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.