Newborns are fragile and require constant attention. The winter months are especially trying for new parents as very young babies have to be kept warm and healthy. The cold weather itself is not difficult to deal with provided the child is kept warm, clean and well-fed.
However, being indoors among other people can cause infections to be passed on from one person to another. Here are some tips for newborn baby care in winter to help you along.
Best Tips For New Born Baby Care in Winter
Newborn Clothing During the Cold Season
Babies need a little more warmth than older children and adults. Anxious parents have often no way of knowing whether a baby is feeling too hot, too cold or just right. At times like these, they dress the baby in more layers of clothing than necessary. This can cause overheating. Newborn babies need only one extra layer than you do whether they are indoors or going out.
Make sure you cover the head, hands and feet when you step out. Swaddle the baby in a blanket. As far as possible, avoid using baby clothes made out of synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester. Since it is difficult to find winter wear that does not have polyester, go in for cotton/polyester blends. Do not dress your baby in any fabric that is chemically weather-resistant or wrinkle-free.
Newborn Body Temperature
Sometimes the hands and feet will be cold but this is only because your baby’s circulatory system needs to develop more. If you want to check whether your baby is feeling cold or is sweating, slip your hand under his/her clothes and touch his/her torso. If it feels warm, then your baby is fine. If his/her cheeks turn white and the baby is lethargic and taking in less that his/her normal number of feeds, quickly consult with a pediatrician.
Room Temperature And Heating Elements
Maintaining the right room temperature is very important. Avoid setting the heating too high or too low or frequently changing it. 61-68 degrees Fahrenheit is said to be the temperature range that will be comfortable for a young baby. Check all the heating equipment before winter sets in.
Plan for incidents of power outage and equipment failure. Make sure the backup heating you use is safe for the baby since certain cooking stoves, gas grills and generators emit carbon monoxide that can cause health complications for your baby.
Protection From Illness
This is perhaps the hardest part to put into practice since newborns take some time to adapt to life outside the womb. There is very little risk of overexposing a baby to the cold outside since most of the time during the winter months is passed indoors. If there are other children in the house, the risk of infections spreading from one family member to another increase sevenfold and newborn babies are at special risk since their immunity levels are just developing.
Keep your baby away from crowded places like malls, department stores and the public transport service, if possible. This will lower the chances of him/her getting a cough or a cold. Breastfeed often since breast milk is rich in antibodies that will help fight off infections.