Crisp morning strolls, warming snuggles on the sofa, there’s plenty for you and your baby to look forward to this winter. Little ones love spotting snowflakes, watching robins, and seeing the festive lights twinkle and shine – winter is pure magic.
Louenna Hood, Norland nanny and founder of the Nanny Louenna parenting app, is all for outdoor adventure throughout the winter months: ‘fresh air is so good for you and your baby’, Louenna reminds us. ‘It helps them sleep better and is so good for our mental health’.
Cold temperatures, however, can be dangerous for your baby’s tiny body, so it’s essential to follow some simple steps to keep your little one snug, safe and secure.
Dressing warmly is a must for parents and babies alike. Louenna advises parents to dress their baby in multiple, easy-to-remove materials rather than thick coats and chunky wool cardigans – layers create folds and pockets that trap warm air.
Layering natural fibres such as cotton is also perfect for trips into town as you can easily remove an item or two when you pop into a shop. This is the best way to go with blankets, too; we recommend choosing touch-me soft materials that won’t overburden you baby’s delicate body. And, be sure to steer clear of materials that might aggravate your baby’s skin – scratchy fabrics make a grumpy baby!
Toasty toes are another winter must (fluffy bed socks, anyone?). Babies suffer from cold fingers and toes just like us, so keep their extremities cosy with lined booties and little mittens. Tots also lose a lot of body heat through their head, so cute hats made from soft fabrics are a winter essential (and will help you score top marks for adorability!). Opt for styles with flaps to cover ears and strings to safeguard against meddlesome little fingers…
Fresh air only does good, especially during flu season, so don’t wave goodbye to winter walks when the weather turns cooler. Some simple hints will help to keep little ones warm during your afternoon stroll. Swaddling, for instance, is a sure way to help your baby feel calm and cosy.
Louenna advises parents to swaddle new-borns in a light, breathable blanket to safeguard against icy winds and biting breezes. While older babies don’t need to be swaddled, you can still protect them from the winter weather by tucking their gloved hands down into the folds of a snugly fitting blanket.
Rain covers are key for protecting against icy showers and, for those December mornings when the wind is particularly harsh, Louenna suggests doubling up your rain cover as a wind shield. Take care, however, as PVC rain covers trap heat and can very quickly turn your baby’s pram into a little sauna.
The risk of overheating should not be understated; it’s tempting to be over-cautious during the winter months and wrap your baby up too much. Removing hats, gloves and extra layers as soon as you bring your baby inside will help to regulate their body temperature. This really is a must – even if it means disturbing their peaceful sleep.
We all know that the winter weather plays havoc with our skin (scaly elbows, anyone?), and your baby is no different: bitter winds cause windburn and the lack of humidity in frosty air can make their skin dry and tight. Becoming best friends with the moisturiser bottle is your answer. Some tried and trusted favourites will help to care for your baby’s sensitive skin and protect them from painful winter conditions like cracked cheeks. Louenna’s favourites include Welada Baby Calendula Weather Protection Cream, Waleda Skinfood and Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. Soothing and gentle without a laundry list of chemicals, their natural ingredients will help to protect young skin against winter’s harsh conditions. Sore lips are another painful winter problem and can make little ones tearful and frustrated. Top tip: rub a small amount of cream into your baby’s lips once they have fallen asleep – wide awake babies will lick it off in two minutes!
Winter is the perfect season for making memories that will last a lifetime. From glistening snow scenes to cosy cuddles, there is so much for you and your baby to enjoy together. Just be sure to keep your tot toasty and protect them from the chilly winter weather.
The Nanny Louenna app is available to download from the App Store and Google Play. It is full of expert advice on topics ranging from fussy eating to First Aid, and subscriptions start from just £4.99 a month. A pocket essential for any busy parent!