Both of my boys were born in the fall but despite that I call them my winter babies. Cause as far as I’m concerned, anything below 20 C is cold, and cold equals winter. And having to leave your snuggly, warm, just-five-more-minutes-pleaseee bed in the middle of the cold night so you can feed your baby – equals ‘winter baby’. So as a winter newborn, poor little Ryan experienced a fair share of coughing, sneezing and stuffy nose. He would wake up every couple hours at night, struggling to breathe. Needless to say, I was endlessly exhausted by the whole ordeal. And of course I blamed our cold home. And Sydney. And Mother Nature.
I am happy to say things are better this time around. I still mutter under my breath every time I have to get up and face the cold, but at least it’s only once a night (currently). And I do wake up to a happy baby, which helps a lot. I know this is partially due to the mild winter we’re having this year, but it is also because I’ve learnt a few tricks along the way.
I call them my winter baby essentials. I think they are all very obvious, but it’s easy to get confused with so many ‘do not overheat your baby’ warnings around us. This is what works for me and Ben, however I do understand that everyone is different.
Rug them up. I know that super-cute 000 sleevless onesie you got from a very trendy friend provides for an awesome photo opp, but in our house, in winter, anything sleeveless is underwear. I never worry about baby overheating. Reality is, if I’m cold, baby is cold. So if I have three layers on, my baby does too. The only exception is when he sleeps and I cover him with baby blankets. I tend to use his hands as a guide. If they get cold, I add a layer.
Sleeping bags/suits. One word. Love to dream. Ok, that’s three words. But man, do I love them! They have all sorts of varieties of swaddle ups now – I remember there were only a couple when Ryan was a baby. I use winter warm 50/50 swaddle-up with removable ‘wings’ (wings are still on cause Ben’s not rolling yet). We’ve been using it since it’s gotten colder at night and he never sleeps shorter than 7-8 hour intervals at night. Wakes up for a feed and goes back to sleep for couple more hours. Loves the swaddle and never gets cold in it. I know that our house gets quite cold at night (colder than recommended 18 C) so I put a sleeveless onesie, long onesie and then a swaddle-up on top. And then 2 baby blankets (cable knit cotton kind, so not very thick), tightly tucked in. Seems to be a perfect combo.
Socks. I always put socks under his long onesie. They keep his little toes nice and warm. I leave them at night too.
Beanie. I never leave the house without one. Ryan was pretty much bold until he was 1-1 1/2 yrs old and Ben seems to be following suit so I always have a beanie in my bag. The easiest thing is to not use it if not needed.
And of course heaters. In every room we are in. We don’t sleep with them but they are on non-stop until we go to sleep.
Even with all those precautions, stuffy noses are bound to happen. It generally happens overnight cause although Ben is warm, he does breathe in cold air and wakes up in the morning with the boogie or two. So Fess Little Noses to the rescue! I use one spray into each nostril (before I even attempt to give him his morning bottle) and most times don’t even need to use the aspirator. I just take him to a near by window, let him look outside into the morning light (no sun required!) and 15 seconds later (as if on cue) 2 or 3 sneezes do the job for me.
And nothing but smiles come time to eat. 🙂