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Keeping baby warm in a very cold house

(14 Posts)
Spanneroo Mon 20-May-13 08:59:14

Hi everyone,

I am expecting in December and I live in the north in a very cold Victorian terrace. We've just had a new boiler fitted and double glazing went in last year, but I think the heat must mainly be leaking through the walls to next door (lucky them!) because it was still very cold for us this winter (you could see your breath inside the house, even with the heating on for 6-8 hrs a day).

We used a convection heater this winter, to quickly warm up a room as and when we needed it which worked fine for us seasoned northerners, but I'm worried about the baby once he/she arrives as they'll have been used to a lovely warm womb so I don't think that the 'as many layers as you have +1' rule applies here.

I'm looking for advice about what to buy to keep the baby warm - mainly over night when it's coldest - and have been wondering if a soft carrycot placed inside the cot would help retain some heat? I don't know how long these last though as they don't look very big to me. Is there a better longer term solution for keeping baby snugly until spring comes around? Any advice on layering and blankets would also be appreciated.

Patchouli Mon 20-May-13 09:04:00

How about one of those little electric oil filled radiators in the baby's room?
That's what we did, there was no way around spending more on heating with a baby in the house.

I also put dd in a long sleeve vest and a sleepsuit and a winter sleeping bag - and a cardigan and a blanket on top some nights.
This has been a bad winter though. Finger's crossed next ones not so severe.

OrlaKiely Mon 20-May-13 09:05:15

Right - first things first, the heating sounds broken!

are your rads hot to the touch when it's on? If not they need to be bled. Also the system could be full of which case you need someone to come and do a power flush with fernox or similar.

Is there a wall thermostat anywhere? That should give you an idea ofthe ambient temp.

I'm not much use on the baby front, I had ds3 in the winter and kept the heating on more than usual because of him.

I'm sure it can be done though. But with a new boiler and DG you really shouldn't be having all this trouble. So I'd look to that getting sorted out first iyswim.

OrlaKiely Mon 20-May-13 09:06:13

also do you have carpets with good underlay? as floorboards could be letting in a lot of colder air.

mistlethrush Mon 20-May-13 09:08:50

I was an October baby. I was born in Ely - so the wind came from the NE straight from Russia with very little to slow it. It was a Victoria semi, with no double glazing and if there was central heating it wasn't on most of the time. I am told that there was one of those oil filled radiator that kept my room above freezing - but apart from that I was wrapped up nice and warm at night and was absolutely fine. Mind you, the blanket had to be safetypinned around me when I was a bit bigger as I would go to sleep sitting up, out of my covers... Thank heavens for grobags now!.

Vest with a long sleeved sleepsuit over the top and, if necessary, a cardi as well would be fine. Will the baby be in a moses basket with you in your room to start with?

Alwayscheerful Mon 20-May-13 09:08:57

My sister lived in a freezing cold chateau, the French dress babies in a kind of sleepsuit, the bottom is like a bag with buttons at the bottom, someone will come along and remind me of the name soon, my sister said they were a godsend, baby kicked the covers off and did not wake up. I wouldn't worry too much, I think it's probably more dangerous when babies over heat, heatvhas been linked to cot deaths etc.

Alwayscheerful Mon 20-May-13 09:11:00

Thank you mistle "grobag" was the godsend I was thinking of.

rootypig Mon 20-May-13 09:17:17

I would get a room thermometer - we have this one, so that you know exactly what temp it is where the baby is overnight. It's actually recommended that babies sleep in rooms that are slightly on the colder side- within the range of 16 - 20C, 18C is said to be ideal. That feels quite cool imo. Though you can't see your breath, no! smile

Assuming you are within that range once you've used a heater / with the heating on, you don't need to pile masses on the baby. I had DD last November and it's been a cold winter. She had a long sleeved cotton vest, a long sleeved sleepsuit, then a couple of layers of these bamboo muslins, which are so soft and brilliant at trapping heat (and can be used to swaddle) and a thick baby blanket tucked in. When she got big enough, at about 3 mo, a 2.5 tog baby sleeping bag. She was also on flannel baby sheets, from John Lewis. She would wake up with icy cold hands which worried me! but apparently that is common - and having the thermometer was essential reassurance.

Meringue33 Mon 20-May-13 09:19:38

We have a Gro room thermometer, it changes colour if the room gets to hot or too cold (I think 16-20 degrees is the recommended range for babies).

Second the suggestion of a Grobag or other brand of sleeping bag for baby. They come in different togs, and I think should say on the packet how many layers you should add to baby.

I often keep a cardi next to the Moses basket and if I feel LO is cold when I pick him up for a night feed I put it on him before putting him back to sleep. But I'm constantly anxious about temp so always turning the radiator in our room up or down.

If it is really really cold and no way to adjust, you could consider safe co sleeping, but be sure to read up on the guidance eg no pillows or duvets that could fall over baby.

Meringue33 Mon 20-May-13 09:21:39

X post with Rooty! Yes it is normal for extremeties like hands to be cold. You check if body is cold by putting a couple of fingers on baby's chest inside vest.

tametortie Mon 20-May-13 09:29:35

I had my DD in a house with NO heating and no double glazing and keeping her warm used to worry me sick..

I used a grobag and used to.warm it with a hot water bottle before I put her in- dont forget its in there though!!

You can get thermal sleepsuits- have a look on outdoor websites. The sorts of things used for camping?

I also had an oil filled radiator in her room.

Beware of getting baby too hot though- im sure I dont need to tell you that a hot baby is far more dangerous than a cold baby.

Check out vertbaudet for good grobags and blankets- I had some lovely fluffy blankets from there but it was 10 years ago!

And eventually when things got really bad and cold, she came in bed with me. Not ideal but nothing better to warm a baby than a mummy! =)

rootypig Mon 20-May-13 09:56:08

Not related to sleep temperature, but to help replicate the lovely warm womb - you could consider getting is one of those little bathing tubs that holds them in a foetal position in warm water. Tummy Tub! no experience but they're supposed to be great, I would get one for next DC.

CheungFun Mon 20-May-13 10:03:41

I had DS in Dec 11 and I used to dress him in a sleeveless vest, babygrow, and knitted cardigan, then I used 2 cellular blankets folded in half (so counts as four blankets) and he was fine. Once he started rolling though I found the sleeping bags were better.

AnythingNotEverything Mon 20-May-13 12:08:14

You may find that baby doesn't mind the cold! My HV advised me that cold babies will cry, but warm babies can just fade away through SIDS.

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