Expert Opinion

How to keep your child warm in the winter months

Winter is on its way, and so are the cooler nights and frosty mornings. As a Certified Sleep Consultant, I regularly work with families where their child is too cold when sleeping – whether at night or in their day naps. There is no guide for what to dress your baby in for sleep, and there is a lot of information about ensuring you are not overheating your baby – so where is the middle ground? 

Signs of a possible cold baby can be easy to spot, and therefore quickly rectified. Cold babies have a tendency to wake frequently in the early hours of the morning, between 3am and 6am, which is actually when the temperature outside drops and we hit the coldest time of the day. Cold babies may also be very wriggly in their cots –  you might find them in all sorts of different positions in their bed, back up against the cot bars, wedged into the corners, possibly lying on their tummy, with their little bottoms up in the air and their arms tucked in underneath their bodies.

What you need to ensure is that everything on the bed and any clothing that your baby is wearing is made from natural fibres or very breathable material – nothing synthetic or polyester. Synthetic material doesn’t breathe and therefore can cause your baby to sweat, leading you down a path of confusion because a baby that is too hot will sweat and we want to be clear in our mind that your little one is dressed appropriately for the weather.

Remember, there is no right or wrong, and every child is different. What we often forget is that as adults, we have the ability to regulate our body temperature by pulling the doona up ourselves, snuggling closer to our partner or putting on an extra layer of clothing. Our wee little ones cannot – so we need to do this for them!

Always be comfortable with what you are dressing your baby in. If you perhaps read this article and some of the symptoms flag to you that you may have a cold baby, just go steady with adding layers. Don’t rush to throw a heap of extra layers on them  – perhaps start with a warmer sleeping bag and go from there.

About the author

Lisa is the founder of Cherish Your Sleep, Co-Regional Director (Australia/Pacific) of The Association of Professional Sleep Consultants, an experienced certified baby/child sleep consultant and a mother to 3 young children.
She has always loved children and has worked in the industry for over 20 years as a qualified child care worker, working primarily with children aged 0 – 3yrs.
A successful outcome is not only good for the parents and children, but also giver Lisa a sense of satisfaction and happiness – there’s nothing better than hearing from a parent who finally got their first full night sleep since having a child.
Becoming a mum and meeting and seeing other mums struggle with their babies and children’s sleep made Lisa really want to reach out and help. She doesn’t see that there is a one size fits all to helping families – sleep is almost like a Puzzle – you need all the pieces in place to achieve the full picture and those pieces are what she shares with families.
Lisa uses a holistic approach to sleep, focusing on emotional wellbeing of families and ensuring the parent child connection in not only maintained, but enhanced. She knows how easy it is to become overwhelmed and frustrated, so it’s her passion to help find solutions that will work for you, your baby and the rest of your family.
Photo by Yan Krukov