Winter is coming up and mothers worry about providing a suitable environment for their new baby. I have several suggestions here to help if the weather is harsh and you have a new baby.
They should help to keep your baby warm and yourself more comfortable.
I’m six months pregnant and I heard that the immune system doesn’t work as well when you’re pregnant. How can I boost my immune system during the winter months so I can keep healthy and feel okay?
Firstly, I would question the advice you have been given. The human immune system works sufficiently well most of the time. However it’s always a good idea to boost your health generally. I suggest that you eat lots of vegetables and fruits. Make your meals mainly vegetables with meat, fish, cheese or eggs as an accompaniment.
Exercise is also important. Plenty of walking or swimming is ideal. These exercises are very effective for getting your blood circulating and your muscles moving. They can also help to get the baby into a good position and they increase your feelings of wellbeing. Listening to music that you enjoy, singing and increasing your feelings of wellbeing can only be good for you. Enjoy your life, meet friends and relatives, enjoy chatting and being together. Cherish these last few weeks alone with the partner you love – busy times are ahead and you should make the most of your time now.
My baby is due in early December. How should I prepare my home for the baby’s arrival, especially if it’s during a cold spell?
Firstly, I recommend thinking about getting a soft sling so that you can wear your baby next to you. This helps your baby to get all the warmth it can, as well as leaving your hands free to do other jobs and tasks as well. The sling can be used to take your baby outside when you need to go, as the baby will be warmed by the warmth from your body all the time (just like it was when it was inside you). Slings are extremely useful, it’s worth researching your local “Sling Libraries” where there are dozens of different slings that you can try out, hire for a small cost and see what suits you and your baby best. Slings can be used until your baby is at least a year old and often longer so they make a good investment.
If your home is cold, try and make sure there is at least one room that is warm where the baby can have his nappy changed or sleep in comfort. As far as sleeping goes, the baby will be warmer if you co-sleep together. In a double bed there is plenty of room for you and the baby to sleep together in a safe environment. If it is a large bed (king size or larger) it is absolutely safe for you and your baby to co-sleep with the baby’s dad, too. However, co-sleeping on a sofa is dangerous and if either you or your partner have been drinking too much it is dangerous, as is someone who has been smoking.
How differently should I dress a new baby if the weather is cold? In particular what should they wear at night?
Again, keeping the baby very close to you ensures that your baby is warmed by your body’s warmth. The problem with a very new baby is that he or she cannot regulate their temperature themselves so they need to be in a warm environment. If they are next to you, either co-sleeping or by being in a sling or wrap attached to your body, they will get their warmth from you. Beside keeping your baby warm, this can be a lovely thing for the two of you to do to strengthen your bond.
Several light layers can be better than a huge and heavy duvet or blanket. It can be also be helpful to get these things into perspective. Remember that most of the world’s children do okay living without expensive, luxurious clothing and sleep in a communal bed with many siblings and mum and dad. We are very privileged in the West in that we have so much and we try and keep our babies so clean and cherished. All lovely but often we do tend to worry too much. Try to just relax and enjoy your baby and watch how she relates to the world. Try to think about what your baby is seeing – be aware of how amazing a bus is when they have never seen one before, or a tree or a worm. A newborn baby’s feet and hands always appear cold and are often purple in colour even though the overall baby’s temperature is fine. It takes time for the baby’s circulation to become as efficient as an adults.
Caroline Flint has been a midwife for 37 years. She is a mother, grandmother and was the midwife for 9 of her 12 grandchildren. Her sensible and common sense advice is sought by mothers to be and her birth preparation classes, called Birthwise, are available to download to your iPad. Caroline has been an expert with Greatvine since its inception and she enjoys helping people over the phone. Give her a call today for advice and support. For individual advice you can contact Caroline direct at: Greatvine.com/caroline-flint
Speak to me on 0800 063 1532 Consultations priced from £15 for 10 minutes