a warm baby in winter

Top Tips for Safely Keeping Your Baby Warm During Winter

On a chilly winter morning in Delhi, Prachi Sharma, a mom with a newborn baby starts her day filled with love and worries. She's always thinking about keeping her little one warm and cozy. Bundling the baby in soft blankets and clothes becomes her priority to protect them from the cold.

Throughout the day, she sings soothing songs and gives warm hugs, making sure her baby feels safe and snug. Even while doing everyday tasks like changing diapers or giving baths, she worries about how to keep her baby comfy in the cold weather.

Winter in India brings forth a beautiful chill in the air, but it also demands extra care, especially for our delicate bundles of joy. To aid every mom navigating this seasonal challenge, here are five expert tips to ensure your baby remains comfortably warm during the coldest months.

1.Opt for Layered Clothing with a Twist:

Layering is key, but the secret lies in the materials. Instead of just piling on heavy layers, opt for breathable fabrics like merino wool or bamboo. These materials not only provide warmth but also regulate body temperature, keeping your baby cosy without overheating. 

Remember the innermost layer must be cotton as other materials like wool can cause skin rash in some babies

How many layers are needed you ask?

The thumb rule is 1 layer more than the mother is wearing. Yes your baby might create a fuss while you are dressing them up, but they will look oh so cute all wrapped up, cozy and warm!

2. Harness the Power of Hot Water Bottles (Safely!):

A smart yet often overlooked method is using hot water bottles strategically. Place a hot water bottle at the foot of your baby's bed around 15 minutes before bedtime. Once removed, it leaves behind a gentle warmth, ensuring a toasty sleeping environment for your little one.

Try this out and see the magic! 

3. Use the Warmth of Oil Massages:

Indian tradition meets practicality here! Opt for gentle oil massages using natural, warm oils like almond or coconut. Massaging your baby's skin not only nurtures the bond between you two but also boosts circulation, keeping your baby's body warm and supple during the cold weather. Massage palms and soles and cover with mittens and socks

Here's a detailed look at how, when, and which oils to use:

Choosing the Right Oil: Opt for natural, gentle oils like coconut oil, almond oil, or olive oil. These oils are nourishing and easily absorbed by the baby's delicate skin. Ensure the oil is pure and free from any additives or fragrances that might cause irritation.

When to Massage: It's ideal to massage your baby when they are calm and relaxed, perhaps after a bath or before bedtime are the best times. 

How to Massage: Gently warm the oil in your palms before applying it to your baby's skin. Use slow, gentle strokes and maintain eye contact or speak softly to your baby to create a soothing atmosphere. Start with the baby's legs, then move to the arms, tummy, and back. Be very gentle around sensitive areas like the belly button and avoid massaging areas with rashes or skin irritation.

Duration of Massage: A massage can last anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes, depending on your baby's comfort level. Pay attention to their cues - if they seem fussy or uncomfortable, you can shorten the massage.

4. Choose Baby Sleepwear Designed for Winter:

Opt for garments made from materials like fleece, wool or thermal knits to provide extra insulation.

Consider Sleep Sacks or Wearable Blankets:Sleep sacks or wearable blankets are excellent alternatives to traditional blankets if the baby is older than 4 months. They come in various sizes and are designed to keep your baby warm without the risk of suffocation or entanglement. Choose a sleep sack appropriate for your baby's age and size, ensuring it allows freedom of movement while keeping them cozy.

Footed Pyjamas or Sleepers: Footed pyjamas or sleepers that cover your baby from neck to toe are great options for keeping them warm. Look for those made from warm, breathable materials that provide comfort without overheating.

Layering within Sleepwear: Consider layering within the sleepwear itself. For instance, you can dress your baby in a onesie or bodysuit underneath their pyjamas for added warmth. Ensure the layers are not too tight or restrictive.

Regularly Assess Your Baby's Comfort: Signs baby is too cold.

5. Create a Warm and Cozy Indoor Space for baby:

This means making the area around your baby's bed or sleeping spot nice and warm. Newborns and small babies are not able to regulate their body temperature so it's important to keep their environments at a comfortable temperature.

Here's how you can do it:

  • Use a Humidifier: A humidifier adds moisture to the air, making it less dry. This helps your baby breathe comfortably and prevents their skin from getting too dry in the cold weather. This is especially useful in Indian cities like Bengaluru where air is dry and humidity is low.
  • Keep the Room Warm: Make sure the room where your baby sleeps is cozy and not too cold. You can do this by using a heater if required, keeping the fan at low speed, and closing windows so the temperature in the room is comfortable.
  • Avoid Direct Drafts: Keep your baby's bed away from direct drafts or cold air from windows or doors. This helps maintain a warmer space around them while they sleep.
  • Ensure Good Air Circulation: While keeping the room warm, also make sure there's good airflow. You can achieve this by using a small fan set on a low setting to circulate warm air around the room.
tips to keep baby warm in winter

Getting outdoors with baby in winter:

Babies benefit a lot from a few minutes of fresh air everyday.  Research has shown that 15 minutes of fresh air daily helps babies sleep better. But mothers are worried about their baby catching a cold! Worry not, follow these tips to keep baby safe outdoors in winter!

  • Ensure they wear warm pants, socks, jackets/sweaters and shoes. Don't forget a hat, mittens, and a scarf (if necessary). Important body parts to cover are head, ears, hands and legs!
  • If your baby is in a stroller or carrier, use a weather-appropriate blanket or cover to shield them from cold winds. Ensure it doesn’t cover their face and allows proper ventilation.
  • Keep outdoor outings brief, especially for very young babies. Their tolerance for cold weather is lower than adults. Aim for short walks or trips to minimise exposure to the cold.
  • Apply a gentle baby moisturiser to their skin before going out. Winter air can be dry and may lead to skin irritation or dryness.
  • Keep a close eye on your baby for any signs of discomfort like fussiness, red cheeks, or cold hands and feet. If they show signs of being too cold, return indoors promptly.

Winter need not be a daunting season for moms fretting about their little one's comfort. By implementing these unique yet practical tips, you can ensure your baby stays warm and content throughout the chilly months. Embrace these innovative approaches and witness your baby's winter days filled with warmth, comfort, and delightful moments! How are you keeping your little one safe in winter? Share in the comments! 

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