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Creating a Comfortable Home Environment for a Newborn in Winter

Creating a Comfortable Home Environment for a Newborn in Winter

When you are taking care of a newborn at home, your home environment needs to be adjusted to accommodate their needs. In winter this means taking extra care to keep your home warm, safe, and clean.

 

Ensuring that a newborn feels comfortable during the winter months, while also making sure that they are safe can be daunting for a new parent. There are many things to consider, such as room temperature, and the correct clothing options. It is likely that you will be spending more time at home during winter so you also need to ensure that your home environment has space, especially if you have an adventurous baby who is crawling or walking.

 

In this article, we will share the top 10 tips for creating a comfortable home environment for your newborn during winter.

 

1.Maintaining a constant warm temperature is important when caring for a newborn. The ideal temperature should be around 20- 22°C (68-72°F) so that your baby stays warm and cosy. Investing in a room thermometer will help you monitor the temperature of your home, especially the room your baby sleeps in. You can also pre-program your thermostat to keep your home at a constant temperature throughout the winter months.

 

2. Make sure the space that your baby sleeps in is safe and comfortable. If they are sleeping in a crib or a Moses basket ensure the mattress you use is clean and new, and their bedding is not loose. The Lullaby Trust advises ‘babies shouldn’t lie on or have anything soft around them, particularly their heads, as this can cause them to overheat and increases the risk of SIDS.’  This includes not allowing your baby to sleep with hot water bottles, weighted blankets, or outdoor clothes.

 

3. Dress your baby for the weather. When you are indoors, dress your baby in layers that you can easily remove if they get too warm. Invest in base layers such as vests and long-sleeved baby suits. You can then build on top of these layers with more layersas needed. At night you can use specific baby sleeping bags, however, you need to choose the correct tog for your home. The Lullaby Trust, mentioned above, has excellent advice on this.

 

4. Keep an eye on your baby’s temperature to ensure that they are not too hot or cold. To do this you can feel their chest and the back of their neck. If they are too hot they will be sweaty to the touch and you will need to remove a layer of clothing. If they are too cold then you will need to add a layer. Take careful note of how their hands and feet feel as often they can be cold when the rest of their body is warm. Dress them in cozy socks to prevent cold little toes.

 

5. Create fun activities for your baby at home. The winter months make it harder to get out and about and you may find yourself at home more. Creating a safe playbox for your baby to explore will help keep them entertained. A baby can enjoy lots of activities such as peek-a-boo with a silk scarf or reading a colourful book with you.  Activity blankets or floor mobiles can be very entertaining for a newborn and even just lying next to them and talking to them can be very stimulating.

 

6. During winter the air in your home can get very dry, due to central heating. A humidifier can help keep the air in your home moist which makes it more comfortable for both you and your baby. A humidifier can help prevent dry skin and dry coughs during winter and make the air feel more breathable and fresh.

 

7. Ensure that your home environment is safe. If you have portable heaters or an open fire buy a fire guard to protect your baby from getting too close to these and never leave them alone in a room with a heater or fire. Although a newborn will not be at the crawling stage it is still good to assess your home’s safety as you will likely be at home more often over winter.

 

8. Although it is cold outside, opening the windows occasionally will help air out the home and create air circulation. This can help with the accumulation of dust and freshen the air making your home feel more comfortable.

 

9. Regularly clean your home, especially surfaces that your baby  comes into contact with, using an antibacterial cleaning product. Make sure to wipe down toys with baby-safe cleaning products and wash anything that your baby may put in their mouth. Vacuum your floors regularly to remove any dust build up, especially if you and your baby use the floors to play. Keeping germs at bay will help prevent you and your baby from getting ill over the winter period.

 

10. Prepare their outside clothes ahead of time. Be prepared for when you do venture outside by creating a little dressing station near the  front door  or in their room. It can be tricky wrestling a baby into a snowsuit or boots so make sure to set aside extra time for getting them ready. Making a dressing station will help you keep organised for the cold, with all your baby’s winter accessories, such as hats, mittens, and blankets at the ready, making it easier to get outside.

 

With some small adjustments to your home, you can easily make a comfortable and safe environment for your baby. Making sure your baby is happy over the winter months will lead to a more  content household for everyone. With some careful planning before the winter months, you will be able to create the ideal home environment before winter hits and you will be able to relax and enjoy your home over winter. Although the winter weather can be miserable and unpleasant, you can still have lots of fun at home with your baby, whilst staying cosy and warm away from the cold.

 

Victoria is a Shrewsbury based photographer, specialising in newborn photography.

Baby Hacks: How to Dress Your Baby for Hot Weather

Baby Hacks: How to Dress Your Baby for Hot Weather

Babies are unable to regulate their body temperature for at least the first year of their
life so depend on you to ensure that they do not overheat.

Overheating can lead to dehydration which can be serious so take care in hot weather
and keep a close eye on your baby’s temperature.

● Dress your baby in light layers made of breathable fabric such as cotton and
linen. Light layers will help prevent your baby from overheating and will be easy
to take off if they get too hot.

● Don’t forget sun protection such as a sunhat and baby sunglasses. A sunhat with
a wide brim can help prevent heatstroke and keep your baby’s head cool in the
sun. If your baby is old enough to wear sunglasses then consider protecting their
delicate eyes with a pair of 100% UV protection sunglasses from a reputable
source.

● If you are using a pram you can buy a pram umbrella to help shield your baby
from the sun, and clip-on battery-powered fans can help create a welcome
breeze.

● It might be tempting to cover the pram using a blanket to prevent the sun from
beaming onto your baby, however, it has been proven that covering a pram with
a blanket, even a lightweight cover, can increase the temperature inside the
pram and cause your baby heat stroke or dehydration. Instead, avoid being
outside during the midday and early afternoon heat.

How do I know if my baby is too hot or cold?

It is important to check if your baby is too hot or cold, which is quite easy to do and you
don’t need a thermometer. Check your baby’s temperature by placing two fingers under
their clothes on their chest or the back of their neck.

If they feel hot and sweaty they are too hot and you will need to remove clothing and cool them down.

If you are in a hot country, be mindful of your baby’s temperature and

keep them out of the sun, especially during the middle of the day when the sun is the
hottest.

If they look flushed or they are breathing rapidly, move to a cooler location or
somewhere with air conditioning and remove layers of clothing. Make sure they are
given fluids, either milk, breastmilk, or water depending on their age, and monitor their
temperature.

If you check your baby’s skin, again by placing two fingers into their clothing and onto
their chest or the back of their neck, and they are cold then you need to add layers of
clothing and blankets.

Natural fabrics, such as cotton, are perfect for creating warm base layers whereas
fleecy fabrics are great as external layers as they are perfect for trapping heat. Ensure
that their hands and feet are kept warm with mittens, thick socks, and booties.

If you are worried about your baby and their temperature, seek the advice of a medical
professional straight away for peace of mind and the most accurate medical advice.

 

Vicki is a baby photographer in Shrewsbury offering maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.

Baby Hacks: How To Dress Your Baby for Cold Weather

Baby Hacks: How To Dress Your Baby for Cold Weather

Knowing how to dress your baby for every season can be difficult, especially if you live
in a place where it’s cold one minute and balmy the next.

The changing seasons can also make it difficult to dress your baby and the last thing
you want is for them to be too hot or too cold.

Of course, you want them to be comfortable and baby clothes look so cute and stylish
on a little person but dressing them for extreme temperatures can be tricky and babies
love to let you know when they aren’t happy.

This article will give you some tips on how to dress your baby for hot weather and for
the cold winter months. We will give you advice on how to check their temperature and
what they should be wearing for each season.

How to dress your baby for cold weather

Whether you live in a very cold country or you are feeling the chill of the beginning of
winter, making sure that your baby is protected from the cold is important.

● Layers are a brilliant way to keep a baby warm and adjust their clothing if they
get too hot. Start with a basic onesie layer and work up. Add on a t-shirt and then
a warm jumper.

Make sure their feet are toastie by either buying leggings that have socks
included or by layering tights with socks on top.

● Prepare for cold winds, rain, sleet, and snow by investing in a waterproof
snowsuit. This is a piece of baby outerwear that covers their entire body,
including their feet and hands, and usually has a hood.

Don’t forget baby mittens, hats, and boots. Baby booties might sound silly for a
baby that isn’t walking but boots can help socks stay on, as well as keep their
feet warm and dry.

● If you have a pram or stroller, invest in a footmuff which is like a padded sleeping
bag that fits onto the pram. It can be zipped up to their chests and it will keep
them warm and dry while in the pram.

Don’t forget the rain cover which will keep rain and snow off them and can also
act as a good barrier against the cold wind.

● If you are putting your baby in a car seat during cold weather make sure to take
off their thick coat or snowsuit before strapping them into their car seat.
This is so they don’t overheat and so that the safety of the car seat is not
compromised. If your car is cold you can put a blanket over them once they are
strapped into the car seat to keep them warm until the car warms up.

 

How to dress your baby for moderate temperatures

A good rule when dressing your baby is to dress them in one or two extra layers than
you need yourself. If you are feeling cold or too hot then your baby is probably feeling it
even more and unlike you, they cannot regulate their body temperature.

Here are some tips for dressing your baby so they are prepared for moderate
temperatures.

● Choose natural fibres such as cotton and linen which are breathable and allow
air to flow.

● Clothing with easy fastenings such as poppers or zips can make changing and
adding layers easier.

● Long sleeve onesies are the perfect base layer for babies. In warm weather, they
can be happy in just a long sleeve onesie. In cold weather, it is perfect for
layering jumpers with leggings or dresses creating a warm layer against their
skin.

● Dresses are a great base layer as you can add tights if it’s cold or just socks if it's
warm. A jumper or jacket can be added if it is cold and then taken off when they
are too warm.

● When it is cold, remember to take off your baby’s outer layer when you come
inside, just as you would remove your coat so that they do not overheat.

 

 

Vicki is a baby photographer in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. She offers maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.

5 Common Questions from New Parents Answered!

5 Common Questions from New Parents Answered!

Babies. Despite being so small and cute, they’re a complex species and unfortunately, they don’t come with an instruction manual.

As a new parent, it can be scary in those first few days, weeks and months to know if you’re doing the right thing. It’s important to trust your gut – remember, mum knows best!

It can be all too tempting to google the answers to the burning questions you have. But there’s so much conflicting information out there, how do you know what’s right? You don’t have time to sift through every webpage and analyse all the facts.

Don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are the answers to five of the most common questions from new parents. You can thank us later!

 

5 Common Questions From New Parents: #1 How long should I breastfeed for each time?

Every baby is different. Some babies like to feed little and often, while others prefer longer feeds or a mixture of both.

A newborn baby’s stomach is only the size of a walnut, so they need frequent small feeds. Try to watch out for your baby’s cues – like opening and closing their mouth, putting their fist to their mouth and moving their head towards your breasts (rooting) – and respond to them.

As a general rule, you should let your baby finish the first breast and then offer the other.

Try not to rush your baby when they’re having milk. It can be frustrating if they’re feeding for a long time and you feel like you have a million and one things to do, but relax. The chores can wait. Grab a book or your phone and get comfortable. This phase won’t last forever, and you’ll miss it when it’s gone.

Let’s face it, you’d rather be chilling out and bonding with your little one than doing the washing, right? Remember, breastfeeding isn’t just about your baby getting enough milk. It’s also often about them getting comfort and reassurance, too. Plus, the more you feed, the more milk you’ll produce.

Don’t worry, you can’t overfeed a breastfed baby, and your baby won’t become spoilt or demanding if you feed them whenever they’re hungry or need comfort.

If you’re worried about your baby feeding all the time, speak to your midwife or health visitor.

 

Should I wake my baby for a feed?

Let’s continue our list of common questions from new parents!

Should you wake baby for a feed?

It can go against your natural instinct to wake a sleeping baby, especially as it’s nice to finally have some peace. After all, sleep is a precious resource when you’re a new parent.

However, it’s important to do so during the early stages – for your baby’s health and your milk supply (if you’re breastfeeding).

Newborns should be feeding every three to four hours, until they show a good weight gain, which usually happens in the first few weeks. After that, it’s okay to let your baby sleep for longer periods.

Babies digest breast milk quicker and easier than formula. This means a breastfed baby has a physiological need to feed roughly every two to three hours, while a formula-fed baby can go three to four hours between feeds during the first month.

Your baby will probably wake up when they’re hungry, but if they’ve slept for more than four hours, gently wake them and offer some milk.

 

5 Common Questions from New Parents: #2 How do I clean my baby’s umbilical cord?

The best way to clean a baby’s umbilical cord is with a sponge bath. Simply get a cloth or a cotton pad and dip it in some warm water, then gently dab around the stump.

While there’s no harm in getting the umbilical cord wet, stick to giving your baby shallow sponge baths and be careful not to immerse the stump in water until it falls off and your baby’s belly button heals.

A baby’s umbilical cord usually dries out and falls off by itself after a couple of weeks. Try to keep the stump dry as much as possible. Exposing it to air can help dry out the base, so fold your baby’s nappy down so it doesn’t cover the stump.

As the cord heals, it’s common to see a little blood around the stump. And like a scab, it may bleed a little when the stump falls off.

If you notice any pus or redness around the umbilical cord, this may be a sign of an infection so it’s important to get this checked out and stop the infection from spreading.

If your baby’s umbilical cord hasn’t fallen off after three weeks, contact your health visitor as there may be an underlying problem.

Don’t be tempted to pull the stump off yourself.

Why is my baby crying?

In the list of most common questions from new parents, this has to be the most common one!

Babies cry. A lot. It’s because they can’t communicate in any other way. While it can be stressful to hear your baby cry and not know what they need, it’s usually one of the following reasons:

  • Hunger
  • Tiredness
  • Dirty nappy
  • Wind
  • Too hot or too cold
  • Overstimulation
  • They want a cuddle
  • Colic
  • They’re in pain or unwell

Of course, it depends on the situation, and it may be obvious when you pick up your baby as to what they need. If it’s not so clear, first check your baby’s nappy and change them if it’s wet or dirty.

Give them a cuddle and if you’re breastfeeding, let them suckle at your breast.

Check their temperature if you think they may be unwell and don’t be afraid to seek medical attention if you’re concerned.

There may be times when you feel you can’t cope with anymore crying, and that’s ok. It happens a lot to new parents.

If it’s safe to do so, put your baby down in their cot, just for a few minutes, and leave the room to try and calm yourself down. If you can, ask your partner or other family member to look after your little one while you take a break. It’s important to ask for help if you need it.

 

What is colic and can I treat it?

Colic is when a baby cries uncontrollably for no obvious reason. They may cry more often in the afternoon and evening. They might also show the following symptoms while they’re crying:

  • Clenching their fists
  • Turning red in the face
  • Bringing their knees up to their chest
  • They have wind or their tummy rumbles

Try soothing your baby by giving them a cuddle or rocking them in their Moses basket or pram.

Keep feeding your baby as usual, and when feeding them, sit or hold them upright to prevent them from swallowing air. Wind your baby after feeds and rock them over your shoulder.

You could also try anti-colic drops, herbal or probiotic supplements, or cranial osteopathy.

Colic shouldn’t last for more than three to four months. If you’re worried, speak to your health visitor or GP.

 

 

 

Victoria J Photography specialises in maternity, newborn and baby photoshoots for families in and around Shrewsbury.

 

Thinking about a Newborn Photoshoot? Read more here.

And why not consider a Maternity Photoshoot?

THE SECRET PREGNANCY CRAVINGS GUIDE

THE SECRET PREGNANCY CRAVINGS GUIDE

Most of us know the story of Rapunzel and how she was trapped in a tower from being a baby, growing her hair over the years in order to be saved by a passing handsome prince.

But did you know how she came to be trapped in that tower in the first place?

Pregnancy Cravings! 

 

Yes, an age-old fairy tale wouldn’t even exist had Rapunzel’s mother did not develop an insatiable craving for the green, earthy, salad-like root vegetable Rampion – also known as Rapunzel.

Imagine if giving in to our pregnancy cravings had the terrifying consequence of having your baby taken away by a witch!

In the fairy tale, the witch actually creates the craving herself through a spell – all with the intention of stealing the baby.

 

But what are pregnancy cravings really caused by?

 

Some research suggests hormone changes during pregnancy might result in an increase in Neuropeptide Y, a substance responsible for appetite signals.

Other say pregnancy cravings are more psychological.

Whether it’s the extra hormones or the sheer fact that you have the absolute right to send your partner out at 2 a.m. to buy a milkshake yogurt, when a pregnancy craving calls, you’re… well, going to comply.

And yes, this will include even weird cravings, like Toothpaste and coal are actually an indication of your body lacking some essential vitamin or mineral.

If you have a desire to chow down on toothpaste on toast, or chew on lumps of coal, you should talk to your health care professional, as they should be able to prescribe the relevant supplements to help ease your cravings!

For the more normal cravings, it’s fine to give in to your desires!

As long as you are eating a balanced diet too, it’s good for you to listen to your body and go with the craving flow!

Common pregnancy cravings

 

Talking about common cravings, let’s begin with a list of 8 foods are typically the most craved during pregnancy:

  • Red meat – useful for upping your iron intake!
  • Ice or ice cream – cooling us down when the increased blood flow raises our temperatures!
  • Lemons – Containing folates that help prevent development issues
  • Chocolate – in moderation to avoid the high sugar hit, chocolate is a great source of Vitamin B
  • Cheese – Calcium, calcium, calcium!
  • Pickles – many mums-to-be crave salty foods like these due to the increased blood flow.
  • Peanut butter – great nutritional values.
  • Spicy food – hormones push us toward the spice, and spicy foods are rich in antioxidants.

In addition to this, prepare for some very unusual and even weird pregnancy cravings! (toothpaste, anyone?)

When do pregnancy cravings start?

For most women, cravings start in the first trimester and peak during the second trimester… and start declining in the third trimester of pregnancy.

However, this not always marks the end of your cravings! In some cases, your pregnancy cravings will continue after delivery.

One thing to remember is that you might have one craving for a couple of days, then another craving for a different day or two, and so on.

What about food aversions?

Food aversions are the opposite of food cravings, and they usually start around the same time.

Frontiers in Psychology suggested that food cravings might not have anything to do with the nausea and morning sickness, but food aversion probably does. This might be especially true for meat – and this aversion also helps protecting mum and baby: meat sometimes carries bacteria that can make a mother and baby sick, so the body protects them by making meat an unappetizing option.

Cravings talk…

Whatever your craving, they end up being a popular discussion point between new mums!

And if you had super weird carvings, your child would find it amusing to be told about them too!

 

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Victoria J Photography specialises in maternity, newborn and baby photoshoots for families in and around Shrewsbury.

Thinking about a Maternity Photoshoot? Read more here