Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Winter Woe: It's Freezing Out

Regardless of what your mom may say, it's okay to take baby out in the cold as long as it's not uncomfortably chilly or windy and you don't gallivant all afternoon. Kids younger than 2 are more susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite, however, so be cautious. When in doubt, stay in, particularly if your child is under 6 months. "Young babies aren't able to regulate their temperature well and can lose heat quickly," warns pediatrician Jennifer Shu, M.D., coauthor of Heading Home With Your Newborn.

If you do venture out, dress your munchkin in layers. Tots 12 months and older require the same amount of clothing as you do, and younger babies need one extra layer, says Robert Bonner, M.D., a pediatrician at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. A hat is a must, and be sure to protect your snow bunny's fingers and toes. He'll need waterproof boots once he's walking.

Watch out: If his lips have turned blue, or he has a pale nose, fingertips, or ears, he might be too cold. He might be too hot if the back of his neck feels warm or sweaty, his cheeks are flushed, or he has a bumpy rash on his chest or tummy. Also beware if he starts acting fussy or lethargic.

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