As temperatures drop, new parents might be tempted to bundle up their infants against the cold. But in fact, putting on too many layers may create a risk of overheating, that can lead to increased heart rate and other concerns.
- Check to see if they’re sweating; if you touch your chest and it feels too hot you may need to remove some layers.
- Inside your home, if you’re comfortable, chances are they’re going to be comfortable too. Always think of light layers. A good rule of thumb is to have one more layer for the baby than the adults.
- Cold nights prompt many to throw an extra blanket on the bed. For infants, experts say bare is best. Avoid blankets until the child is a year old. (SIDS deaths increase in the winter months because parents think their babies are going to be really cold and they put too many items in the crib. Experts recommend putting the baby in a onesie, on their back, and get a “sleep sack”. It’s a wearable blanket and there’s less chance for the child to move around and put it in front of their face.)
- Do not bundle a child too heavily in a car safety seat as the extra bulk may affect the fit of the seat. A good way to test this is to put a heavy jacket on the baby, strap them in the seat and then remove the jacket and put them back. You will be able to see how much looser the should harness straps are and that can cause safety issues in a crash. Put them in tights/leggings or a onesie with a thin fleece jacket so they’re secure. You can also cover them with a blanket, but make sure that its not tucked into the straps or in any way that would compromise the position of their head.
Stay tuned for more handy winter safety tips!