If you’re a parent, keeping your baby cosy during winter is likely to become your number one priority as the evenings draw in. Besides your nursery essentials, like a comfy chair for you and the right mattress for them, here are the things to think about for your baby’s winter nest.
The key in winter – not just for little ones, but for all of us – is to optimise the temperature indoors. You want it to be warm, but not stiflingly hot. The ideal temperature for a nursery is between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius; a handy thermometer on the walls can help you keep an eye on that.
To help keep the winter cold out, you might like to switch your curtains for a design with thicker, more insulating fabric. If you’re up in the night you want to be comfortable too, so keep a spare blanket by the cot for you and make sure the rug is cosy under your feet.
When it comes to sleeping suits, blankets and bedding, it’s important to choose the right material. The most luxurious and skin-friendly options are usually natural materials like 100% organic cotton. Flannel fitted sheets are ideal for the winter, as they’re soft and breathable and feel comfortable for your baby when he or she rolls about. These often come with waterproof backing in case of spills and accidents. Most baby blankets, if you decide to swaddle instead, are made of soft, breathable knitted materials or cosy fleece. If family members want to knit a special blanket for your child, they should try to use extra-soft baby wool, which is gentler on your little one’s skin.
The crib can sometimes feel too large for tiny babies. This is so they have plenty of room to wriggle, but it also means you need to tailor their layers so they don’t end up waking because they’re uncomfortable or chilly. Sleeping sacks, with enclosed bottoms but open tops for flailing arms, are the perfect baby sleep solution. They can wriggle and kick but they’ll stay as snuggly as you intended. If it’s a very chilly winter, your baby may need a vest under their baby-gro too, but in most modern nurseries this is unnecessary. With a sleeping bag they won’t need another blanket on top – a 1-tog bag is great for warmer houses, while a 3.5-tog bag should keep babies cosy even in the harshest of winters.
In winter you need to consider your baby’s lighting, as you won’t be getting as much natural light through the windows. Light décor and textiles can help with this, but you may also want to invest in some soft, orange or yellow-tinted side lighting to give a cosy glow without being too bright. This should create a comforting atmosphere at bedtime or feeding time. A nightlight can be a great idea to comfort them in the dark; it will also give you something to see by if you have to pop in overnight, without needing to turn on brighter lamps.