Cosy babies: how to keep your little one warm this winter
Here are some simple and affordable things to remember when making a cosy environment for your baby to sleep in this winter.
1. Wrap baby warmly and safely
Babies love escaping from their blankets, so one of the easiest ways to keep them warm is to swaddle or use a baby sleeping bag. While these can be expensive, it’s possible to pick up excellent second-hand merino sleeping-bags and swaddling cloths at a fraction of the price on Trade Me.
Your baby’s head should be uncovered and if it’s very cold in their room then increase the number of layers underneath the swaddle/sleeping bag instead of adding other bedding on top. Sometimes, despite taking every care, you might not be sure whether your baby is too hot or too cold - the best way to check is to feel their tummy or neck (with warm hands!).
Avoid sheepskins if there is a history of asthma or allergies in the family, as they can be a haven for dust mites.
2. Cover windows
Windows are the place where most heat escapes from NZ houses. With double-glazing a luxury that few can afford, the best way to avoid losing heat is to close your curtains in the evening and consider getting thicker curtains that will trap the heat in better. Some people even use bubble wrap!
3. Position the cot away from draughts
Place the cot away from windows, curtains and heaters to help keep your baby’s temperature stable. Feel along windows and doors to see if there are any draughts. If there is a cool breeze sneaking through then cover the gap with a towel or ‘draught snake’. It’s also possible to purchase self-adhesive rubber strips to help windows close more tightly, as well as draught stoppers for underneath doors. Ensure any open fireplaces are blocked when not in use to avoid draughts.
4. Chose the right heating
Experts agree that the ideal room temperature for a baby is 16° to 20°C. Heaters with a thermostat are ideal as they turn on and off to keep the temperature constant and help save energy too. Plunket recommends that parents should keep to the “metre heater” rule, which means keeping any materials that can burn (including bedding, curtains, clothes and furniture) at least one metre from all heaters. It’s important to remember that overheated rooms are also not safe for babies, so it’s best to avoid fan heaters, which can heat up quickly. Gas heaters are also unsuitable as they can give off dangerous fumes. Always ensure baby’s room is well aired with the door open to help keep fresh air circulating.
5. Remove condensation every morning and check for mould
As if you don’t have enough to do in the mornings, it really is important to dry off damp windows to stop mould having a chance to grow and spread. Mould spores can lead to and worsen respiratory problems like asthma, so if you don’t have a chance to do the rest of the house, make sure the kids rooms are done regularly.
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