Hey there, mama! Winter can be a magical season, can’t it? Snowflakes falling, warm fires, and snuggling up in cozy blankets. But for those of us with little ones, the colder months can bring some worries, especially when it comes to keeping our babies warm and cozy. One particular area of concern? Those tiny, precious hands that we can’t help but hold and kiss!
Just like us, our babies need to stay warm during those cold winter nights. But unlike us, they can’t just pull on an extra blanket or adjust their own pajamas. That’s where we come in, mamas! As parents, especially for those of us new to the game or first-time moms, it’s our job to make sure our little ones are snug and secure when the temperature drops.
It may feel like a lot to think about, but don’t worry! I had Jackson in the winter, and I spent a large amount of time during those first few months worried that he was too cold or too warm. I’m hoping I can save you a bit of time and give you some much needed answers!
The Ideal Temperature for Your Baby
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that the ideal body temperature for our little ones is around 97.5 to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. But remember, just like us, each baby is unique, so a degree or so up or down isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. But if you’re ever in doubt, never hesitate to seek medical advice.
Room Temperature and Your Baby
The ideal room temperature for your baby is around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. That may seem a bit cool to some of us, but remember, our kiddos are often wearing an extra layer or two than we are. So, they might actually be more comfortable in that range.
Reliable Places to Gauge a Baby’s Temperature
If you’ve ever wondered if your baby is warm enough during the night, you’re not alone. It’s a common question us mamas have. And while it may seem like a good idea to check their little hands or feet, these areas don’t give the most accurate indication of their body temperature. These parts are usually cooler, which is totally normal.
So where should you check? The back of their neck and the baby’s chest are the most reliable places to gauge how warm or cool they’re feeling. And if you ever feel like your baby’s core temperature might be off, don’t hesitate to use a baby thermometer and consult with a healthcare professional if needed. Because the comfort and safety of our little ones always come first.
American Academy of Pediatrics Safe Sleep Guidelines
Alright, so here’s the scoop on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ safe sleep guidelines. They recommend a few key things that we should always keep in mind:
- Always put your baby to sleep on their back. This reduces the risk of SIDS, which we’ll talk more about in a bit.
- Your baby’s crib should be bare. That means no loose blankets, stuffed animals, or crib bumpers that could potentially increase the risk of suffocation. I know, some of those bumpers are downright adorable, but safety first, right?
- Use a firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet. Sounds simple, but it’s an essential part of making the crib a safe place for your baby.
How to Keep Baby’s Hands Warm at Night:
1. Wearable Blankets and Baby Sleeping Bags
Now, if you haven’t already heard of wearable blankets or baby sleeping bags, get ready to have your mind blown. These little wonders are basically cozy, warm cocoons for our babies. They keep our little ones warm without the risk of suffocation from loose blankets. Plus, they can’t be kicked off in the middle of the night, which is a bonus!
One thing to keep in mind when shopping for a wearable blanket or sleeping bag is the TOG rating. TOG stands for ‘Thermal Overall Grade’, and it tells you how warm the product is. The higher the TOG rating, the warmer the product. So, for those colder months, a higher TOG can be a great option.
2. Long Sleeves
During the winter season, dressing your baby in long sleeves is a good idea. It gives their little arms (and hands) an extra layer of warmth without the need for loose blankets. Look for soft, breathable fabrics that won’t irritate your baby’s skin.
3. Layering Up
Speaking of layers, adding an extra layer of clothing can be an effective way to keep your baby warm. When it’s especially cold, an additional layer can be added under their regular sleepwear. But remember, we don’t want to overdo it. The rule of thumb is to dress the baby in one more layer than what we’d be comfortable in.
A warm blanket might seem like a good choice, but remember our chat about loose blankets in the crib. Instead, consider laying the blanket on the floor for some cozy tummy time before bed.
Swaddling has been used by mamas for centuries to keep their babies warm and secure. A well-swaddled baby can look like a cute little burrito, all wrapped up in warmth. This can be a good option for newborns, but once your baby starts showing signs of rolling over, it’s time to say goodbye to the swaddle for safety reasons. And that’s when those wearable blankets we talked about earlier can become your new best friend!
What to Avoid When Keeping Your Baby Warm:
- Avoid Electric Blankets
- Hot Water Bottles
- Heating Pads
The Risks of Space Heaters
Space heaters can seem like a tempting solution for cold rooms. But they come with their own set of risks, especially when used in a baby’s room. They can cause burns or even start fires if not used carefully.
So what’s the good rule of thumb here? If you must use a space heater, make sure it’s out of reach, has a stable base to prevent tipping over, and turn it off when you leave the room. And never, ever leave it on while you and your baby are sleeping.
It’s easy to think that if some warmth is good, more must be better, right? But the important thing to remember is that our babies can get overheated if we’re not careful. One common mistake is covering a baby’s head and face.
Our little ones release excess heat through their heads and faces. So covering these areas can cause them to get too warm. Plus, a covered face poses a risk of suffocation. Stick to warming the body and leave those adorable heads uncovered.
Monitoring and Adjusting the Baby’s Room Temperature:
1. Room Thermometer:
Here’s a hot (or cool!) tip: a room thermometer is a great way to help maintain the correct temperature in your baby’s room. It takes the guesswork out of determining if the room is too hot or too cold. Ideal room temperature for a baby usually lies around 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s best to consult with a pediatrician for your baby’s specific needs.
2. Drafty Windows and Air Vents
Drafty windows can let cold air in, dropping the room’s temperature and making our little one’s hands cold during those cold nights. Heavy curtains or insulating window film can help keep that chill out. And remember to position your baby’s crib away from windows and air vents to avoid drafts.
3. Adapting to Temperature Changes
It’s easy to add or remove a layer of clothing if needed, without disturbing your sleeping baby too much. Keep a light, breathable extra layer nearby just in case.
And what about those super cold nights? Polyester fleece sleep sacks can provide extra warmth and are a safe alternative to loose blankets. Just make sure to adjust what your baby is wearing underneath to avoid overheating.
Tips for Keeping Your Baby’s Hands Warm:
1. Extra Warmth from Your Own Body Heat
Now, here’s a tip that not only keeps our babies warm but also deepens that precious bond between us. On colder nights, consider using your own body heat by co-sleeping to provide extra warmth. Nothing beats the warmth and comfort of a mama’s embrace, right?
And the good news is that skin-to-skin contact is not only warm and comforting for our little ones, but it’s also great for bonding and can even help regulate their body temperature.
2. Keep an Eye on Those Little Hands
It’s always a good idea to check on our baby’s cold hands, the feel of their skin, and even older children’s hands from time to time. If their hands feel chilly, add an additional layer of clothing or adjust the room’s temperature.
Remember, it’s normal for a baby’s hands to feel a bit colder than the rest of their body. But if you’re ever unsure, check the back of their neck or their chest for a more accurate gauge of their body temperature.
3. Polyester Fleece Sleep Sacks for Cold Climates
Are you living in a particularly cold climate, Mama? If so, polyester fleece sleep sacks are a great option. They’re designed to provide extra warmth while remaining breathable and safe. Plus, they come in all sorts of cute designs!
4. The Simple Joy of Warm Hands
Finally, one simple and effective way to warm your baby’s hands is to hold them in your own. This can be done anytime, anywhere, and not only does it help keep those little hands warm, but it’s also a beautiful way to bond with your baby.
And that’s a wrap, Mama! We’ve made it through the winter season, armed with our toolkit of tips to keep our little ones warm and cozy, from their tiny heads down to their adorable little hands. Remember, it’s the love and care we put into every small detail that makes all the difference. And look at you, you’re doing an amazing job!