Bringing Baby Home in Winter

Tips for bringing home baby in the chilly weather

For many people, the falling snow marks the arrival of the holiday season and a busy daily routine; if you're a mom-to-be, you'll need to master your cautious shuffle over ice and snow while you take in the excitement of the season and your approaching delivery!

Although your trip to the delivery room marks the very final stage of your pregnancy, there is still one important step to consider in winter weather: bringing home baby from the hospital. From winter hats for newborn babies to a carefully considered route, this journey calls for some extra preparation, and you'll want to think of the obstacles that the season can bring before you pack into the car and head home.

Baby Winter Clothes for the Trip

It goes without saying that winter babies need a good amount of warm clothing right away, and the best way to ensure they're safe and comfortable is to dress them in a couple of layers. Baby bodysuits or onesies are wardrobe staples for any new baby, and in the colder months a soft and simply designed short-sleeved onesie is the perfect base layer. While you might think a thick and cozy long-sleeved bodysuit would be more suitable, keep in mind that it can be difficult and frustrating to get wriggling arms and legs into long sleeves and long pants. Keep the style simple (easy button closures are best) and add warmth with a top layer instead.

Infant bunting is the essential baby winter outer wear for newborns, and it's the perfect piece of baby gear for a cold car ride. Like an over-complicated onesie, a baby snowsuit can be more effort to get on than it's worth and can actually affect car seat safety; a bunting is like a warm sleeping bag with arms, and it will keep your baby contained and secure during the trip home. Choose the style and material according to the severity of the temperature and the weather: fleece bunting is a good option for a mild winter day, but look into a shearling or even a Canada-goose-down bunting bag with a lined hood for cold climates. Top off the outfit with a knit cap that covers the ears, and check that the cuffs of the bunting reach over baby's little fingers.

Driving Tips and Baby Car Seat Safety

Whether you're a seasoned winter driver or tend to shy away from snowy roads, take some helpful advice for navigating the winter streets safely while keeping your little one happy and warm on the journey. To begin, be sure that the car seat is strapped in properly and the bunting is attached securely (if it's a style that features openings for the harness). Although it's likely not an especially long trip home, you'll want your car to be heated up just enough to keep your baby comfortable right from the start without overheating in that cozy winter outfit.

When it comes to planning your trip, there are a few basic points to keep in mind. First, be sure you have your winter tires on the car and that they're in good condition -- no matter how slowly you drive, all-season tires will never be able to match the control and reliability of specialty tires. Next, plan your route along familiar, main roads that are more likely to have been plowed or salted. You may feel like it's safer to avoid traffic altogether when you have your little one in the car, but remember that winter can turn secondary streets into treacherous terrain. With a little forethought and the right accessories, your trip home from the hospital will be safe and pleasant.