4 Tips to Bundle Up a Newborn
Are you pregnant with a baby who will be born in the winter? Read on for four tips to bundle up a newborn.
How does a newborn regulate their body temperature?
Newborn skin is very delicate. They have very little subcutaneous fat. Their blood vessels are close to the skin, which allows rapid heat loss. The receptors in the baby’s skin send messages to the brain that the body is cold.
Newborns produce heat primarily through chemical thermogenesis. Shivering, the main way a child can generate heat, is not effective in babies.
Newborns have a special and very efficient way of regulating their temperature. Through their metabolism, newborns have a fatty tissue that can produce heat from chemical reactions.
Upon metabolizing this fatty tissue, the heat that is produced is spread to blood vessels. From there, the blood vessels transmit it to the rest of the body. Meanwhile, the newborn curls up to avoid heat loss.
4 tips to bundle up a newborn
1. One more layer
Up to three months of age, newborns have difficulty regulating their body temperature and lose heat easily. They have very little fat and don’t move a lot.
Sudden changes in temperature are not good for your newborn. Try to choose an activity, decide how long it will last, and figure out if it will take place in a temperature controlled area or outside.
It’s a good idea to bring several thin layers rather than a few thick layers. This way if you go somewhere that is very warm you can remove a layer to cool your child.
Removing a layer prevents excessive sweating which will cause the clothing to become wet. Wet clothing could cause a cold in children.
That’s why it’s a good idea, as a rule of thumb, for your newborn to always wear one more layer than you.
2. Clothing materials
Newborns’ clothes should be cotton and breathable. They will allow the infant to perspire, absorb sweat, and not cause allergies. Organic cotton is preferable, good quality, and easy to find nowadays.
The best types of clothing are made of cotton, wool, polar fleece or velvet.
It is also important to remove all tags, as they could scratch or irritate the newborn.
3. Home temperature
It is also important that your child feels comfortable and protected at home.
Remember that the ideal temperature at home is between 68 and 72F. It is important to circulate air well within the home.
“Temperatures are not cold or hot, they just feel hot or cold.”
Heat from heaters dries out your baby’s nostrils, which can make their protective job against microorganisms difficult. That’s why it is a good idea to humidify the air.
You can make a homemade humidifier by placing some ceramic containers with water on top of the radiators.
4. Notice if your child is hot or cold
If you have doubts about whether your child is sufficiently bundled up, touching their neck or back under their clothing can give you an idea of their temperature.
It also allows us to notice if their clothes are soaked with sweat, in which case they should be changed immediately.
Hands and feet are not usually a good indicator to determine if your child is cold or warm. Especially in tiny babies, they are typically always cold because they can’t regulate their body temperature yet.
That’s why the best thermometer that we have is touching our newborn’s nose.
As we have seen, it is bad for our newborn to be excessively hot or cold. Just like in life, we have to know how to find the perfect balance.