How to Take My 6-Month-Old Baby Out in the Snow
Watching the snow fall from your cozy living room window may be fine for a while, but winter can drag on for months. If weather conditions are not extreme, you and your 6-month-old can brave the great outdoors and get some fresh air, too. Your infant is still small, so it’s important to take careful precautions so he doesn’t become too chilled while you have him outside in the snow.
Assess the weather to determine whether it’s prudent to take your baby outdoors for a short period of time. Winds should not be more than 15 miles per hour and the temperature should not be lower than 13 degrees Fahrenheit, including wind chill, according to weather guidelines published by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Apply a light layer of sunscreen to your baby’s face about 30 minutes before you intend to go outdoors to protect him from sunburn, advises the Kaiser Kids Sun Care Program, published by Kaiser Permanente 1. The sun can reflect off the snow during the winter, resulting in sunburn.
Dress your baby in several layers to prepare for the outdoor excursion. For example, an undershirt and leggings; long-sleeved shirt and pants; a fleece jacket; and a snowsuit might be an effective layer combination to keep your baby warm outside. Place warm socks on your baby’s feet, also. Dress your baby in one additional layer than you would wear to go outside in the snow, advises the American Academy of Pediatrics 2.
Cover your baby’s hands with warm mittens. Ideally, the snowsuit will cover your baby’s feet. Place a warm hat on your baby’s head.
Bundle yourself appropriately to venture outdoors.
Step outdoors with your baby. Monitor your baby while you’re outside with him to make sure he doesn’t become uncomfortable. If your baby begins to fuss or cry outdoors, assume it’s because he’s uncomfortable or cold and take him back indoors.
Stay outdoors for a short period -- not longer than about 30 minutes, as long as your baby remains happy and comfortable. Outdoor time should not exceed 30 minutes when temperatures range between 16 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Connecticut State Department of Education.
Provide your baby with a drink of water or feed him formula or breast milk if he’s hungry after returning indoors. Fluids can help your little one feel more comfortable after being outdoors.
Children under age 2 are most susceptible to hypothermia from extreme cold. Never remain outdoors if your baby is shivering, seems disoriented or becomes drowsy, warns the National Weather Service. If these symptoms occur, go indoors and consult your physician immediately.
- Karen Amundson/Demand Media