Winter Breastfeeding Tips for Staying Warm in Cold Weather
Are you a breastfeeding mom looking for ways to make the winter season easier for you and your baby? Winter can bring its own set of challenges when it comes to breastfeeding, especially when you are outside.
So, to help you and your baby stay nice and snug during the colder months, I’m here to share a few of my best winter breastfeeding tips and winter baby must-haves for breastfeeding moms.
Dress for Warmth and Comfort
Staying warm during winter breastfeeding is all about smart choices. My biggest tip is to layer up your nursing wear for comfort, which allows you to adjust to changing temperatures indoors and outdoors.
Start with a soft, breathable nursing bra as your base layer. Then, add a loose-fitting, long-sleeved breastfeeding friendly shirt or sweater. This will provide easy access for breastfeeding while keeping your upper body warm.
On top of that, layer a cozy cardigan or jacket that you can easily remove if you get too warm. For the bottom half, opt for comfortable, stretchy leggings or pants that allow for easy movement. Don't forget to wear warm socks and slippers to keep your feet toasty.
Lastly, invest in a warm and stylish nursing cover or blanket to shield you and your baby from cold drafts while breastfeeding.
By dressing in layers, you can easily adjust your clothing to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout your breastfeeding journey in winter.
Maintain Proper Hydration
It's easy to forget about drinking enough water when the weather gets colder, but staying hydrated, especially in the colder months is essential for both you and your baby.
Drinking enough water helps with milk production and maintaining your milk supply, especially for exclusive breastfeeding. Aim to drink at least eight cups of water or other hydrating fluids each day. Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go and set reminders on your phone to drink regularly.
If you find it difficult to drink plain water, try adding some flavor with a slice of lemon or a splash of fruit juice. Remember, staying hydrated is crucial for successful breastfeeding during the winter season.
For your baby, breastfeed regularly, look for feeding cues, and keep track of their wet diapers to ensure they stay hydrated.
Plan Your Feeds
As a mother who breastfeed for over 5 years between my two little ones, I know that planning your feeds isn’t always possible, but when you’re out and about I recommend trying to think of warm places you can stop at and breastfeed.
This might be a café, a friend’s house, or even your car. If you do need to feed outside, then look for a place that is sheltered from the elements.
Try Breastfeeding in your Baby Carrier
Breastfeeding in a baby carrier during winter offers a practical solution for on-the-go moms. I recommend choosing a breastfeeding-friendly carrier or wrap and practice at home to ensure both you and your little one are comfortable.
Adjust the carrier position for a good latch and dress in layers to regulate body temperature during outdoor feeds.
Opt for carriers with built-in covers or use a separate nursing cover for added privacy and protection from the cold.
Create a Cozy Breastfeeding Environment
When at home, look to create a warm and inviting space for you to breastfeed in by surrounding yourself with cozy blankets and pillows. These soft and comforting materials won't only keep you warm during the winter months but also provide a comfortable environment for you and your baby.
Arrange the pillows to support your back and arms, ensuring proper positioning and reducing strain on your body. Consider using a nursing pillow to provide additional support and help you find a comfortable breastfeeding position.
Dim the lights or use a soft lamp to create a soothing atmosphere. Play some calming music or use a white noise machine to block out any distracting sounds.
And look to maintain an ideal room temperature as babies are more sensitive to cold weather.
Protect your Baby’s Skin from Dryness
To prevent your baby's skin from becoming dry during the winter months, it's important to take extra steps to keep their skin moisturized. The cold and dry air can strip away the natural oils from their delicate skin, leading to dryness and irritation.
One simple way to protect their skin is by using a gentle and hydrating moisturizer regularly. Look for products specifically designed for babies, as they're usually mild and free from harsh chemicals.
Additionally, try to limit your baby's time in hot baths or showers, as this can further dry out their skin. Instead, opt for lukewarm water and keep bath time short.
Finally, dress them in soft and breathable clothing made from natural fibers, like cotton, to help prevent irritation.
Use a Nipple Cream
Just like your baby’s skin, your nipples are prone to dryness during winter. And the last thing you want to be dealing with is sore, dry, and cracked nipples! So, I highly recommend using a good nipple cream to keep your nipples moisturized.
Keep Breastfeeding when Ill
Continuing to breastfeed when you're sick is highly encouraged, as breast milk offers essential antibodies that can benefit your baby's immune system. Stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and consult with your healthcare provider about any medications.
Don’t forget to practice good hygiene, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask if needed.
Even if you're under the weather, breastfeeding provides comfort and crucial immune support for your baby.
If direct feeding is challenging, consider using a breast pump to express your breastmilk to maintain your milk supply. Monitor your baby's health closely, and if you have any concerns, seek guidance from healthcare professionals to ensure both your well-being and your baby's.
Guest writer：Allison Banfield (Founder of Proud Happy Mama)