During the winter months, it is difficult to know how to dress a newborn to stay safe and warm. As a new parent, you'll most likely find yourself asking: "Is the long-sleeve top enough? I'll add a jumper just incase. Hmm, is baby too warm now?" Small babies cannot regulate their own body temperature as well as adults and need some help from us to avoid overheating. Below, I've listed some tips to keep baby snug and comfortably warm.
1. LAYER UP PLUS ONE. Dress your baby in layers which can be easily removed. A good rule of thumb is that a baby only needs one layer more than what you'd wear in the same conditions to be comfortable, such as an additional pair of socks or a blanket.
2. COVER HEAD TO TOE. Babies lose heat through their head very quickly. When going outside, protect their head with a hat to prevent heat loss, cover hands with mittens and keep little toes toasty by wearing socks under their winter boots. All-in-one pramsuits are great if your little one is outdoors, or pop your baby in a snowsuit if the weather is bitterly cold. Snowsuits are great for protecting your little one from harsh winter conditions plus you get to see your baby waddling around as cute as can be (the above image is of my daughter at 9 months last December). Please do remember that when coming in from the cold, to take off snowsuits, jackets, shoes and other accessories so your baby can cool off properly. Removing the layers when indoors is just as important to avoid your baby overheating. Another reason for covering head to toe is to prevent your baby's skin from drying out. In the colder months, top up your baby's skin with moisturiser or emollient regularly to treat dry skin.
3. NATURAL FABRICS. Through the winter months, choose natural fabrics like cotton or bamboo for the base layer against baby's skin, such as this organic bodysuit by FromBabiesWithLove. Baby clothing made from natural fibres help maintain body heat, are extremely warm yet breathable and regulate body temperature naturally. They are also easier to layer and gentle on the skin without irritating. Natural fabrics are great for babies with sensitive and allergic skin.
4. SLEEP SMART SLEEP WELL. To keep your baby warm at night time, think layers again. Start by dressing your baby in a cotton bodysuit then a sleepsuit, and layer as needed. Always place your baby in lightweight bedding and use cotton blankets to swaddle your baby. Baby sleeping bags (the ones with arm holes like these ones by BabyMori) can be used as an alternative to a blanket. Never let your baby sleep around loose layers of bedding or blankets which can contribute to SIDS. If you are co-sleeping with your baby you can dress them in fewer layers as they benefit from your body heat. When putting your baby to sleep or down for a nap, try to keep room temperature between 16-20°c (per NHS guidelines), adjusting clothing and bedding accordingly.
5. CHECK TEMPERATURE. Babies do not know how to communicate how they're feeling but you can check for signs of overheating. Check your little one's tummy, neck or back which should feel warm. If the skin feels clammy it means they are too hot - remove some layers. If the belly is cool - add a layer. You should not use a baby's hands nor feet as indicators; it is normal for them to feel cooler. This is because a baby's circulatory system is immature and still developing.
6. ON-THE-GO. If you are using a baby carrier, your baby benefits from your heat as they are close to you. Take into account whether you are wearing the baby carrier over or under your winter coat, and add or remove a layer accordingly. When going for a walk with the stroller, don't forget to bring a blanket or foot muffs designed for the stroller are ideal to keep baby toes cosy when out and about. Foot muffs are normally lined with fleece and a zipper to open and close so baby can be lifted in and out of it easily.
7. CAR SEAT SAFETY. Never place your baby in the car seat with a thick winter coat on such as a puffy jacket or snowsuit. This is a major hazard in the event of an accident as it makes the harness loose and not tight enough, preventing the safety system of the car seat from working properly. To learn more about car seat safety including a video please click here. If you're still worried that your baby is cold in the car, blankets can be placed after the car seat is buckled rather than underneath them.
To keep your baby warm, especially in this British winter, make sure you layer up in natural fabrics! Yours Truly Charley have got you covered with a collection of natural products. I've picked from our curated gift collection, my top 3 winter essentials for baby.
1. Cotton Babygrow - Baby will stay snug and adorable all winter long in this little stars and angel wings bodygrow.
2. Eskimo Winter Booties - Luxuriously soft handmade leather baby booties to keep tiny toes cosy, with suede laces and a fluffy lining.
3. Welcome to the Welcome Gift Box - Wrap up your baby in this super soft, large muslin swaddle in a sweet lamb print and for the colder days out with the pram, your baby will stay snuggly in this luxurious blanket made from 3 layers of organic cotton and unbleached herringbone weave muslin. The gift box also includes a hand-knitted soft lamb toy and a baby hair brush made form natural olive wood and fine goat hair. The brush gently soothes baby's scalp, and helps alleviate dry skin condition such as cradle cap.