January 20, 2017

Keeping Baby Warm in Winter

Here in southern Ontario, the weather this winter has been anything but text book. One day we are blanketed in snow and the next it has rained and there's nothing but green grass. Scary, bizarre and confusing are just a few words to describe it.

For me, one of the confusing things about this winter’s weather is how to keep baby warm. It's hard enough to know if baby is warm and comfortable on days when the temperature is consistently cold, but when you have days with huge temperature swings, like as of late, things get even more challenging. 

With Morley being born the last day of winter 2016, when the snow had already vanished, learning how to dress her properly was not something we really had to do. This winter has definitely been a learning experience.

Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter

We love getting outside with Morley any chance we get. During the winter months, we tend to go a little stir crazy staying inside, so a walk is something we look forward to. 

One of our favourite winter activities when we visit my parents is a walk down to the beach, even in the winter.  And, despite the snow, our visit over Christmas break was no exception. It just meant that we had to make sure baby was fully prepared, from head to toe.

Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter
Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter
Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter

From the house to the car, on a walk and everything in between, there are many things to consider to keeping baby warm during the winter months. This is how we keep Morley happy, healthy and comfortable.

Keeping Baby Warm in the Car

Never put your baby in a car seat wearing a winter coat! I know, this is something that I struggle with too. Won't baby be cold? The answer is, no. 

Bulky coats, sweaters and bunting bags that baby wears or that attach to the car seat are considered a big no no in the car. Why? A thick layer between baby and the car seat strap can compress in a crash, increasing a baby's risk of injury. 

If you are worried baby will be cold, here are some things you can do:
  • Warm up your car before getting in
  • Carry them out to the car wearing a jacket but remove before you buckle them in
  • Dress baby in a thin, long-sleeve layer and tuck a blanket around her after she's buckled in
  • Leave an extra blanket in the car, just in case you need more than one to wrap around baby
  • Use their coat as a blanket by putting their arms into it backwards
  • Once you arrive at your destination, take your child out of the car seat first and then put on their jacket

Keeping Baby Warm While Outside

Since babies lose heat more rapidly than adults do, a good rule of thumb is to dress your child in one more layer than you would wear in the same conditions. So, if you are out for a walk in a long-sleeve and winter jacket, add one more layer for baby. 

When on a walk with the stroller, an attachable "sleeping bag" is a must for us. We love this JJ Cole Polar BundleMe Slate - it features an extendable bottom that grows with your child, for use from 0-4 years of age. A soft thermaplush interior and cozy hood maximize heat retention. Some days, it makes me want to curl up in the stroller with her.

Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter
Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter

If baby is too small to be in the stroller without the carseat, then try something like the JJ Cole Car Seat CoverMade of weather-resistant nylon and soft fleece. Its blanket-style design eliminates the need for bulky jackets while the zippered flap provides a custom fit to grow with your baby.

Adding a weather shield, such as the BOB Revolution Single Weather Shield for our stroller, will help protect your baby's delicate skin from windburn and precipitation. They are also available in a sun shield version, such as the BOB Revolution Sun Shield, to protect baby against the harmful UV rays.  The shields are easy to install on the stroller, and when not in use, fold up for easy storage. 

Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter

When not bundled up in the stroller, like playing in the snow, the rules for dress should be the same as for any cold weather, but with a big emphasis on staying dry. A water-resistant snowsuit with attached feet (if baby is not yet walking) or a water-resistant snowsuit with boots (if baby is walking) are a must. Top it off with water-resistant mittens and a hat. 

Also consider adding sunscreen and sunglasses to your list, since the sun's rays reflect off snow and can be harmful to baby's skin.

Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter

As always, use your best judgement when outside with baby during the winter months. Watch for signs of hypothermia, such as blue lips, shivering, or an unusually pale appearance to the nose or ears and take them inside to warm up at the first sign of discomfort. Also pay close attention to signs of overheating, such as sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, and rapid breathing are all signs of overheating, and know when you need to remove a layer of clothing. 

Outfitting a kid of any age for winter weather can be a hassle and often a fight, but it shouldn’t prevent you or your little one from experiencing the winter weather.

Keeping baby warm, but comfortable, is the key to an enjoyable winter outside with baby.

Tips for Keeping Baby Warm and Comfortable in Winter

How do you keep baby warm and comfortable in the winter months? Do you have any tips and tricks? I'd love to hear!

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