My Picks: Winter with a Newborn

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t is finally above 0 degrees celcius again – I’m not even being sarcastic. This is exciting! We just suffered a cold spell in my corner of the world, and it has NOT been fun. Not only do I feel like I need to moisturize my skin a million times a day, drink tea to warm up from the inside out and wear the thickest socks I can muster in the house, but on top of worrying about me I’m super concerned about Sam getting cold.

Sam was born in January, and it was super important at the time to keep him safe from illness, his skin soft, and his little toes, hands and nose toasty. I remember looking up what was recommended for a winter baby, and it was hard finding information.

This is the list of the top 5 things I’ve found most useful with a Winter baby. I recommend them fully for newborns – the toddler list is coming up next!

1. A good, warm car seat cover

Remember all those cute, down-filled one-piece snowsuits displayed in our favourite baby stores? Well, it turns out dressing your baby in one before putting him in the carseat goes against the safety guidelines. Anything too thick can keep the seatbelt from being properly fastened on your baby, risking injury or death in the case of collisions. This is why bunting bags for carseats were invented. These bunting bags attach to the outside of your bucket seat, and are perfectly safe to use for baby.

There are many out there, but our favourite one is the Petit Coulou – a Canadian company – so they know cold! This bunting bag requires you to put only a hat on your baby before setting him in the carseat. Your baby is in nothing more than a onesie over a diaper? No problem! They are still super warm and your baby will feel very toasty in it. I put Sam in his car seat in a sleeper in -40 weather and he was STILL cozy in there. Get it on Amazon!

2. A cool-air mist humidifier

A humidifier is a worthwhile purchase for the nursery. The cold Winter air can dry out our skin, and all the furnace heating doesn’t help. Humidity levels drop in our homes in Winter. Not only is this uncomfortable (dry boogers, anyone?): it’s downright bad for your health. The recommended humidity levels for our homes is between 40-50%, and closer to 40% in winter. Outside of these ranges, the air becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses, fungi, mites, and even chemical interactions.

Though there are different types of humidifiers, it’s best to chose a cool-air system, as hot-air systems emit vapour that can be quite hot. As your baby gets older, he will undoubtedly get curious and try to catch the steam. So, better to go with something that has 0 chance of burning him.

We pick the Honeywell Ultrasonic Humidifier

3. A natural bath-oil

Bath time can be stressful the first few months: you are learning how to manipulate a tiny baby underwater (so slippery!), and you are worried about drying your baby’s scalp and skin. Sam suffered from Eczema and Keratosis Pilaris early on. We introduced bath oil to his routine, and it cleared his skin issues right up.

We use Mustela’s Stelatopia Bath Oil. It’s made with Natural Avocado Oil, smells wonderful and is super gentle on baby’s skin and eyes.

4. A Winter weight sleep sack

After bringing Sam home from the hospital, Jay and I thought we lucked out and had a perfect baby who went right to sleep without needing any sleep aids. Well, not quite. Day 3 kicked our ass, and after texting my Mom-friend Kayla that I was at my wits end, she graciously dropped off swaddling bags for Sam. Well. 3 minutes later he was asleep and slept very well for pretty much the rest of his life (so far).

Halo makes wonderful sleepsacks that are orthopedist approved for hip and shoulder health. They come in a variety of weights, but for Canadian winters (and anywhere with similar weather), we recommend their Microfleece Halo Sleepsack Swaddle.

5. A snot-sucker

Yep. It’s gross. Like, really gross. Never would have I thought that sucking my baby’s snot would make me happy. That said, it’s honestly an amazing invention. Babies get snotty noses for all kinds of reasons: dry air (hello, heating!), crying (hello… teething, seperation anxiety, gas, colic, tiredness, discomfort, hunger, soiled diaper, did I say teething?!), and of course, from getting a cold or flu. My son hates the process, but is actually so much more comfortable the instant it’s done.

There are several kinds out there, but we like the tried and true HydraSense Nasal Aspirator Starter kit, which comes with saline solution to soften those dried boogers and a few filters.

There you have it – our picks for a safe, cozy winter with a newborn!