Winter Coat For Infant

Did you know that babies and young children are 3 times more likely to die from the cold? Death related to hypothermia is one of the most preventable causes of death. There’s a lot you need to know about dressing your baby or toddler properly for cold weather, but don’t worry. I’ve put together a list of everything you will need to buy!

If your little one is heading outside, you’ll want to consider layering up with a winter baby coat for infants and toddlers.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. You’re driving home from work in the dark and you can feel the cold air slightly sting your skin. Day by day, night by night the temperature is dropping and winter coats for babies eventually become a necessity. But which winter clothes for infants should you choose? I’ve made this guide to help make sure you pick the best options for your little one’s snugly survival through the chilly months.

Do Infants Need a Winter Coat?

As the weather cools, baby winter clothes become a necessity. Infants and toddlers are less able to regulate their body temperatures, so they’re more vulnerable to the cold. There’s much more to protectively dressing a baby in winter than simply throwing a baby jacket over a warm onesie and calling it a day.

As the weather turns cool, one important thing that most parents seem to neglect is infant and toddler winter coats. Winter coats for infants and toddlers are designed to shelter your child against both cold air and wind. During this time of the year, you should expect to see a dramatic increase in babies who become sick from the cold. This happens because, in addition to keeping them warm, winter coats for infants also protect against wetness and chilling winds.

Baby winter clothes can keep your little one warm and toasty, even when the thermometer takes a plunge. But there’s more to cold weather dressing for babies than throwing on a cute little baby jacket over the outfit you’ve been dressing your little one in all fall. Cooler weather and less humidity = colder temps and you’ll want to take advantage of special winter clothing that will keep your infant warm without overheating.

Just because the weather’s cooler, it doesn’t mean you should bundle up baby the same way you would for yourself. It’s easy to keep a newborn baby warm in winter, but to protectively dress them is a little more complex than just throwing a coat on them.

Infant Winter Coats 0 3 Months

As the weather cools, baby winter clothes become a necessity. Infants and toddlers are less able to regulate their body temperatures, so they’re more vulnerable to the cold. There’s much more to protectively dressing a baby in winter than simply throwing a baby jacket over a warm onesie and calling it a day. In fact, dressing a baby for winter temperatures requires extra planning and extra time, as well as special attention to cold hands, faces, and feet.

The best winter baby clothing strategy is one that’s practiced and well-formulated so that parents feel comfortable taking little ones outside, whether that means a walk from a store to the car, some chilly sledding, or a long wait for public transportation. After all, as the Scandinavians say: There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.

How to Dress a Baby in Winter

The key to dressing a baby appropriately for cold weather is layering. Layers provide excellent insulation and can be added to or removed in order to find the right comfort level. Babies should have at least as many layers as their parents. A thin onesie, then a few long-sleeved shirts and pants, then a sweater or a sweatshirt, and coat or a snowsuit is a good start, according to pediatrician Alison Mitzner, M.D. Don’t forget the feet — if footie pajamas are called for, socks under footie PJs are better.

“Always have gloves or mittens, hat, and boots,” advises Mitzner. “Every child — and adult — needs a hat in the winter weather. You lose a good percentage of your body heat from the head.” Babies, with their ginormous noggins, are no exception.

When it’s time to travel, building in a little extra time into the schedule can keep the process from being overwhelming. Taking the time to heat up the car, if possible, helps keep kids warm. So does stashing the car seat carrier inside when not in use. But blankets are absolutely indispensable.

“Keep the bulky snowsuits or big coats off and put them on after you reach your destination,” suggests Mitzner. “Keep a blanket with you to put over the buckle and harness if you need added layers — not underneath.” The harness straps need to fit snugly; a bulky garment such as a coat or a snowsuit can reduce the efficacy of the car seat. And in case there’s an accident on icy roads, that can mean serious injury — or worse. Hat, gloves, and boots can stay on.

Find Appropriate Baby Winter Clothes for Health and Safety

Getting the level of coverage wrong means a baby that’s too cold or too warm, obviously. A baby that’s too cold is a candidate for hypothermia. If parents see their baby shivering, it means it’s time to go inside. A shivering baby is a cold baby, and shivering can be a sign of developing hypothermia, a dangerous condition where the core body temperature drops below 95 degrees. Babies need to use their caloric intake for growing, not trying to raise their core temperature, and they can’t count on exertion to keep them warm.

Attentive parenting makes frostbite an unlikely threat for an infant, but older, more mobile kids may be at risk. “Frostbite can occur if the skin is exposed to really cold temperatures — most often with fingers, toes, ears, and nose,” warns Mitzner. “If you see the skin becoming very pale and cold, immediately bring your child inside. Warm washcloths work well for the ears and nose — do not rub affected areas.”

Generally, the key to wintertime comfort is to remember that it’s going to take extra time, so take it. Add a few minutes to the departure time to let the car warm up sufficiently — not just the engine, but the heater. Add another five minutes or so to deal with cold hands adjusting car seat straps, arranging blankets, and making goofy faces at a 7-month-old who’s wondering why it’s so damn cold. And speaking of extra, make sure to bring additional clothes, hats, mittens, and socks. Since wet cotton doesn’t insulate worth a damn, one poorly fastened diaper or wet blowout can quickly turn all those layers into liabilities.

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PARENTING

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This article was originally published on 1.29.2019

CONTROVERSIAL PARENTING

Child Leashes Deserve All The Hate They Get, Experts Say

But not for the reasons you might think.

by Sara Novak

8.25.2022

A toddler on a child leash, held by a parent.

tirc83/Getty

There’s a lot of parent-shaming that results from using a child leash. On the surface, yes, kids aren’t dogs, so seeing them on a leash is likely to result in some backlash. But when you’re, say, navigating crowds at Disney World with small children and have the imminent fear you might lose one of them, a leash’s appeal is understandable. According to experts, however, you should find another way — and not because they make your child look like a harnessed canine.

“I get it, I have four children and some of them are energetic. And at times I’ve found it difficult to keep them all close,” says Neal Horen, Ph.D., director of the Center for Child and Human Development at Georgetown University. But, he says, children may interpret being tethered to you via a leash or harness as a form of aggression.

To a child, getting their leash yanked on when they wander too far feels similar to getting hit, Horen says. Not to mention that if you accidentally pull back too hard on the leash, your child could fall off balance and get hurt. And if the leash gets wrapped around their neck, it could be a choking hazard.

However, it’s important to note that child leashes and their effects, both physically and psychologically, are not well-studied. So it’s impossible to say how many children have been injured by child leashes and how exactly or even if their use damages a child’s psyche.

But all in all, Horen says, tugging on a child leash isn’t all that different from yanking on a kid’s arm when you want them to move or otherwise trying to physically control their movements — all of which can cause issues to your relationship with them. “It can become less about what its original intent was, to keep the child safe, and more about a power struggle between child and parent,” Horen says. “If you’re yanking your child back on a leash, the child might start to resent you for being physically aggressive.”

More importantly, leashes and harnesses don’t really teach your child anything. When we’re raising our kids, Horen says, we’re always looking for opportunities trying to teach them life skills. “I’m not quite sure how a leash helps them learn any of these skills,” he says. Teaching your kids to stay close and not run off shows them how to control their impulses when they see something they find shiny and bright. In turn, the leash might be holding them back, in a metaphysical sense in addition to a literal one.

It also sends a negative message to your child that could hurt their self-esteem. “You don’t see adults wearing leashes, only dogs,” says Horen.

What to Use Instead of a Child Leash

But what if you’re in a crowded place with more than one kid under the age of 5? According to Howard Pratt, DO, a child psychiatrist in Miami, Florida, if you decide to take that many small children to an amusement park, it’s all about the preparation. Make sure your kids know that when they spot Mickey or Minnie, they can’t jolt toward them without a parent knowing where they are, and they can’t run off to their favorite ride and risk getting separated from the family. Remind them that we hold hands when we’re caught in a crowd. For the kids who are too young to understand, a stroller might be a good option.

But while laying out a plan before you go helps, rules need to be implemented every day to have an impact. So practice in a lower stakes scenario before you get to Disney, and reinforce your children’s good behavior. “They need to understand that their behavior should be the same at the grocery store as it is at Disney World,” says Pratt.

In the end, you should be asking yourself why you’re using a leash on your child and whether you can get that same result by other means. “Good parenting can solve way more problems than any leash ever could,” Pratt says.

PARENTING

Parents Who Raise Flexible, Adaptable Kids Do These 3 Things

While kids become more open to change, parents learn patience by doing these three things.

by Christian Dashiell

8.17.2022

A girl with her arms raised, sitting on her dad's shoulders and smiling as he stands on a bridge.

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Kids tend to do well with routine because predictability helps them feel safe and secure. It’s why bedtime routines can prevent fights — and why toddlers will use their allotted screen time to watch the same episode of Paw Patrol for weeks on end. So big feelings arise — and sometimes even erupt — when shows unexpectedly disappear from streaming services, anticipated meal plans change, or a family trip is canceled last-minute.

Every parent should expect a certain amount of irrational volatility from young children. But there are steps they can take to help kids develop flexibility and openness to change, which will help them adjust to bumps in the road and lay the foundation for other desirable character traits as they grow older.

“Flexibility is a big category that’s hugely important for all of us, adults included,” says Stuart Ablon, Ph.D., a psychologist and director of Think: Kids in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. “How you respond to a change in routine, how you handle a new or ambiguous or uncertain situation, and the ability to see the big picture while not getting mired in unimportant details are all types of flexible thinking.”

Here are three ways parents can teach their children to be flexible and open to change.

Parents of Adaptable Kids Understand That Flexibility Is a Skill

Although temperament and personality tend to pop to the top of the mind when thinking about flexibility, Ablon encourages parents to view challenging or inflexible kids through the lens of skill development.

“We’ve learned scientifically over time that kids’ ability to manage their behavior is about skill,” he says. “It’s not whether a kid cares enough to control themselves, so they don’t melt down. It’s whether they’re able to evidence the skills required to handle situations that are overwhelming for them.”

Specifically, psychologists view flexibility as a neurocognitive skill that develops over time. Kids start to develop this skill between the ages of 4 and 6. One of the reasons the twos can be so terrible is that 2-year-olds have developed the tools to express themselves — crying and screaming among them — but can’t yet embrace change.

Rather than trying to force the impossible for kids who aren’t developmentally ready to embrace change, Albon aims to help adults shift to a more compassionate mindset that doesn’t view kids along a continuum of good and bad. Instead, he encourages parents to view challenging kids as those with an underdeveloped skill set. It’s a paradigm that moves away from behavior modification models grounded in punishment and reward, and instead focuses on what triggers a child’s challenging behavior — so the adults in the child’s life can help them learn how to be flexible and adaptable in those situations.

One way to do this is by prompting kids to ask if they can have a re-do or a compromise instead of sending them to timeout after reacting poorly to something not going their way; this not only corrects their behavior, but also teaches them to try a more appropriate tactic. It’s certainly frustrating when your child instinctively whines and flails after you tell them they can’t have ice cream an hour before dinner. But asking them if they’d like to calmly ask for a compromise — perhaps some fruit before dinner or ice cream after dinner if they finish their plate — opens the door for them to practice flexibility, reasonable requests, good manners.

“When you’re talking about a skill and building a skill, you’re literally changing the brain,” Ablon says. “We know a lot more these days about how you change the brain, and one of the core principles is repetition. To develop a skill over time, a person needs to practice that skill in little doses.” So help your child build that skill, a little bit at a time.

Parents of Adaptable Kids Encourage Collaborative Problem-Solving

Ask a child for possible solutions when you reach an impasse with them and you’ll get some creative solutions. But the likelihood that those solutions are mutually satisfactory is slim as kids tend to be more than a little selfish.

Ablon recommends a simple three-step process to problem-solving. It starts with being empathetic. “You just try to gather information from your kid about what their point of view is, how they feel about something, what worries they might have, and what’s hard about the situation,” Ablon says. “You’re really trying to understand things from their point of view.”

Before jumping straight to problem-solving, parents then share their concerns. For example, if your kid wants three cookies and you only want them to have one, instead of making a counteroffer, you would explain that you’re concerned they might get a stomachache or might not be able to sleep well if they stuff themselves full of sugar. This opens the child’s mind to the possibility that the disagreement isn’t just about exerting authority, but that the adult wants what is best for the kid.

“Once you have those two sets of concerns,” Ablon says, “you then go to the third ingredient, which is the invitation to brainstorm. You are literally just saying to your kids, ‘I wonder what we can do about this. I wonder how we may be able to work this out in a way that addresses what you just described to me that you care about and what I care about as well?’”

It can be tough for parents not to suggest solutions at this point. But providing the solutions yourself would be like teaching your kid to ride a bike solely by having them watch other people ride bikes. Rather, they need to try it out for themselves. They’ll fall, but eventually they will learn and adjust and develop the ability to ride independently. Similarly, you need to let your child try problem-solving themselves.

Early in the process, kids will still come up with untenable ideas. It’s the problem-solving equivalent of falling off of a bike — and it may signal inflexibility if they don’t want to make significant concessions. But don’t bail them out at this point. Instead, keep the process going by continuing to hear and affirm them.

If they come up with the solution that they have three of the smallest cookies, for example, you could say, “Okay, well, that’s an idea that would work really well for you. I’m worried it doesn’t work so great for me. I still think we can come up with something that works for both of us. Let’s keep thinking of other ideas,” Ablon says. “It’s a form of problem-solving that engages both you and your kid in an exercise that’s heavy on flexibility.”

However, there are some situations in which negotiation and compromise simply aren’t feasible. One of the challenges for parents is identifying lower-stakes situations where they can guide kids through a problem-solving process and show that not every situation has to be an all-or-nothing battle.

Parents of Adaptable Kids Push Their Children…But Not Too Hard

The collaborative problem-solving dance hinges on finding the sweet spot where kids are pushed outside of their comfort zone but not pushed so far that they melt down. However, finding that sweet spot where kids are challenged enough to learn but not so challenged that they’re overloaded can be difficult.

“Young kids can get flooded with emotion and dysregulated very quickly. And the more flooded with emotion humans are, the more we respond to things with the more primitive parts of our brain, which means that flexibility goes out the window and we actually become horribly inflexible,” Ablon says. “Pay close attention to helping them manage their emotions because if they’re getting too overwhelmed, they’re not going to be able to display the kind of flexibility that we want.”

Having seen their kids lose it in the past, parents can typically tell when they’re getting close to a dysregulated state and reign it in. Even if a kid has an outburst, it’s possible to walk a child back by taking a pause and a couple of deep breaths along with them to model and scaffold self-regulation.

When parenting a particularly inflexible child — with all the frustrations the experience holds — it can be some consolation to remember that appropriately channeling some of their inflexibility may benefit them someday. They might grow up to be a tenacious adult who is the person in their workplace who sticks with challenges until they’re resolved or who overcomes adversity that would cause others to fold.

NEURODIVERSITY

7 Ways To Motivate A Kid With ADHD To Do Homework And Chores

Start by meeting your kid where they are — and really listen to what they’re telling you.

by Haley Weiss

8.16.2022

A dad helps his son with ADHD do dishes at the sink.

MoMo Productions/Getty

All parents fight with their kids to do their chores or homework, but with kids who have ADHD, it’s a whole other battle. Children with ADHD are neurologically wired to have difficulty starting and finishing tasks. They often struggle with executive functioning, a family of mental skills that includes the ability to plan, conceptualize, and execute goals. All of this means that completing everyday tasks such as homework and chores — or even getting up for school — can become major points of difficulty for some kids, and major points of conflict between them and their parents.

That doesn’t mean that the only option is to push your way through. For children (and adults) with ADHD, staying on task can sometimes be as easy as reframing the process using management and motivation styles that better fit their needs and are more suited to the way they think. While the same strategies won’t work for everyone, these seven tips are a great place to start figuring out the right setup to keep your kid with ADHD on task.

1. A Little Understanding Goes a Long Way

Start by meeting your kid where they are — and really listen to what they’re saying. When a child appears disinterested or unable to start a task or an assignment, try to identify anything that might be getting in their way. ADHD and anxiety often go hand in hand, and tasks can feel overwhelming if they’re long and complex, or they may bring up some underlying discomfort (like assignments from that one terrifying teacher). Once you know what obstacles your child is facing, you’ll be better poised to find ways to overcome them. And yes, being bored definitely counts as one of these obstacles.

2. Break Down Larger Goals

Maintaining focus and motivation over a long period of time is difficult for kids with ADHD — it’s like trying to remember your place in a book with pages that won’t stop flipping around. Plenty of projects can be broken down into discrete parts, and writing them down on a piece of paper or a whiteboard can help free up brain space and encourage your child to focus on one step at a time, says Carey Heller, Psy.D., a Maryland-based psychologist who specializes in childhood and adolescent ADHD. Try finding a way to help your child unwind in between each step.

3. Encourage Routine

“Creating structure is really important,” Heller says. Small routines, like a pre-homework snack after school followed by a set reminder to do homework, can help create a familiar flow of activities that eliminates the need to spend mental energy on planning when to tackle heftier tasks.

Knowing when a change in activity is coming is also a huge boon for the ADHD brain, which can easily become fixated and difficult to redirect. “For example, if a child is reading for fun, or playing a game of some kind, suddenly being surprised by parents saying ‘It’s time to do homework may make them yell or react a little more strongly because of the difficulty shifting attention, rather than it being that they truly don’t want to do it,” Heller says. If it’s a routine that game time stops at 5 p.m. everyday, switching away from that activity will likely be less of a fight.

4. Set Reminders

When it comes to ADHD, organization is key. Luckily, there’s no shortage of tools to help parents and children achieve it. For older kids with smartphones, using the reminder and calendar apps to break up tasks into to-dos and deadlines is just a matter of building the habit. For parents of younger children, or those who may not want their kids relying on screens to manage their planning, smart home devices can act as hands-free virtual assistants for even the tiniest of tots. Heller says he uses his own Amazon Echo to set reminders so often that his son was listing off his own tasks to the device at the age of 4. For a tech-free option, paper planners can be a huge help to older kids — some are even made specifically for those with ADHD. The best reminder system for your kid, Heller says, is whichever one they’ll use.

5. Add Rewards

It’s what we all want for a job well done — something to look forward to. There’s good evidence that the dopamine reward pathway — the portion of the brain that makes you feel good when you accomplish something — is disrupted in people with ADHD, leading to a deficit in the ability to motivate from within. Thankfully, there’s also evidence that for children under 12, having an extrinsic reward, or something tangible to look forward to, can improve performance on a task.

For bigger projects, Heller suggests sprinkling rewards along the way. Which rewards work best is going to vary a ton from child to child, but options such as a favorite meal or quality time with a parent tend to be a hit in his office.

6. Embrace Fidgeting

Sure, your kid has to sit still at school. But at home, there’s no need to be so rigid. Heller swears by the strategy of “harnessing fidgeting to improve focus.” Turn your kid’s desk into the most fun home office in the house with items like an under-desk elliptical, a balance board, or even a simple standing desk setup — find what clicks for them. Even something as simple as pacing the room while reading can help some kids with ADHD stay engaged.

7. Remember: You’re There to Guide

Helping your child manage their ADHD is all about “parenting for independence,” Heller says. He encourages parents to develop strategies that their children and teens can take into adulthood and use themselves, rather than ones that require constant parental involvement. For younger kids, modeling certain routines and behaviors can be a huge push in the right direction.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

These Trendy AF Baby Names Are Peaking In Popularity

A baby name site put together a list of names that peaked in popularity in 2021 — and it’s an “eclectic mix” of names that are the highest ranked now than ever before.

by Devan McGuinness

9.1.2022

Father And Child. Happy Young Black Dad Embracing Cute Little Baby Boy While They Posing Together In...

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Trying to come up with the perfect baby name can place a ton of pressure on soon-to-be parents. There’s endless places to find inspiration, and a bad idea (say, like, Daenerys?) can have a real impact on your kiddo. A lot of soon-to-be parents who haven’t had a baby name picked yet look to data and lists online to narrow down the search. But whether or not you’re an iconoclast or someone who loves being on trend, you might be curious about what names are getting really popular right now, rather than just the mainstays like “Emma” and “Liam.”

Nameberry, one of the leading baby name websites, sifted through all of the 2021 baby name data and put together a list of names that peaked in popularity in 2021 — the “eclectic mix” of names are the highest ranked now than they ever have before.

“What they have in common is that they’re all climbing the charts, as more and more parents discover and fall in love with them,” Nameberry explains. “They feel fresh but not strange, and will blend in with your child’s peers rather than seeming like mom or dad names.”

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