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January 7, 2024

Battling Winter Illness: How to Keep Your Baby Healthy and Comfortable

Winter can be a challenging time for new parents. It’s tough enough to keep yourself healthy during this season, but it’s even more challenging when you have a little one who is more susceptible to illnesses. As a new parent, you want to make sure your baby is healthy and comfortable, but it can be overwhelming to know where to start. In this blog post, we will explore some tips on how to keep your baby healthy and comfortable during the winter months.

Mom reading to her baby in the background of a baby humidifier

Keep your Home Warm But Not Too Dry

Maintaining a warm and cozy environment is essential for your baby’s comfort during the winter months, but be careful not to make your home too dry. Dry indoor air can exacerbate issues like dry skin, chapped lips, and irritated nasal passages, conditions your baby may already be prone to due to the harsh weather.

Investing in a good humidifier can contribute significantly to maintaining your baby’s health during the winter.  A humidifier works by adding moisture to the air, helping combat these problems. An ideal humidity level is between 40-60%. Moreover, moist air can help loosen the mucus in case your baby catches a cold, making it easier for them to breathe and get better sleep.

Baby wrapped in a wearable blanket

Dress your Baby in Layers

When dressing your baby for sleep in winter, the key is to opt for breathable layers and avoid overheating. A single-piece sleeper along with a wearable blanket should suffice in most cases. Remember to keep the baby’s room at a comfortable temperature, ideally around 68–72°F (20–22°C). As a rule of thumb, dress the baby in one more layer than you would wear yourself in the same conditions.

For outdoor excursions, add an additional layer, and always remember to protect your baby’s extremities with mittens, booties, and a warm hat. A wind- and water-resistant stroller cover can provide added protection from the winter elements. However, it’s essential to remove your baby’s additional layers as soon as you’re indoors again to prevent overheating.

Practice Good Hygiene

Good hygiene is essential in keeping your baby healthy and comfortable during the winter months. Make sure to wash your hands frequently, especially before feeding and changing your baby. Also, teach family members and visitors to wash their hands before holding or touching your baby.

Kid's bookshelf along nursery wall next to an air purifier

Keep Your Home Clean and Free of Germs

As a new parent, you may already be familiar with the importance of keeping your home clean and free of germs. However, during the winter months, it becomes even more critical. Regularly disinfect commonly used surfaces such as doorknobs, toys, and countertops. Investing in an air purifier can also help remove harmful pollutants and allergens from the air, keeping your baby’s environment clean and healthy.

Smiling baby in a high chair

Ensure a Balanced Diet and Adequate Hydration

Proper nutrition is key in strengthening your baby’s immune system and helping them ward off winter illnesses. If your baby is still breastfeeding, ensure that you maintain a balanced diet as what you eat contributes to the nutrients in your breast milk. If your baby has started on solids, incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods into their diet.

During the drier winter months, hydration is equally important. Breastfed babies usually get adequate hydration from breast milk. However, if your baby feeds on formula or solids, ensure they drink sufficient water throughout the day. Consult with your pediatrician on the appropriate amount for your baby’s age and weight.

Regular pediatrician visits play a critical role in keeping your baby healthy during winter. These check-ups can help detect any potential health issues early and ensure your baby is growing properly.  It’s also essential to stay up-to-date with your baby’s immunizations, as they help protect against preventable illnesses.

Avoid Contact with People Who May Be Sick

The less exposure your baby has to sick people, the less likely they will get sick. Avoid crowded places, and playdates with sick children, and limit contact with people who may be sick. If you need to take your baby outside, make sure they are covered with a blanket or snowsuit.

If someone in your household is sick, make sure to clean and disinfect common areas and commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs and counters. Consider temporarily isolating the ill person from the rest of the family to prevent spreading germs.

Winter may present some unique challenges for new parents, but by taking a few precautions and following these tips, you can help keep your baby healthy and comfortable during this season. Stay attentive, and don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician if you have any concerns. With a little extra care, your baby will stay healthy and happy all winter long.