When the temperatures drop during winter, it's natural for parents to want to make baby as cozy and warm as can be. And of course layering up for time spent outdoors is important. But it's equally important to be aware of times when overheating and overdressing has the potential to cause harm. Here are six tips to help keep your baby safe and warm through winter:
1. Swaddle comfortably. If you're swaddling your baby, secure the swaddle snugly enough so that baby won't wriggle out, but lightly enough to ensure air circulation.
2. Or use layers. Otherwise, use an appropriately sized wearable blanket/sleep sack to help keep baby warm--but not too warm--for sleeping. Under that, dress baby in breathable, cotton clothing, such as a onesie combined with one-piece pajamas.
3. Monitor the temperature. Keep baby's room between 65 and 70 degrees. There are a lot of great room thermometers out there that can help give you a sense of temperature and adjust the thermostat accordingly.
4. Take care with car seat straps. Bulky winter jackets can get in the way of properly secured car seat straps. One option is to skip the winter coat for the car ride to ensure that the harness straps are positioned correctly and are snug enough. Simply dress baby in a few long-sleeved layers and bring the coat along to put on once you've arrived at your destination. Otherwise, if you want to keep baby in his/her coat, take the time to check the straps to make sure they are aligned and secured snugly.
5. Resist excessive bundling with fever. If your baby has a fever, resist the temptation to bundle baby in lots of layers; it's not healthy for a baby's temperature to rise too quickly. A light blanket over one layer of clothing in the winter should be enough, but of course always check with your baby's pediatrician right away if you have questions on this.
6. Read their signs. Whether sleeping, traveling, or playing this winter, when it comes to keeping your baby warm and safe, most important is to read their signs. Sweating (check hair), flushed skin, rash, or rapid breathing can all be signs that the body needs to cool down.
Image credit: adorable penguin fleece hat by LeAndra Grinder via Etsy