Tips for Keeping your Baby Healthy and Safe in the Cold

If you’re due to give birth during the winter or will have a newborn or young baby during the winter, it’s important to be educated about the hazards of cold weather on your baby. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the physiology of babies and children leaves them unable to regulate their body temperatures as well as adults, and this can cause serious health problems if exposed to extreme temperatures.

Here are some common winter scenarios in which your baby may be faced with extreme cold, and how to remedy the situation.

In the Car

It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s important to remove any coats or snowsuits before putting baby in the car. The extra space created by the padding may compress in an accident, leaving enough space for baby to slip out. To keep baby warm in a cold car, be prepared with a blanket to use over the straps once baby is strapped in. Once the car heats up, you can easily pull it off.

Sleeping at Night

Despite the cold temperatures, it’s important that baby still sleeps alone in the crib, without any blankets, pillows, or other loose items. To combat the cold weather, dress baby in a warm sleeper such as a sleep sack. Remember, overheating is a risk factor for SIDS, so don’t overdo it with the layers.

Attending Outdoor Festivities

If your baby is still a newborn, it’s perfectly okay to skip the outdoor festivities when it’s too cold outside. Keeping your baby home and unexposed to cold temperatures or germs is never a bad choice. If the temperature isn’t below freezing or uncomfortable and baby is healthy, the rule of thumb for dressing is to put baby in one more layer than you would wear. Don’t forget warm socks, boots, mittens, and a hat! However, pay close attention to baby’s temperament and appearance. If you notice red cheeks, blue lips, a pale nose, or cold extremities, it’s probably time to head indoors. Similarly, if baby’s body seems hot and sweaty, they may be too hot and need a layer removed.

Avoiding Illness

Cold and flu germs abound in the winter, and because your baby’s immune system is still young and immature they are more susceptible to getting sick than you. The two best things you can do to reduce baby’s risk of getting sick, besides staying current with your vaccinations, are:

1) Wash your hands frequently and correctly, and

2) Avoid exposure

Keep baby away from infected people and crowds. When you go out, be sure to sanitize public surfaces you touch, and to wash your hands as soon as you come home. If you’re breastfeeding, continue to do so because as your body creates antibodies to defend against germs you come in contact with, it passes the antibodies to baby through the breastmilk, strengthening baby’s immune system.

Follow these tips to help keep your baby safe and healthy this cold winter season.

Continue Reading

New Year’s Resolutions for New Parents

Perhaps the greatest change that occurs for new parents when a new baby is born is perspective. Suddenly priorities become clear, time becomes more precious, and efforts become more focused. We want to be the best we can for our baby, and we want to give them the world.

Here are some New Year’s Resolutions ideas for new parents that will help you be your best self for your baby, your spouse, and you.

Be Healthy

Instead of setting a goal to “lose the baby weight” or “lose the baby tummy,” focus on the positive. That baby weight and baby tummy served a noble purpose, so try to avoid regarding it as a negative entity. Instead, focus on the miraculous feat your body has achieved, and what you want it to do now. Remember, goals must be specific to be achievable. Perhaps your goal of “being healthy” could center around building endurance, running a few times per week, or eating more whole fruits and vegetables to give you energy and fight exhaustion. Remember that the way you see yourself and treat your body will serve as an example to your child through their years under your influence, so treat yourself the way you’d want your child to treat his/her body.

Learn to Cook New Foods

Many parents prefer to make their own baby food instead of using store-bought baby food. Learning to make your own baby food would be a great New Year’s resolution. As your baby gets older, you may find that their palette is a bit more “refined” than yours, and many parents can attest to the battles of dinnertime with a toddler. Learning to cook a variety of new foods can help prevent this battle and introduce your whole family to new foods you never knew you liked. Setting the example of cooking and trying new food will also influence your children’s habits, so setting a goal of making one new recipe per week is a great way to encourage good eating patterns and open-mindedness.

Read Parenting Books

I used to roll my eyes at parenting books, but then I heard a perspective that completely changed my mind. Parenting is very much a job, a tough job. It requires skills – organization, adaptation, project management, human resources, budgeting, time management – you name it, you probably need it for parenting. Every other job requires training, education, and ongoing education and training, so why would we treat parenting any different? While the love that we feel for our children comes natural, we may not know the best methods of discipline, how to deal with a child whose personality is nothing like ours, different methods of potty training, and the list goes on. To be the best we can be at the best job in the world, we must seek continued education and training to gain perspectives, methods, and ideas that we don’t know of yet.

Resume an old Hobby

It is easy to lose yourself in parenthood. While time is precious, it is also fleeting. This makes it easy to put ourselves last and fail to do the things that used to be part of our identity. Set a goal to get out there and play tennis once per week or month. Go fishing with your brother once per month. Think of something that you can do for your own wellbeing, and make a realistic goal to do it reasonably often. Taking care of yourself is not selfish. Your child deserves the best parents, and the best parent is the one who is at peace with themselves and the world around them. And who knows, it may not be long until your little one wants to come along, and that favorite hobby of yours becomes a passed-down tradition.

Visit Family Members

After moving across the country from my parents and grandparents a few years ago, I realized I would have to be deliberate and willing to sacrifice in order to visit them. I set a New Year’s Resolution last year to visit all 4 of my grandparents because it had been a few years since I’d seen a few of them. We bought plane tickets for our whole family and dedicated our entire Spring Break to it. Boy am I glad I set that goal, and stuck to it. My grandmother died two months after our visit, and my grandfather after whom my son is named, slipped into stage 5 of Parkinson’s Disease within weeks of that trip. Don’t put off visiting family members, especially with a baby. You will never regret the sacrifice and time it takes, but you may very deeply regret putting it off until it’s too late.

Spend time daily distraction-free

Social media is a great tool to help us stay connected, especially during times of isolation. But when we’re home a lot because of a baby, too much social media can be a distraction and even detriment to our relationships and responsibilities. Set a goal to consume social media and other forms of media in moderation. Perhaps set a goal to have all meals device-free.

Commit to a weekly date night

Don’t forget to set time aside for your spouse. Your relationship may evolve when a baby is added to the mix, but it should still be a priority. Make actual plans in advance and keep them. Overcome the fear of leaving baby with a babysitter and spend time alone with each other. You will be better parents when you keep your marriage healthy.

Hey new parents, we want to know! What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

Continue Reading

Baby It’s Cold Outside: Fun Indoor Activities for Babies

Sometimes winter weather can be a downer. Especially if you have a baby. If it’s cold, snowy and otherwise dreary, we’ve got your back. Below are six ideas to help get the ball rolling.

1. Create an impromptu “band”

Get out your pots, pans and kitchen utensils and let your baby discover new noises. Try to see what different sounds you can create using different materials. If you have Tupperware containers with lids, try filling them with different items like dry rice, lentils or beans and shake them for more noisy fun.

2. Finger painting with baby food

Put your baby in her high chair and put two different colors of baby food in different tins. Let your baby explore the textures, and don’t worry if she decides to lick her hands.

3. Make a sensory play area

Create a sensory play area by using flour and cornmeal. Let your baby feel the difference in textures and explore. Add water to the mix to create more goopy fun, and then add a drop of food coloring to see what happens next. And then throw your baby in the bath for even more fun…

4. Give baby a bubble bath or have a swim in the tub

Have fun with your baby in the bathtub. Fill it with bubble bath and also bring in a bottle of bubbles to create a bubble room. Or, if bubbles aren’t your cup of tea, put on your swimming suits and bring some toys to play with. Pretend you’re at the beach or swimming at your favorite pool.

5. Build a fort or maze of pillows

Grab some blankets, pillows, a chair or two and some toys, and create a fun fort. Read your favorite books, or take a nap. If your child isn’t in the mood to snuggle, create a fun maze to crawl through, with some of your little one’s favorite toys or snacks at the end of the maze.

6. Take a trip to the library

Libraries are the best. If you need to get out of the house, but still stay inside, visiting the library is a great option. Bonus points if your local library is hosting story time.

What are some of your favorite indoor activities to do with your baby?

Continue Reading

Dressing Baby for Winter

Babies are not able to regulate their body temperatures as adults, so it’s important to be attentive to their needs as the temperature changes during the fall and winter. Your baby is not able to tell you if they’re cold, hot, or uncomfortable, so it’s up to you to learn their cues for discomfort or distress and do your best to be proactive about keeping them warm. Here are some tips for dressing your baby this winter.

Remember car seat safety

Safety is always priority, and it’s important for all parents to know that jackets, coats, and blankets can cause car seat straps to be loose and unsafe. Always remove your baby’s coat before strapping baby in the car seat. I always keep some blankets in my car so that once baby is strapped, I can tuck a blanket around my son, on the outside of the straps, so that he stays warm but is still securely fastened in his car seat.

Hats with straps

Babies can lose a lot of heat through their heads, so use a hat to protect their head from the cold. Easier said than done though, right? What baby wants to keep a hat on their head? Thankfully, a lot of coats and bodysuits come with hoods that are not easy for a baby to pull down. Using hats with chin straps will also help it to stay put and prevent baby from ripping it off. This adorable hat from Old Navy will keep baby warm and stay put.

Mittens with Velcro

Keeping baby’s hands warm can also be a challenge. Nothing seems to like to stay put on those little hands, and gloves and mittens seem to slide right off on their own. Look for mittens that have a wrist Velcro strap so that they cannot easily slide off. Also, while they are little it will be MUCH easier to get mittens on those chunky hands than gloves. I learned the hard way not to even bother trying to find gloves that fit and then wrangle those wiggly fingers into each glove finger if I did happen to find baby gloves.

Furry bear suits

Full furry bear suits are a classic warm full-body staple for your baby. We love this one from LL Bean, it’s perfect for a girl or a boy and looks so soft. This is a great way to add a layer of lighter clothing so that you can adjust if you’ll be going in and out, perhaps during a shopping trip, parade, or other holiday event.

Safe Sleep

Keeping baby warm at night while keeping them safe can be a challenge because loose bedding such as blankets and pillows are dangerous and should not be used. Overheating your baby is also dangerous and is a risk factor for SIDS, so if the temperature in your home stays at a comfortable level, your baby might only need a onesie under some footed pajamas, and perhaps a sleep sack.

What tips would you add to help new parents dress their babies for winter?

Continue Reading
Introducing Smart Sock 2! CLick here to learn more.
1 2 3 29