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Overdressing a baby might seem the best way to protect your child from the harsh cold winter days and nights, but overheating due to too many layers of clothes or due to an overheated room can lead to dehydration. Your baby will sweat and easily lose fluids because of the heat.
During winter it is best to dress your baby in layers always taking care to dress him in only one layer more than what you are wearing. A baby’s skin is sensitive; so dress him in a soft fabric and have cotton or a breathable material next to his skin. To keep your baby warm put him into a sweater or a woolen cardigan which is made of soft material.
Keeping Your Baby Warm While Sleeping
Chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in babies increase if a baby is not warm enough while sleeping. Loose blankets around the baby would expose him to the cold. Dress your baby in warm clothes and use a sleep sack – a sleeping bag having armholes. Be careful not to suffocate him with layers of clothing which also increases the risk of SIDS.
Keeping the Room Warm
Infants are susceptible to the cold and hence extra care has to be taken to keep them warm. As your baby will find it difficult to adjust to fluctuating temperatures, keep the temperature in your house constant. Use a room heater, but keep your doors and windows open in the mornings for ventilation and fresh air to enter the room. As even the winter sun can cause sunburn on the baby’s tender skin, do not keep him out in the sun for long.
Taking Care When Going Out
Your baby might be young but you might want to go out once in a while. As long as it is not freezing cold outside or windy and chilly, you can take out your baby with you. But, young babies lose heat quickly and are more susceptible to hypothermia. So you have to be cautious to cover your baby in adequately warm clothes which will keep your baby warm and protect him from the cold outside.
When going out, dress your baby in layers of warm clothing. Wrap the baby in a blanket and make sure that his head, fingers and toes are covered.
Swaddling Your Baby to Keep Warm
Babies love to be swaddled as it keeps them warm and cozy. Use a swaddling blanket or you can use a square blanket and make a swaddle for your baby. While swaddling, keep your baby’s head uncovered. If it is too cold then cover your baby with warm layers and then swaddle him instead of the other way round.
Taking Care of Your Baby’s Skin
Massaging during winters can be as enjoyable as summers if done in a warm room. It is also a beneficial exercise for your baby as massaging will improve circulation. Massaging your baby during winter is a sure way of taking care of his sensitive skin. So, give your baby a massage suing any natural oil before his bath. In India, mothers use mustard oil or olive for massaging their babies. A good massage ensures that your baby’s skin is well-moisturized and supple and also is one way to keep your baby warm. Warm up the massage oil before massaging your baby taking care not to heat it. You also need to warm up your hands, which would be naturally cold from the winter. Cover your baby adequately immediately after you finish massaging.
Provide a Firm Mattress
Provide your baby with a firm mattress which will support his back and decrease the risks of SIDS. Soft mattresses may lead to smothering hazards. Cover the mattress with a tight-fitted sheet of flannel to keep your baby warm.
Feeding During Winter
No extra effort has to be taken as far as the eating habits of your baby are concerned. But your baby has to be nursed enough to provide him from infections. Frequent nursing boosts up his immunity system so be sure to breastfeed your infant. If your baby has weaned into formula feeding, make sure you make a fresh feed every time and warm the food.
Though your baby needs special care all the time, there is no need for you to go overboard worrying about your baby’s vulnerability during winter. Being knowledgeable and knowing the strategies to combat the cold days is the best way to keep your baby warm even during the coldest days and nights in winter.
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