The winter season brings a lot of cheer and joy. Everyone loves the first snow of the season, cozy evenings by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate or a nice glass of wine! But let us not forget that winters can be quite harsh for infants, toddlers and young children if you don’t take enough precautions.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure your children stay safe and healthy even in harsh weather.
1. Keep Hydrated
When talking about winter care for baby, what a lot of people tend to sideline is fluid intake. Because it’s so cold, we tend not to feel as thirsty. However, our children’s bodies need just as much fluid as they would at comfortable temperatures. Staying hydrated also helps the skin stay soft and supple in the winters.
2. Go Luke-Warm
Liquid at “room temperature” in the winters is too cold to consume, especially for little ones. So be it water or juice, warm it up lightly before allowing your little one to drink.
Dry skin is a common symptom experienced in winter. While drinking enough fluids can help with dry skin, you also need to moisturize from the outside. For babies, lotions may not work as well in the winter. Try pure coconut, olive or almond oil applied to the entire body at least twice a day to keep your baby’s skin healthy during the winters.
A note on baby lip care: remember that all the drooling and drinking your little one does can remove the protective layer of skin from their lips. A layer of lip balm or petroleum jelly will soothe uncomfortable, chapped lips.
4. Avoid Heat Rash
Layers and layers of clothing on an infant can sometimes have detrimental effects. If baby’s skin doesn’t have a chance to breathe, heat buildup can cause your little darling to break out into an uncomfortable rash. One of the best winter clothing tips for baby is to use the “one more layer” rule as a general guideline. So, if you are comfortable in 2 layers of clothing, your baby will be just fine with 3.
5. Keep the Extremities Warm
Anyone giving you winter clothing tips will tell you that there’s no point in bundling up your baby in layers of clothing if he is not wearing socks and mittens. In fact, if you put socks and mittens on them, they probably need fewer layers than you think. A great way to tell if your baby is warm enough when you come in out of the cold is by checking the toes and the tummy. Baby’s toes should be slightly cool to the touch (not cold) and her tummy should be warm. If your baby’s toes and tummy are both warm, your baby is wearing too many layers.
6. Keep Hands (and Feet) Clean
Another winter healthcare tip is to keep your baby’s hands clean. We all know that babies love to suck on their fingers and toes (if they can reach!). Keeping babies hands, and yours, clean will prevent a good amount of germs from entering her system, thereby helping to keep away illnesses, to a certain extent, of course.
7. Load Up on Immune Building Foods
A good amount of fruits rich in vitamin C (avoid citrus if your child has a cold), vegetables, meat and eggs during the day will help boost your baby’s immunity. If you are breastfeeding, keep it going throughout the winter, it will benefit your baby a great deal in the long run.
8. Baby Needs Sun Protection
It may not be obvious but those rays are powerful even in winter! Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. If you child is under six months, the sunscreen should have physical blockers like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
9.Don’t Be Afraid of Fresh Air
Because it is so cold outside, you might think it’s best to just stay indoors all the time. But did you know that a majority of the colds children get in the winter are caused from staying home and breathing in stale air for prolonged periods of time? Fresh air is very important for overall health. Take frequents (but quick) walks even if they are just around the yard and back in again.
Keeping baby warm but not too warm while making sure they are moisturized, hydrated and fed with the right foods is a lot to juggle! But most of it will come to you as instinct. So hang in there, there are many more winters to come and you will do just fine!