Once, a long, long time ago, I was naïve enough to think I could actually plan when my kids would be born. I had always thought I’d prefer to have a baby during the springtime. What a lovely, mild time of year, so far away from the next winter. I most definitely did not want them born around the winter holidays – it’s stressful enough at that time of year, not to mention freezing cold outside for the next three months! Ha.
My Pumpkin was born during the holidays a few years ago. We considered her our holiday miracle. And we got busy figuring out how to survive the cold dreary days with a new baby.
I hate to be cooped up in the house for days on end, so I just had to figure out how to get out of the house.
First, my ground rules with myself: no driving or walking with the baby in heavy snowfalls. No walks on days when there was a cold alert (below -15C without wind-chill and/or -35 C with the wind-chill). That was just my comfort zone.
My favourite activities with my Pumpkin during winter:
- Local mom and baby groups (check out your local Ontario Early Years Centre)
- Indoor exercise classes for moms with babies
- Walking around a mall
- Coffee “play dates” with a local mom and baby, either in a coffee shop or at one of our houses
- Walks outside. The tricky part is figuring out how to dress your baby and how to protect them from the cold.
- If you must go outside during a cold alert, cover all exposed skin and keep the walk brief. Exposed skin can become frostbitten in 30 seconds during a cold alert! Your baby’s hands and feet are at the greatest risk of getting frostbitten.
- Dress your baby in one more layer than what you are wearing. Use at least three layers total including a winter jacket or snowsuit when going outside. Include hat, booties and warm mittens. Use blankets as a way to add or remove layers.
- Check your baby often to be sure they are not too hot and not too cold. Check the back of your baby’s neck and check her fingers and toes.
- Remember that you are moving and generating heat; a baby in a stroller is often not moving much at all.
- A warm cover on your stroller can help shelter your baby from the wind.
You can be notified by email every time Halton Region issues a cold alert by signing up here. Do you have any other tips for enjoying the winter months with a baby? We love to hear from you, there are many ways you can connect with us:
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For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.