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10 tips for winter health

With the winter months upon us, it’s important we take extra care with little ones during the colder weather. Take a look at our handy tips to make sure your child stays warm and well this winter.

1. Wrap up warm

Think layers! Make sure your little one is wrapped up warmly but can take off layers easily if needed. Opt for wool over cotton if you can because it keeps the warmth in more effectively. We’ve all heard it, but it’s worth remembering – we lose up to 30% of our body heat through our heads, so make sure your bub wears a hat. A waterproof jacket is also a must-have for your toddler.

2. Eat warming foods 

Warm your baby from the inside out with hearty dishes. We love comforting soups and stews; try our Sweet Potato Soup or this Rich Beef Casserole, ideal for making in big batches and popping in the freezer. Include plenty of ginger, garlic and honey (if your baby is over one year) in your family’s diet because these foods warm up the body naturally.

3. Keep moving

You and your little one can stay warm by playing physical games outside (soccer, stuck in the mud or catch) or simply go on a nature walk. Indoors you could play Twister, a board game, Lego or musical bumps – and just dancing is fun too! Playing games with your baby or toddler increases the blood flow around the body and to the skin so you’ll be feel warmer.

4. Drink plenty

In colder seasons you still need to drink plenty because you don’t sweat as much. Staying hydrated is important at any age, because it helps keep everything working properly and boosts immunity. Water is always the best option, along with your child’s milk, and some watered-down juice on occasion.

5. Take a break 

If your child is playing outside, encourage him to come indoors every so often to warm up. A warming Milo will see him right to go back and have fun in the cold if he wishes!

6. Bath time

Most kids love bath time, so it’s the perfect opportunity to warm up and splash about! A safe water temperature is between 37˚C and 38˚C (36˚C for a newborn). Check your hot water settings to reduce the risk of scalding – most Australian homes are set to 65˚C, so ensure it’s reduced to a maximum of 50˚C to lessen the risks.

7. Snuggle up!

Use the winter months as an opportunity for extra cuddles with your little one. Snuggle up on the couch in your PJs and watch a DVD as a family. If you’re okay with co-sleeping, this might be a good time to keep your tot in with you and your partner.

8. Keep Vitamin C levels up

Make sure your family is eating plenty of Vitamin C-rich foods to ensure everyone’s immune systems are strong. Opt for oranges, strawberries and lots of dark green veggies such as kale and spinach to give you a good boost. You may feel your family might benefit from a supplement but speak to a health professional for some advice. 

9. Put on your winter bedding 

For your toddler, it’s time to switch to a higher tog doona or thicker blankets. As with clothes, it is better to opt for a few thinner layers as opposed to one thick layer. This is because as the air in between the layers gets warm and keeps your little one toastie. For babies, an all-in-one sleep suit or sleep sack are good options for cold nights. For babies under one year, avoid blankets or loose-fitting sheets; swaddle cloths are ideal for newborns.

10. Get plenty of sleep

Any excuse to keep the children asleep! Actually, if you are over tired it has a negative impact on your immune system and you’re more likely to pick up bugs. Depending on your child’s age, make sure they’re getting the right amount of sleep at night and naps if needed during the day.

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