It’s important to dress your baby snugly in winter. But it’s also important to know when snuggly coats and blankets should come off.
Small babies can’t regulate their own body heat as well as we can. Plus, when they do get hot or cold, they don’t have the ability to add a layer or peel one off. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on your baby’s temperature.
You don’t have to undress a baby to tell how they are doing. If you are lucky, you’ll have one that cries when he’s getting too hot – though some just fall asleep, which can be dangerous as you won’t know if he is tired or passed out.
Don’t judge a baby’s heat by his toes or hands, these are usually colder that the rest of the body. Instead, place the back of your hand on his chest or the back of his neck. If these feel cool then you are fine, but if they feel very cold or too warm, act accordingly.
Coats and hats
If your baby doesn’t like the bulk of a baby coat, use layers – soft sleepsuits and jumpers, for example – to keep him warm. It’s not as though he is running off into the playground and needs a duffle coat yet! Instead you might find blankets are a more flexible way of keeping him warm or cool.
Additionally, you might find fleecey baby clothes lighter and easier for your baby to move in. (They are also easier to wash!)
Your baby’s head is unlikely to boast a full-on hairdo yet, and their head needs to be kept warm when outside in cold weather. Try to buy light cotton hats rather than woolly ones which might scratch or irritate his sensitive skin.
Safety tip: Never put your baby to sleep indoors wearing a hat.
Without making your baby uncomfortable, do make sure his ears are covered, especially if there is a cold wind.
You do not need to put a scarf on your baby. It can be a choking hazard and anyway, babies don’t really have necks, just rolls of double chin!
Inside and outside – be aware of your surroundings
If you are out shopping or in a café, it is imortant to adjust your baby’s outside clothing when you go inside. You might undo your own buttons or simply put up with getting sweaty if you’re in a shop longer than you expected, but your baby can suffer.
Even if your baby is asleep, it is important to remove layers of clothing in order to allow him to adjust correctly to the inside temperature. Do not leave extra clothes on just because you don’t want to disturb your baby.
When you are shopping, for example, it’s easy to forget how long you have been inside.
The same goes for rain covers. It might seem a faff, but it’s important to roll a cover up instead of leaving your child inside the cover when you are in warm spaces – shops, buses etc.
Babies in slings and carriers
It might seem an even bigger pain if your wrapped up baby is in a sling or carrier, to take him out and undress him just to go into a shop. But it is important. You can now get little “sleeping bags” which go over some carriers and various pram suits allow to you unravel your baby without disturbing him.