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Baby, It’s Cold Outside! 5 Cold Weather Safety Tips

Updated: May 15



Connecticut Winter Baby

Winter has arrived with a vengeance! While a New England winter may be the setting for Hallmark movies and postcards, those of us who live here know the reality. Winter is cold, snowy, and at times dangerous. Babies are especially susceptible to the cold because their small bodies lose heat very quickly. How can you keep your precious little one safe and healthy during cold weather? Here are 5 tips for staying safe this winter.



1. Stay Weather Aware

As parents, you have a lot of things to keep track of. During the winter, it is important to stay aware of the weather. Going out or staying home, knowing what the weather is will help you be prepared to stay safe and warm. Low temperatures, wind chill factors, and snow or ice will impact your activity during winter.

If you need to go out when there is a chance of bad weather, plan on leaving enough time to account for icy roads. Keeping the car seat inside when temperatures drop will reduce how much body heat is lost when you put your baby in the car.


2. Stay Home as Much as Possible

You should plan on being home for the first few weeks after giving birth, regardless of what the weather is. Staying home protects you and your newborn from illnesses that seem to spread quickly during the winter. You also avoid potentially getting caught in snow or ice on the road. The best place for your newborn to enjoy the winter is inside, snuggled warmly in your arms.


3. Dress Baby in Layers

As a rule, babies should have one more layer than adults. If it is cold enough for you to be wearing a sweater and a coat, your baby should have that plus one more layer. Dress your baby in thin, snug layers. Start with a snug fitting sleeper or long-sleeve onesie and add layers over top. Don’t forget hats, mittens, and socks or booties. If your baby gets wet from rain or snow, or if they suck their mittens, change them into dry clothes as soon as possible.

At night, avoid the temptation to put extra blankets in their crib or bassinet. Regardless of the outside temperature, the guidance for safe sleep doesn’t change. No pillows, no toys, and no blankets! Put baby in approved sleep clothing, such as one-piece sleepers and sleep sacks to keep them warm at night.


A word of caution regarding layers and car seats: Never put your baby in their car seat wearing a puffy coat or multiple layers. There should be very little cushioning between their body and the harness straps. In an accident, the layers will compress reducing the protective power of the straps. After placing baby in the car seat and securing the straps, you can then put a blanket over their lap to keep them warm. Be careful not to cover their face, however, to prevent suffocation.


4. Have A Back-up Plan

Pack an emergency bag to keep in the car. If you find yourself stranded on the road, you will want to have a few essentials like snacks, blankets, extra diapers, and clothes. Keep your car with a full tank of gas if possible and keep your cellphone charged.

Have a backup plan if you lose power. Staying warm should be your priority. Know where you can go to warm up, such as a community warming center. Have a go-bag ready with essential items you will need for a few days away from home. You may also want to prepare a “stay-home” kit with items you may need if your pipes freeze, or you lose power and are unable to leave the house.


If you have an alternate source of power or heat, ensure that it is safely operated and stored. Gas and propane generators produce carbon monoxide. They should be operated outside and away from windows and air intakes. You should have at least one battery operated carbon monoxide detector, ideally located near the bedrooms.




Connecticut Winter Baby
Sleep Sacks are great for safe sleep to keep baby warm during cold Connecticut winters!

5. Educate Yourself

Learn the signs and proper treatment of hypothermia, frostbite, and carbon monoxide poisoning. They can all happen quicker than you may realize and have devastating consequences.


Here is a quick overview of these three winter health risks:

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is when the body’s temperature drops below normal. Someone suffering from

hypothermia may shiver at first, but soon become lethargic. Call 911 immediately and bring

them indoors. Remove wet clothing and wrap them in a blanket or put them in warm clothes.

You can prevent hypothermia by staying indoors during cold weather and keeping warm and

dry.

Frostbite

Frostbite is when the skin freezes. Extremities, such as the face, fingers, or toes, are the most

susceptible. The skin will hurt or burn, but quickly go numb. Frostbitten skin may turn white or

gray and blister. Gently warm the skin using warm water or a warm washcloth, but don’t rub the area, pop blisters, or put anything hot directly on the skin. You can prevent frostbite by dressing appropriately and limiting time in the cold.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) has no color, taste, or odor, which makes it especially dangerous. CO

interferes with the blood’s ability to transport oxygen. Symptoms include headache, dizziness,

vomiting, and weakness. If you are using anything that produces CO and you begin to feel ill,

move to an area with fresh air. You can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by ensuring any

gas-powered appliances are maintained properly and by having CO detectors in your home.


Stay Safe and Warm

I hope these tips help you make the winter less stressful and more enjoyable. Because we value life, we will make every effort to protect the health and safety of both our clients and our team. If the weather makes travel dangerous, we will reschedule to a time that is safer to drive. However, we are always just a phone call away and will provide whatever support we can, even if we aren’t able to be there in person. Our team of doulas at Tiny Miracles wish you and your family a safe and healthy winter!

Contact us today to see how we can help your family this winter.



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