Whether you live in an area where you're used to tundra-like temperatures or you reside in a more tropical climate where a drop in degrees is a big deal, making sure that your baby is comfortable during the cold months is a top priority for any parent. Aside from the regular challenges of winter weather with a wee one, getting blindsided by a worst case scenario situation is never fun. (Basically, the saying, "hope for the best and prepare for the worst," should be the mantra for parents everywhere.) That's why it can be helpful to have hacks to keep your baby warm when the heat goes out, just in case.
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of making sure your little one is nice and cozy, despite frigid temperatures, is that a baby has far more health and safety concerns than an older child does. For instance, you can pile on the blankets and pillows for your grade-school kiddo, but that would be a definite breathing hazard for an infant. So what is a parent supposed to do when the standard solutions aren't an option for their baby? Just check out these surprisingly simple (and safe) ways to keep your baby warm when the heat goes out.
1. Stay Dry
If you have a newborn or small infant, wetness is just a daily part of life. Whether it's spit-up, wet diapers, or just a crazy amount of drool, moisture can be difficult to avoid. According to Today, changing out of wet clothes and staying dry is key to preventing hypothermia when the power goes out when it's cold outside. It can be time-consuming to ensure your baby is always dry, but you'll breathe easier knowing that they won't become unnecessarily cold due to wet clothes.
2. Heat The Sheets
Since bundling up your baby with blankets isn't a safe option, how can you keep your baby warm while they sleep? As Dr. Judith Owens, a pediatric sleep expert, told Baby Center, "to warm cold sheets, place a hot water bottle or a heating pad in the bed for a while before bedtime." Obviously you'll want to remove the heating items before you put your baby to sleep and it's also a good idea to check that the sheets aren't too warm first.
3. Group Up
If you don't have heat because the power is out, you might want to consider ways to keep warm for a longer period of time. Laurie Neverman, a former solar engineer and current energy educator, told Commonsense Homesteading that, "living and sleeping in a single room will help conserve heat." Neverman further explained further that adding rugs or layers to your chilly floor will help keep you and your baby warm from top to bottom when the heat goes out.
4. Try Sacks
It might be tempting to swaddle your baby in lots of layers to keep them warm, but that could be risky. Instead, you can try using sleep sacks. According to the official site of Halo, a top brand for baby sleep sacks, "a newborn cannot regulate his temperature as well as an adult, so swaddling keeps his body warm." The perk of using a sleep sack is that it allows your baby to stay mobile without becoming too stifled.
5. Increase Skin-To-Skin Time
People have various opinions about bed-sharing, but even if you're not sleeping in the same space with your infant, you can still keep warm. According to Parenting, "if your baby sleeps in your bed, she'll get extra heat from you." The bottom line is that skin-to-skin contact is a great way to keep both you and your baby warm when the heat goes out.
6. Grab Your Toolbelt
You can either prepare your home in the anticipation that your heat or power might go out, or you can face things head on as they happen. "Caulk or weather-strip windows or add insulating curtains or shades," Parents noted as a hack to keep your baby as warm as possible when the heat goes out at home.
7. Don't Forget The Extremities
Since you don't want to risk overheating your baby with too many layers of clothing, there are other ways to ensure they are comfy and cozy. According to Baby Center, simply adding things like mittens, booties, and breathable caps are great ways for you little one to stay warm even when the heat goes out. As always, frequently checking in to make sure they aren't too hot or too cold is your safest bet.