Experts guide to right winter clothing for your toddler
Created by Ankita A Talwar Updated on Dec 29, 2020
With winter season on us, it is time to pull out those woolens, jackets, caps and mittens and wrap our children so that they keep warm and cozy. But sometimes, we are just not too sure when enough is enough or if the child still needs some more clothing. Here is a blog, with inputs from experts, to guide you on the right winter clothing for your child.
1) Keep extremes warm: Dr Rajiv Chabbra, Senior paediatrician and neonatologist, Gurgaon, says, “The body loses maximum heat from the extremes—hands, feet and head. So, it is essential to keep these covered, especially with an infant.”
2) Choose cotton over woollen: For caps, mittens and socks, go for cotton instead woollen. Wool can cause itching and rashes to the soft baby skin. Also, babies have a tendency to suck on any piece of cloth that gets in their mouths—be it a mitten, or the collar of a sweater. Wool has fibres that can be ingested by the baby, so watch out.
3) Pick fleece over wool: During extreme winters, when the air is heavy with fog too, choose fleece jackets. Fleece is impermeable and so cold air will not enter it, neither will it hold moisture and become damp like wool. Windcheaters, sweatshirts and also a good option for damp, foggy days.
4) Layer cotton rather than one heavy woollen: Dr Chabbra also adds, “Layering the child in cotton is an excellent way to keep his warm and cosy. You can choose to go in for 2-3 layers of cotton rather than one heavy sweater.” The different layers of cotton create an insulation that traps the warmth of the body not letting it escape.
5) One layer of cotton should be there closest to the skin: Dr Pramay Mehta, Paediatrician, Dwarka, “The first layer of clothing to touch the child’s skin should be pure cotton—a vest, or a t-shirt. This saves the baby from skin allergies caused due to wool.”
6) Keep the chest warm: If the torso of the body is warm and importantly, the chest and heart, the rest of the body will keep cosy. If the heart is able to pump blood across, it will keep the body warm.
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How much is enough?
This is a frequent concern new mothers have on deciding how much clothing is enough for the infant. Dr Neha Joshi, Paediatrician, Sitaram Bhartia Institute says that the baby needs one extra-layer than what the mother is wearing. Since, a newborn has the closest affinity to the mother, she is right person to assess the child’s needs. So, if the mother is feeling warm in two layer, three should be enough for the child.
Also, the infant, if not too cozy, or extra-warm will give signs of not being comfortable by crying or showing discomfort.
Can making the child too warm be harmful?
Believe it or not, over-cladding your child can cause more harm than good. Dr Chabbra explains, “Over-layering the child, especially in woolens, can cause him or her to sweat—something you will miss out till you change his clothes.” This can lead to the innermost clothing layer to be damp and make the child prone to catching a chill.
Too much warmth can leave the child a little stuffy and lethargic. Also anytime you are changing the babies clothes, the sudden temperature jump can lead to illness.
Here are some more tips to ensure your baby stays warm and cozy in winter:
1) During the day, when the sun is out, you can try layering the child in a cotton vest, topped with a cotton full sleeve tee shirt, topped with a half t-shirt, and a corduroy/fleece jacket. On colder days, add a layer of thermals.
2) Give the child as much outdoor exercise as possible. Even if the temperature is cold, clad the child properly and take him or her outdoors, rather than holding him inside the house out of the fear of the weather. Exercise is very important for immunity and warmth. Ensure head, hands, feet etc are well covered.
3) At night time, remove any woollens and put the child either in padded or flannel night suits and thermals. Also, keep the clothing loose and comfortable.
4) Give the child nourishing and warming fluids such as soups to keep her warm and healthy.
5) Listen to your child or follow the signs given by the infant when they are trying to tell you it is too cold or too warm. They are the best judges for their own body.
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