If there is one thing we know in the Northeast, it’s how to get through the harsh winter months. We know how to drive in the snow. We know how to stockpile supplies in our homes. We know how to have fun in the snow!
And once we know a baby will be entering our lives, we are very fast to learn how to keep little people safe in the winter months!
If you think you are a pro with winter safety, run down the list below and see if you are up to speed on essential considerations for the babies in your life.
Don’t kiss babies on the mouth!
One of the best things you can do to keep your baby safe is not to kiss them on the mouth and not let others kiss them either! RSV is a severe virus that can cause 1-2% of children to be hospitalized. Other ways to keep RSV at bay: https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/high-risk/infants-young-children.html
- wash your hands
- don’t touch your face
- cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing
- clean surfaces often with a disinfectant
Cover your child’s skin!
The rule of thumb for young children who cannot communicate their preference is to dress with one more layer than what an adult is wearing in the same environment. Babies and toddlers cannot regulate their body temperature as well, and they also won’t often “complain” if they are cold.
Staying aware of your child’s body:
- Toes and fingers do not hold heat well, so take the time to physically feel your child’s toes and fingers throughout the day and night. Socks, booties, and suits can keep your child’s toes covered, but they still may not be warm.
- Limit time outdoors: small people lose body heat faster than adults, and cannot regain warmth once lost. If going outside, use all the winter gear that you can: hats, gloves, boots, suits, etc. And if spending a prolonged period outside, consider layering blankets and hot water bottles inside of a stroller or carrier to help keep the chill at bay.
Keep heaters kid-safe!
If you are using a space heater, wood-burning stoves or fireplaces, or other heat sources, childproof the area with gates, doors, and supervision. Burns are serious and should be treated by a medical professional to ensure proper treatment.
Many space heaters are available with tip-over off switches. Consider getting child-safe heaters for sleeping spaces and play spaces, if necessary.
Bulk isn’t always better!
Remember for car seats and babywearing devices, dressing your baby in their warmest clothes is NOT recommended. The added bulk to car seats and babywearing devices does not allow them to be appropriately used and compromises their safety.
- Take coats and bulky jackets off of babies and toddlers before strapping them into carriers and seats. Layers close to the body are preferred, and then layers of protection outside of the straps and wearing device.
Consider a babywearing coat:https://www.seraphine.com/en-us/3-in-1-maternity-w…
The Carseat lady: some great images for car seat layering https://thecarseatlady.com/warmandsafe/