Keeping Safe in Autumn and Winter

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Having a baby in spring or summer can seem like the easier option. There's plenty of fresh air and time outdoors, as well as splashing around in the paddling pool. When the temperature drops and autumn arrives, it can be tempting to wrap your baby up in loads of layers. However, there are a few safety concerns to be aware of, especially with younger babies.

The temperature in your baby's bedroom should be between 16 and 20 degrees. This is the optimum range for when they are sleeping. The best method for checking the temperature is a room thermometer, as adults can perceive feel temperatures differently to children.

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When it comes to bedclothes, it's better to err on the side of caution. Don't be tempted to dress your baby in lots of layers or give them multiple blankets. Instead, look at how many layers you will be wearing to bed. There are plenty of variations of sleepwear available for the babies, including sleepsuits and pyjamas. If you are using a sleeping bag for your baby, make sure that your baby's clothes can't get caught up. Duvets and pillows are not recommended for children under one-year-old, so stick to blankets or a sleeping bag.

When you're going out, layers is actually a good option. Choose items which you can add and remove easily. A padded snowsuit is a popular choice, especially for newborns, and these can be easily layered over other clothes. Do not leave your child in a snowsuit or thick padded coat when they are strapped into their car seat. Wearing a thick coat means that the straps will be looser and will provide less protection in the event of an accident. If your child is cold, add a blanket over them after they have been strapped in.

[Read more: How to Choose the Right Car Seat]

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You should be able to find a cosy toes option for your buggy or pram. Look for the manufacturers' recommendation or a universal model. This usually consists of two pieces, which can be zipped together. The base piece needs to be fitted underneath the harness so you may need to check the instructions on how to do this. Ensure that the harness can be used effectively after the cosy toes have been fitted.

baby wrapped warm in car seat

Minor illnesses like coughs and colds are very common in the autumn and winter months and these can often result in your child suffering from a fever. You should always contact your GP or health visitor if your baby has a temperature over 38 degrees and they are younger than three months, or over 39 degrees if they are aged between three and six months. 

[Read more: How to Help Minimise the Spread of Colds]

If your child does have a fever, try to lower their temperature slowly. You should also make sure that they do not become dehydrated. Even if they do not want to eat anything, make sure that you are maintaining their usual fluid intake whether this is milk or water. Signs of dehydration can include dry nappies, a dry mouth and sunken eyes. If you have any concerns at all, call the NHS 111 number or consult with a GP.

[Read more: Baby's Health - When to Consult a Doctor]

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