How to Spend Time Outside With Your Baby This Winter (And Actually Enjoy It)
Welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood! Whether you’ve given birth a few months ago or you’re about to, you’ve probably felt concerned at the thought of being stuck at home until spring. But you know what? With a pinch of preparation and a little heat, it’s possible for us to turn the cold season into an unforgettable wintertime adventure. Hold on to your tuque, in this article we’re giving you practical advice through 5 frequently asked questions from parents to make each winter outing agreeable.
Question 1: When can a baby start to go outside in winter?
The idea of leaving the house in winter during your little treasure’s first few weeks might seem audacious, but rest assured, it’s perfectly doable with the proper precautions. Newborn babies are more sensitive to temperature changes, on average, during their first 10 days, as their capacity for regulating their body temperature is still developing. Thermoregulation, the extraordinary mechanism that will help them face the cold, takes a bit of time to set itself up. For newborns, it’s recommended to limit going out in very cold temperatures to very short periods of 15 to 30 minutes on average.
During this delicate period, it’s essential to put emphasis on skin to skin which keeps the baby in direct contact with your body and its heat, and therefore helps the baby’s thermoregulation efficiency. If you notice signs of cold or discomfort in your baby, like persistent crying or cold skin, it’s preferable to seek shelter rapidly. In short, although winter outings are possible, care and vigilance are essential to ensure your baby’s wellbeing.
Question 2: Is it possible to go out in any weather?
Not all temperatures are appropriate for excursions outside. It’s crucial to take into consideration the weather conditions to ensure your little one’s safety and comfort. For example, in extremely cold weather, freezing wind or otherwise difficult weather conditions, it’s preferable to stay indoors to avoid any risk to your baby. Special attention should be given to windy conditions as it could make your time outside uncomfortable, even dangerous for your baby should it cause hypothermia. It’s recommended that you choose warmer, less windy days. The key is to be careful and to plan ahead by adapting to weather conditions and to prioritize your baby’s safety and wellbeing.
Question 3: How should the baby be dressed when outside?
- Choose clothing according to your baby’s proximity to you and your choice of activity: If your baby is directly against you, he can enjoy your warmth directly and therefore needs fewer layers of clothing. In contrast, if he is sitting in his stroller or car seat, for example, he would need several light layers instead of one very thick layer of garments. This will make it easier to regulate the baby’s temperature. Start with a base layer, like a long-sleeved bodysuit, then add extra layers according to the weather.
- If you are physically active, say during a walk, you will rapidly feel hot but your baby might not. You should always dress your baby with one more layer of clothing than you are while babywearing him.
- Protect extremities : The hands, the feet, and the head are particularly sensitive to cold temperatures. Make sure that your baby wears mittens or gloves with long sleeves and thick socks. For the upper body, a hat that can cover some of it (neck and shoulders) is preferable.
- Opt for babywearing during your winter outings: Thanks to babywearing, you can transmit warmth to your baby and protect him from the cold. When using a baby carrier, make sure that your baby is properly covered. Babywearing covers are specially designed to keep warmth inside. Chimparoo has on offer its Babygloo baby cover. It connects to the baby carrier and covers both sides of your body for an optimal isolation against cold, wind, rain and snow. Put on your coat over it while keeping it open or closed at the bottom only. The advantage of this accessory is that it’s easy to take off when going inside and the baby gets too hot rapidly.
You’d like to know more? This video shows how easy it is to put on and off the Babygloo.
Generally speaking, verify that your baby’s face remains visible and free from anything that could prevent him from breathing freely.
Question 4: How is skin to skin like when outside with a newborn?
As said earlier, skin to skin can be a good solution to help with your newborn’s thermoregulation. The Babygloo is your best ally for this as it’ll allow you to create a thermal barrier to protect and keep your baby close to you. Make sure not to cover up your baby too much to avoid overheating him, as skin to skin generates a lot of warmth.
At the beginning, you should start with short periods outside the home in mild weather. Skin to skin brings many benefits a baby, among which are the warmth and a sense of security from your presence, and promotes bonding between you. Enjoy these precious moments with him!
Question 5: What kinds of activities are possible in winter with a baby?
Winter offers many opportunities for resourcing activities outside with your baby. If you’re just getting started or if your baby is a newborn, go to your local park to make it easier for you to quickly go back inside should your baby become too uncomfortable.
As soon as your baby grows up and you have become more self-assured, you can, on a warmer day, treat yourself to a day of walking in the woods. Babywearing using a carrier or baby wrap will make walks much easier. Your stability will be improved and it’ll be easier for you to move around. To help you choose a baby carrier for trekking, read this article on the topic.
Another idea could be to visit a local ice rink where kids can play hockey in one corner and sledding in an other. This will nourish your baby’s curiosity and develop his social abilities.
By following a few practical tips, like the choice of appropriate garments, the use of skin to skin, and the use of accessories adapted to the changing weather like the Babygloo, your winter outings will turn into moments of close complicity with your child. We wish you a wonderful winter filled with memorable days outside enjoying the magic of snowy scenery that will spark your little one’s senses!
We also recommend that you watch our video FAQ on how to go outside in winter with your baby. Don’t hesitate to share your favorite pictures of your baby discovering the cold season on Chimparoo's Facebook page.
For more advice on babywearing, explore our related resources:
- Chimparoo's YouTube channel hosts many demonstrations on babywearing positions and our video FAQ.
- Read our other blog articles on babywearing with a newborn, skin to skin and trekking with your baby.
- Our FAQ covers common questions from our customers.