2 Common Health Risks of Winter Born Babies

Oh baby, it’s cold outside!

For many expectant moms who are due in the winter, there is a hint of worry and anxiety about the risks associated with having a baby in the cold months. The reality is that there are many more viruses and bacterial infections floating around in the winter months, such as the seasonal flu and the common cold, that can be much more dangerous for newborns. Additionally, the stoic cold makes it impractical for many parents to take their newborns outdoors often, and makes routine outings feel overly stressful.

Obviously, babies are born during every season of the year. And while there are risks involved for newborns no matter when they are born, the cold winter months do pose some more health hazards. The following risks and accompanying tips can help you enjoy your winter baby and hopefully worry a little less.

1. Over-bundling your baby. Your cold season baby will come home with a hat. Infants have an especially hard time regulating body temperature and many parents keep the baby’s hat on for weeks after delivery. However, it is important to realize that just because your baby is little and the temperatures are cold, you shouldn’t over-bundle your baby in clothing. Too many layers of clothing along with too many covers or blankets can actually pose a health risk for your little one, as they struggle to regulate body temperature at both spectrums. Getting too hot, or being over-bundled, has been linked to SIDS. Pediatricians say you should feel your baby’s hands and feet to see if they are warm or cold. Dress and bundle your baby as you would do yourself and then add one thin layer. Keeping the hat on your baby’s head is a good idea especially since most of their body heat escapes from the head. If you head outdoors, bundle your baby, paying careful attention to keep their face covered from the elements – but check their body temperature regularly to make sure that they aren’t overheating. When you get indoors, remove the outer layers, such as a coat and mittens, so your baby can adjust to the indoor temperature.

2.  Winter illness. In the colder months, illness abound and you should be very strict and careful about people touching your baby. Ask them to wash their hands before handling your baby, and keep hand sanitizer nearby and ready to use. Even you, as the parent, should make sure to sanitize you hands often. Additionally, politely decline invitations to attend large parties and try to keep your infant away from places with many school aged children who are often carrying germs. Since there are very few medications you can give newborns when they get a cold or virus, you should be prepared to contact your pediatrician and keep supplies such as a nasal syringe and saline spray on hand. Also, keeping your baby out of places where lots of people congregate – such as churches, airports, grocery stores, schools etc. – can get you through the first few months with less risk for illness. Remember, if your baby does get sick, it is important to contact your pediatrician right away.

The good news is that the weather will warm up quickly and as your newborn grows he or she will be even more resilient. As long as you use common sense, an outing with your winter newborn is not cause for concern or worry.

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

Team Health & Parenting2 Common Health Risks of Winter Born Babies

3
Leave a Reply

avatar
3 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
DanielaAmyLaura Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Laura
Guest
Laura

I was shown that rather than feel hands and feet to check for temperature, feel the back of baby’s neck or chest to gauge how warm or cold they are as it’s a better indicator than the extremities .
I still do the same for my toddler now as he refuses to wear gloves!

Amy
Guest
Amy

Sorry to disagree, but some of your advise goes against what we’ve been told. The midwives have told us, never check their temperature by feeling their hands as babies usually have cold hands, you should feel their chest or upper back. Also we were told that once you leave hospital with your newborn there is no need for them to wear a hat indoors as they will over heat. Hats are put on brand new babies while their temperature control kicks in. Also, in the UK, there is help in your babies health record book on layers. It gives clothes… Read more »

Daniela
Guest
Daniela

Same here. The hands tend to feel cold as baby puts them into its mouth. And do you really want to undress it? Most newborns wear onesies, so The feet are out of reach. The neck is a perfect place to check. My First was born end of november 14, -5°C outside. I went for short walks with baby underneath my coat in a carrier. The next one is due in august. I’d much rather have a winter baby again. You can dress up against cold. But how do you undress for warmth if you are already naked?