Baby, it’s cold outside

In the winter months, all parents want to make sure their little one is warm and healthy. Here are our top tips for staying snug in the cold weather.

1. Layer up

If you’re not sure about what your baby should wear, go for one layer of clothing more than you’re wearing. For example, if you’ve got a top, jumper and coat on, dress your baby in a vest, babygro, cardigan and coat.

When you go out, as well as the extra layer, snuggle your baby in mittens and socks/bootees. If your baby constantly kicks their socks off, and are getting too big for babygros, a pair of tights (boys too!) can really work well and keep their tootsies toasty.

A blanket to cover them while they’re sitting in their buggy, car seat or sling is also a good idea. You can get specially designed muffs that zip around your baby when you’re out and about.

2. Flat cap or woolly hat?

Don’t forget to keep your baby’s head warm, especially when you’re outside, as they can lose a lot of heat through their heads.

Flat caps can look cute on baby boys but they’re not ideal for really cold weather.

Go for a jacket with a hood or a woolly hat, or headgear that covers ears and cheeks too.

3. Not too cold…but not too hot

While you don’t want your baby to get cold, you don’t want them to overheat either. Feel their chest or back to check their temperature.

And remember to remove any extra clothing when you come in from outside or get into a warm car, bus or train so that your baby doesn’t get too hot (see section on car seats below).

4. Get appy

Ever changed a nappy on the floor of a shop or café toilet? Well those nightmare days are over. Let our Babychange app show you the way to baby changing facilities near you.

When you’re out and about and it’s freezing cold, somewhere warm and dry to change your baby can be a godsend so use our award-winning Babychange app, sponsored by Sudocrem Care & Protect.

This free, parent-friendly app shows you the way to the nearest baby changing facilities with ratings to help you make your choice!

5. Banish those bugs

It’s normal for children to have around eight colds a year because there are hundreds of different cold viruses to which they haven’t been exposed before so they don’t have immunity.

Sometimes it can feel like your baby is sick all the time. But, rest assured, children do gradually build a resistance and most colds disappear in five to seven days. We’ve got lots of tips on keeping your family healthy.

6. A warm welcome awaits

Look out for NCT’s Parent Friendly Charter stickers in cafes, shops and restaurants where you and your baby will get a warm welcome. You can feed your baby or toddler in comfort, and many of them will have helpful staff and baby changing facilities.

A hot drink can still scald a baby after 15 minutes.

If you do warm yourself up with a cup of tea or coffee, be careful as hot drinks and babies and toddlers don’t mix well. A hot drink which has been left to cool for 15 minutes could still scald a baby.

To reduce the risk, try and avoid holding your baby and a hot drink at the same time. A wriggling baby may cause you to spill your drink on them and you. Read more tips on safety.

7. Get their winter wardrobe from a Nearly New Sale!

Kitting out a baby for the winter can be expensive so look out for an NCT Nearly New Sale in your area where you can buy great quality clothes and equipment at a fraction of the high street price.

NCT Nearly New Sales differ from other second-hand sales as the funds raised help support our national campaigns, as well as local branch support for new mums and dads. Find your next one.

8. Be snug and safe in your car

Child car seats are tested with the safety dummy in light clothing; using the seat in a way that it has not been tested, can reduce its effectiveness.

As a result, it’s not advisable for children to wear thick, padded clothing when in their child restraint, as it creates a gap between them and the harness. This gap can reduce the effectiveness of the harness and, in a collision; it may not protect a child as it should do.

It might seem strange to consider taking off your child’s coat or padded all-in-one when the weather’s cold but also bear in mind that a child wearing a winter coat or jacket can overheat in a car, once it has warmed up. Find out more in this car seat safety video.

9. Get some fresh air

When it’s cold outside, getting out and about may feel like the last thing you want to do.

Babies sleep better at night if they’ve had some fresh air during the day.

But it’s amazing how fresh air can blow away the cobwebs and make a world of difference to how you feel – especially on days when you haven’t had much sleep or your child is feeling a bit grumpy or grizzly at home.

Plus, we also know babies sleep better at night if they’ve had some fresh air and sunshine during the day, according to a study called The Relationship Between Daytime Exposure to Light and Night-time Sleep in 6-12 Week Old Infants.

10. Make new friends

Getting out (even when it’s cold) is also an opportunity to get some exercise and meet new friends.

NCT branches, for instance, hold many different events for parents in the local area. Why not find out what’s happening near you? 

The added advantage of going to local groups is a little bit of saving on the heating at home! For more tips on energy saving, read our article.