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Baby's first winter

Baby's first winter
It is that time of year again.  When days become shorter and hot chocolate becomes our best friend.  Autumn has officially arrived, and winter is around the corner.

We are all getting ready for the cold days ahead, unpacking our winter clothes and getting thick blankets out of the closet.  It is easy for us as adult to adjust to changes in temperature, pull up an extra blanket or take off that warm snug jacket. But what about our little ones?  Unless they can miraculously start to walk and talk from birth, how do we know when they are too cold or too warm?  We don't want to wait for hysterical cries to make us aware that something is not right.
 
If you look at the adult body in comparison to a baby, the skin (body surface) of a baby is almost three times as much as an adult's when compared to their body weight. They also carry a lot less body fat.  That is why they easily lose more body heat than adults.  It is estimated up to four times quicker than an adult.
Let's take a closer look at some way to navigate to cold months ahead and make sure our little ones are comfortable and well looked after.
Are they too cold or too warm?
Even as adults, blood circulation to our extremities may not always be the best and could lead to hands or feet feeling cold although our core body temperature may still be optimal. 

Therefore, although your baby's hands or feet may feel cold, to give you the best indication of their core temperature it is recommended to gently feel the skin on their tummy or back. The skin should feel warm and not too cold or too hot.

Other clues to look out for is your little one's behaviour.  When they are comfortable, they will be happy, feed well, be active and sleep well during nap times.
Layering
Layering is a perfect way of making sure your little one is warm enough whilst making it easy to reduce the amount of heat on their body as weather warms during the day.

Layering with lightweight layers is ideal as they can be easily removed. Babies find it much more difficult than adults to regulate body temperature and therefore can easily overheat.
 
As a general rule of thumb, your little one should be wearing the same amount of layers/ type of clothing as you would wear comfortably plus one additional layer.
Instead of covering your baby in heavy, thick jackets or thick knitted clothes, opt for a few thin layers of warmth which can easily be removed during diaper changes.
Bedtime
When it comes to bedtime, rather be a bit more cautious.  Babies sleep better when they are cooler and it also reduces the risk of SIDS.

One piece baby rompers with closed feet are a very good choice. Also, refrain from covering their heads with beanies at night to reduce the risk of overheating.
Look for a one piece that is made from a soft, durable, natural fabric. Long sleeves with closed feet are ideal.  Also look at the closure mechanism to ensure quick dressing during night-time diaper changes.
Have a look at our Aden organic cotton one piece rompers for a perfect example.
 
As we get to the really cold winter nights and a one piece may no longer enough, sleeping bags for younger babies can provide a comfortable and restful sleep. Ensure that the sleeping bag has enough room for your little one to freely kick their legs and have fitted neck & arm holes.

Lightweight bedcovers can also be used but should be tucked in firmly and only come up to your baby's chest. Again, layering lightweight covers is better than using one thick heavy duvet. Our beautiful organic Kelaya fitted sheets and Elody knitted blankets are perfect examples.
Head and hands
Babies lose the most body heat through their heads and hands.  Therefor a soft beanie and lightweight mittens are great options to provide your little one with extra layers of warmth.  You can also keep their feet nice and warm with a pair of soft socks.
 
During these colder months, the air is much drier. You will start to notice the drying effect this has on your little one's skin as it more easily loses moisture. If not attended to, this can lead to dry, itchy patches on their skin. Below are a few tips to help  prevent dry skin during winter:

Drooling can cause lips and noses to get chapped and raw during winter months.  It is suggested to rub petroleum jelly onto their lips before taking them out.

When bathing your little one, make sure the water is warm but not too hot. Frequent bathing can also dry skin out more and therefore  it is recommended once a day only with wipe downs inbetween if needed.

Moisturise their delicate skin with natural, unscented lotion.  Baby oil is also a pure natural option which can be massaged into your baby's skin. The best time to use baby lotion is right after bath time to lock in moisture and support their skin barrier.

Now sit back, enjoy the winter sun and a hot cup of hot chocolate.
Ilana xxx

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