- Get out and have fun outdoors: Do not be trapped indoors. Take your baby and yourself out to get fresh air and daylight. It’s the best for your health and your mood. Outdoors is always better than crowded public places to avoid viruses and germs. Also fresh air will help strengthen both your immune systems.
- Dress your baby properly: For outdoors, dress your baby up with thin layers of clothes and top with wool clothes to keep them dry and warm. One additional layer than what you are wearing is needed as babies don’t walk, run or move much in their strollers or baby carriers to make energy for themselves. I don’t recommend snap bottom pants for easy change during winter. They let the cold air in between the snaps.
- Protect their skin: When you are going out on very cold days with windchill, protect their exposed skin (hand and face) by putting on lanolin cream that you use for your nipples or dark brown and perfume free Vaseline. I recommend that you use the same cream for your own hands and lips.
- Proper cover up for car seat and stroller: Don’t bundle your babies with bulky jackets or jumpsuits in car seats or stroller under loose safety belts. Make sure your baby is securely and tightly fastened. You can use car seat covers or stroller cover blankets.
- Sleep time safety: Keep your baby warm during sleep time by either swaddling them or putting on wearable blankets. High room temperature, additional blankets, comforters or pillows will increase the risk of SIDS in babies.
- Turn on your humidifiers: During winter, heaters usually dry up the air causing irritation inside the nose and dry skin. You can mist water in the air in bedrooms before bedtime and turn on humidifiers to make sure the humidity is kept at proper levels. Instead of humidifiers, you can simply put a bowl of water near a heater or air duct.
- Make sure carbon monoxide detectors are working: Since furnace will be working round the clock, make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors properly installed in all bedrooms and batteries are fresh.
- Drink lots of water: In winter, you won’t feel as thirsty as you would in summer. But you need as much water to keep your immune system strong. If you are nursing, you need even more water, so keep that water bottle full and within arm’s reach.
- Keep sanitizing wipes in your diaper bag: If you are visiting public places, make sure to sanitize changing tables, booster seats, shopping cart handles and other things you and your baby might touch.
- Wash hands and change clothes: Don’t spread the germs and viruses you brought from outside around the house. As soon as you come home, first take off all your outdoor clothes (all family members), and dress into your indoor clothes. Then wash your hands and preferably face.
- Feel free to show the hand: Yes, babies are cute but viruses are not. When you are having a visitor, ask them if they (or their company) have been sick or not. If they are, feel free to offer them to visit you another time when they get better. When your visitors arrive, ask them to wash their hands right away. If you bump into an acquaintance outdoors, feel free to kindly ask not to touch or kiss your baby’s face. The embarrassment you might feel is much bearable than the guilt you’ll feel if your baby gets sick.
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Please share your “must do” tips to keep your baby and yourself healthy and safe during winter time in the comments.