How to keep infants and babies warm in winter

63 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi all!

I am from Florida and am about to be a 1st time mother. Winter is new to me, babies are new to me, so babies in the winter... very new to me.

Anyway, my baby is due in late Dec. What do parents do to keep their newborn babies warm outside? Do newborns wear snowsuits, because I can't find any sized for newborns? Smallest I have found is a 62. I know that layers are important, but that doesn't seem like it would be enough. The stroller I bought has one of those bag thingies, but it doesn't seem that thick and the head opening is so large that cold air will easily get in. I would think that the opening being any smaller would cause a smothering risk though. Besides, I won't always have the baby in the stroller when we are outside, will I? What if I used a sleep sack? Would that be enough? Just wrap the kid in a blanket? Or do most parents opt to keep their kids indoors for the 1st few months if they are born in winter?

I may be over thinking this. Help please.

SR

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Posted

hey there SR

I haven't had a baby in a bavarian winter before - the dubious pleasure awaits me the end of November...but I hope to do the following. Body + tights or sleepsuit plus next size all-in-one fleecy babygrow (the sort with cute bear ears on) over the top and hat/mitts in a sling/wrap against my body/under my coat. Though i did see recently some kind of jacket baby holder all in one thing advertised. Short trips to coffee bar/xmas market...last time went out when daughter 1 week old as first trip but that was a different ballgame as it was spring.

If it's freezing here then probably i will stay warm in flat for a couple of weeks/move when i have to. Not using my pram til Spring cos it will be easier just to carry her against my fat body but if i did take her out in pram would be putting her in a sleeping bag thing and trying to protect the face (whilst letting her breathe - they can get too hot - just doubt it in winter...)

Had a snowsuit for first one but she was six months before facing a manchester snowstorm/scottish hogmanay.

Sure you'll do fine. Good luck.

edit: nice link Kathie. I be gettin' me one of those ;-) Green applause xx

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Posted

I just wanted to add the baby will only be a size 56 for a few weeks, some babies never even fit in that size. Plan more for the size 62/68 which will last the whole winter, in the beggining it may be a bit baggy, but that is fine especially with layering.

I found a fleece jumpsuit from old navy for 20 bucks, only to go to a baby market here find an even warmer snow suit with flip down glove and foot covers for only 2,50.

I have not bought anything aside from a few kimono onesies and a few sleepers in size 56. PLus people always want to gift the itsy bitsy sizes, so you will generally get more. I am starting with size 62 german or 0-3 months US.

As for winter items in size 0-3/62 I have onsesies both long and short sleeve. Sleepers heavy and light, a sleep sack and swaddle blankets, baby tights, baby stretch pants, a few shirts, a jacket, and the snow suit. PLus some warm blankets and the usual hats, mittens, socks, ect.

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Posted

Actually, SJ, I think my little one (52cm at birth, so relatively average) was in size 56 for a good 6 weeks at least - you're talking 8cm of growth before they're into size 62 really, so it can take a while, and size 62 would swamp them at the beginning.

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Posted

So do you suggest having more in the smaller sizes? I had originally planned to get smaller, but in the new mommy & daddy thread they said babies don't last long in them, so its better to get the bigger sizes.

No I don't think so all the 62 I have bought says 2-4 months on the tag. And they appear the same size as my US 0-3 months. I had a chart given to me one sec and I will track it down.

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Posted

I am worried about having too much growth room in something puffy like a snow suit. I'm afraid of it accidentally sliding over the baby's mouth and nose and suffocating her. Is this a realistic fear or are they designed not to do that even if it fits a little baggy?

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Posted

I would certainly suggest having quite a few sleepsuits and bodies in 56, bearing in mind that you'll be washing at least one a day, if not more because of spit-up, nappy leaks etc. As you say, with layering, it won't matter if his coat is bigger, but if his underwear is hanging off him, he'll be colder. I certainly wouldn't advise spending much money on the first stuff, and keep it basic, but sleepsuits are like a euro each second-hand, and it will make life much easier for you if you have a lot on hand.

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Posted

Ok this is from my infant sizes thread:

I won't copy all the info, but for a start, it says

Bis 1 Monat, 50 cm, Sockengroesse 10-12

1-2 Monate, 56 cm, " 13-15

2-4 Monate, 62 cm, " 16-18

4-6 Monate, 68 cm, " 19-21

6-9 Monate, 74 cm, "19-21

and so on, through age "14 Jahre +", which is 170cm and sock size 37-39.

and another said:

New Born (NB): 56cm

0-3 months: 62cm

3-6 months: 68cm

6-9 months: 74cm

9-12 months: 80cm

But I have found the sizes run:

50/56

62/68

74/80

usw

ect, so its hard to figure out. I generally compare them with my US sizes.

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Posted

I had exactly the same problem last year. My Baby was born in January measuring 53 cm and all I had was 62 cm snow suit for outside. It was fine. It doesn't matter at that age that their arms and legs are a little lost. Only when they are crawling or moving more that the clothes should fit.

I used a pram with extra blankets for warm. If you have too many clothes on the baby, you'll be peeling them like an onion when you get indoors which also takes valuable time when you want to feed them. Overheating is also dangerous.

Or you could wear the baby close you too inside your coats. If you get an ergo carrier with the infant insert it should be plenty warm. A friend of mine, her baby lived in the ergo last winter.

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Posted

SilentReader, they tend to be elasticated around the face, so even if the suit itself is big, it just tends to be long in the legs and arms, and a bit wide around the chest. Plus, it's not like you will be leaving your little one unattended for any period of time wearing her coat, so you would notice if she was disappearing into it. Plus the arms etc mean that she can't slip down inside it, so the hood would be your only concern really, and you can leave that down and use a hat instead if it seems too loose to you.

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Posted

This one says that on average babies are 62 cm around 4.5 months, but that the normal range is anywhere from 2.5-7 months. hehe. Big range.

http://pediatrics.about.com/library/growth_charts/ngirlsbirth.htm

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Posted

@SJ, in my experience of my baby and friends, I would agree with your first table more - I think most of them were around 6-8 weeks before they were in 62s. I am generally sceptical of the age classifications, but safe to say, all of the babies I know were well under 60cm at birth...

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Posted

The sizes are body length, and I found that I generally move my son into the next size somewhere around 2cm before the number, if you see what I mean. So for example, he wore size 56 from birth (because I hardly had anything in a 50, although that would have fit better) until he was about 60cm long, when I noticed that the 62s fit better. He was then in those until he was about 66cmish, then size 68 and so on... That has held true until today (when he's almost 2 and a half and just transitioning to size 98 :huh: - where did my baby go? )

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Posted

If you are taking the baby out in a stroller then you can use a quilt. These look huge, about the twice the size of a newborn, but the advantage is when you walk into a heated building you simply turn it back. A quilt is bulky enough that you can pull it up high but leave space for air, it won't fall on the baby's face. It's also worth getting (or making) a spare quilt cover so you can put a fresh one on while the cover is washing. Get 2 warm hats, these are so important.

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Posted

off topic- please delete it if is wrong here

If I may add my experience in Germany, many new mothers have an Erstaussstattung- tiny clothing for babies.

This Erstausstattung is then passed on to pregnant sisters, cousins or other pregnant friends later.

Of course the expensive clothes have hardly been worn and are in perfect condition as babies grow so fast, so one saves a lot of money.

Both my sisters in laws received them from cousins and then handed them on to a pregnant neighbour and a pregnant colleague.

Of course if you want more children you would keep the clothing.

I do not believe this is done in the UK or the US?

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Posted

know that others have suggested warm tights for a tiny baby, but I found this to be more hassle than it was worth - I used "stramplers" with poppers up the inside leg - you can then change a nappy without totally stripping the baby, which is very handy if you are out and about in the middle of winter!

Just to clarify, I was by no means advocating tights for newborns as a general thing - I hate the bloody things, for the exact reasons you mentioned. I was only suggesting them as an extra layer if you don't have a snowsuit :)

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Posted

Lakey- I can only speak to my experience in the US.

Were I back home, I myself would have access to hand me downs, but not from my family. There are no babies at this point, youngest is 4, and no one saves anything for the next generation, in my family. However, if friends had items, they are happy to pass them on. But again, that varies per person, maybe other families do have traditions like that.

Even our German family here does not do that any more. They had for years accumulated a stock pile of baby items, gave it to the first born kid in our great grandchild generation, mom used it and threw it all away including antiques and family heirlooms, we will pretend for a moment I am not bitter. lol. This same women has no interest what so ever in giving my son the items that remain, or hand me downs she has, at least she has not mentioned one word to me.

I myself am all about hand me downs, I am grateful to receive them and to pass them on. I have been blessed here by a few friends (mostly russian, maybe more common there, but also a few Americans), as well as some very generous TT members. But a lot of what I was given was other items, and not newborn clothes. I was given a few, but not a lot.

Edit afterthought: I did think of a tradition in my family, it is called a hope chest. Starting when I was little my mom accumulated items over the years to give me at milestones, when I moved out married, or had a baby. Many people would fill a wooden chest with the items. We never did that, but still the same concept. :) And one day I will buy a pine chest I have wanted one for years. A few of my friends received these when they moved away from home as well filled with various articles for the home.

I found a wikipedia article about it, I guess traditionally women built them themselves, but I know many people who give or get them as gifts guess we are the wayward folk, hehe.

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Posted

For my daughter's first winter we had her in long sleeved vest/onesie, shirt and trousers, socks (over the trousers to keep them on, those little feet are surprisingly agile at kicking socks off), a snowsuit with mittens attached and a hat. I kept her in a sling so she was also warmed by my body, and when we were walking through biting winds would wrap her in my coat.

If you're worried, slip your finger into the crevice at her collarbone where her neck and shoulder would meet if she was old enough to have a separate neck. If that little corner is warm, her core temperature is warm enough and you don't need to worry.

Also practice saying, Thank you for your unsolicited advice, my baby and I are fine, in German. Or a less polite version if you prefer. The interference may or may not be well meant but it is always wearing and intrusive.

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Posted

Canadian mother-of-many here :-)

The thing to remember is that if you overdress a little one, even a brand new little one (under 3 months old) then baby never has a chance to have their body develop the required temperature control internally to be comfortable when slightly cooler and will always need to be over-dressed.

I actually had to return to this thread to read this again, but it seems I was right the first time - you are actually suggesting I should "harden up" my newborn... :blink:

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