary of overheating
Post-baby shower, we often find ourselves with more adorable clothes than we know what to do with, and when winter comes, it can be tempting to bury them in clothes. The trick to getting it just right is to layer your baby’s clothing as you would your own… and then add an extra layer. If you’re traveling in the car, make sure you remove big and puffy coats in the car seat as these will compromise the seat’s efficacy. You must also keep an eye out for signs of overheating. If baby becomes red-faced and irritable they’re probably too hot.
Guard against germs
The winter weather is a magic carpet for bacteria and most kids get an average of 6-10 colds every year. Make sure that they get plenty of immune system boosting breast milk and that they’re only ever handled by clean hands. If your baby is 6 months of age or older then they definitely need a flu shot.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.