Nanny Louenna’s tips on how to keep baby warm in winter
Norland nanny and mum Louenna shares her expert advice on how to keep your baby warm and well during the chilly winter months. With years of experience under her belt, including a spell nannying in snowy Sweden, she’s got all the tips and tricks you need to know. Over to Louenna:
As we move into the winter months, I thought it would be helpful to share some helpful tips and products that will help your babies stay cosy and warm.
I really believe that fresh air is so good for you and your baby, it helps them sleep better and is so good for our mental health, therefore even during cold spells I make sure everyone is in proper clothing and we always still go out.
I frequently say to parents, try putting yourself in your babies shoes for a minute .... would you be warm enough, comfortable enough dressed like that? If you want nothing more than to jump into the cosy pram and enjoy a nap outdoors yourself, then you've probably done a great job of dressing them and layering them appropriately!
I picked up some great tips for looking after babies in cold winters when I maternity nursed and nannied in Sweden! The Swedes are completely set up for a cold winter and their babies still spend lots of their day outside in temperatures as low as -20ºC!
How can I dress my baby to keep them warm in cold weather?
Thermal layers are soft and thin and brilliant for helping babies stay warm. Multiple thin layers will keep your baby warmer than a single thicker layer. This is because warm air gets trapped between the layers and acts as an insulator.
I recommend a snowsuit for all ages, with booties to protect your baby’s feet if they aren’t old enough for shoes yet. Buy hats that tie underneath your little one’s chin to stop them pulling them off, and gloves on string or that are elasticated around the wrist to stop them falling off.
A footmuff for the pram is an absolute must-have in the winter as it traps the heat inside, keeping your little one cosy and warm when out and about. If it’s particularly cold, you can put blankets inside the footmuff as an additional layer.
For young babies under three months old, swaddle them in the pram to keep their hands cosy and away from the elements. For older babies, put gloves on them and tuck little hands under blankets to keep them warm. Make sure blankets are tucked in so they can’t kick them off.
One of my top tips in windy weather is to use the pram rain cover as a windshield. This really helps keep the heat in, just remember to keep an eye on them getting too hot, and keep the vents open because they warm up like little green houses in the sun!
When you go indoors, get home, walk into a cafe or shopping centre - even if your baby is asleep - take their hat off and some of their layers so they don’t overheat.
What's the ideal room temperature for a baby in winter?
I would try to avoid your baby’s room dipping below 18 degrees celsius. Depending on the temperature of your house, I would put a baby to bed in a vest and babygrow, then a swaddle or sleeping bag, plus a blanket tucked in over them. You have to remember that we snuggle under thick duvets and babies will wake through the night if they aren’t cosy and warm.
If your baby is in a sleeping bag and their arms are getting cold, you can buy sleeping bags that include sleeves.
If your toddler kicks their duvet off in the night and wakes because they are cold, there are large sleeping bags that can't be kicked off, or use duvet clips to help them stay on. Check your child before you go to bed, to straighten their covers and make sure they’re tucked in to avoid them waking in the early hours due to being cold.
How often should I bathe my baby in cold weather?
I would still bathe a baby every day as part of their evening routine but make sure to always moisturise them after their bath.
Babies' skin is delicate, they can easily get windburn and dry or cracked cheeks when they are exposed to the elements. Use a weather protection cream on their face before you go out to help.
If your baby has sore lips, put some cream on when you check them at nighttime. If they’re asleep they’re less likely to lick it or rub it off!
When should I worry about my baby being too cold?
If your little one is generally unsettled, struggling to sleep, or keeps waking up, they may be too cold. It’s normal for their hands and feet to always feel cooler than the rest of their body, however they shouldn’t feel cold to touch.
Babies lose heat four times faster than adults, especially through their head, so wearing a hat outside is really important.
How can I tell if my baby is too cold?
The best way to check if your little one is warm enough is by placing your hand at the back of their neck or on their chest. It’s important to note that their hands and feet are always cooler than the rest of their body.
When it’s cold outside and you need to go out in the car, it’s tempting to put your babies in thick coats, but this isn't safe.
Take their coats off and instead cover them with a blanket, over the top of their car seat straps. The blankets can be taken off if they get too hot when the car heats up.
Cars heat up very quickly, and you can always turn the car on to warm up for a few minutes before putting your children in if you have time.
Should I change any of my routine in the winter?
Colder weather isn’t a reason to change your baby’s routine at all.
How can I tell if my baby is too warm?
If your baby is too warm their skin may appear flushed , their chest will feel particularly warm or they may feel sweaty.
So there you go, all the tips you need to keep baby cosy and well during the cold winter months.