- Myth: The thicker the better!
Puffy, thick materials clearly ensures warmth, right? Not so! It’s better for children to be dressed in layers (bonus mom points if layers are easy to get on and off) in order to keep your child from overheating when out and about during winter. Additionally, as any child safety expert will tell you, oversized, puffy outerwear and jackets actually pose a risk to children when worn while strapped into car seats.
- Myth: Cold hands = cold baby
It is perfectly normal for babies to have cold hands and feet! Due to their still-developing circulation systems, the temperature of a baby’s hands or feet is not a reliable indication of actual body temperature. Always check behind baby’s neck or tummy to get a good idea of whether your baby is too cold or too warm. Be especially mindful of baby’s body temperature at night, as overheating has been named as one of the key risk factors of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Myth: It's good to dress babies in fleece
As a mother, there is nothing cuter than a child in fuzzy, footie pajamas. Especially at Christmas time, when the abundance of adorable fleece jammies, covered in Santas and reindeers, reaches critical level. Despite overwhelming presence in most children’s stores, fleece is not a great material for babies to wear, especially at night while sleeping. Fleece is a synthetic fabric and it does not help to regulate body temperature. Fleece does not breathe so your baby can overheat quickly and easily. And, if fleece gets wet (I’m looking at you, leaky diapers), moisture is trapped against baby’s delicate skin, and can potentially cause a rash or irritation. At night, dress your baby in clothing made of all-natural fabrics, like wool, to help regulate baby’s body temperature and prevent skin irritation from wetness.
- Myth: Being cold gives you a cold
Yes, children tend to catch more colds during the winter season. However, colds are not caused simply by colder temperatures. Colds and the flu are caused by viruses spread from one person to another, not by air temperatures. Viruses that cause common colds and illnesses circulate in larger numbers during winter months as people, children especially, are kept indoors more and germs are spread easily. It does not matter how warmly your child is dressed, if they come into contact with a virus he/she is likely to get sick.
- Myth: My baby won’t sleep because it’s so cold
It is perfectly normal to want to keep baby warm at night by cranking the thermostat when temperatures outside drop. Again, many studies have shown that overdressing and overheating babies increase the chances of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). In fact, in Sweden, where daytime temperatures regularly hover around 23F in the winter, it is extremely common to leave babies outside to nap as parents find children stay healthier with regular exposure to fresh air. It is strongly recommended to keep baby’s nursery between 64F and 68F. Of course, you know your baby best, but a baby may be more restless at night during the winter for a variety of reasons -- dry, itchy skin, oncoming illness or cold, irritation from leaky diaper and so on.
While winter certainly poses unique challenges, especially with little ones, there are plenty of ways to ease anxieties when the temperature drops, especially at night. To best ensure comfort, warmth, and safety for your baby, use layers made of a breathable, moisture-wicking, and all-natural fabric such as wool. Wool generates heat while also helping to regulate body temperature. Additionally, wool is fire resistant without the use of chemicals and hypoallergenic. Sustainable and renewable, wool is not just good for babies, but also good for the environment.