If you are currently expecting your baby to arrive in the winter months or you are thinking about planning to have a winter baby, then you might be interested in the pros and cons.
Winter can be a great time to have a baby and many mothers appreciate the cooler weather during their third trimester. There are some surprising perks for babies born in December, January, and February, but things could also be more difficult depending on where you live.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of having a baby during the wintertime and a checklist to help you prepare!
Checklist for having a winter baby
There are things that the baby will need in the winter that are not going to be a must-have in the fall or the warmer months. Keep in mind that while winters in the Southern United States are generally much milder than the North, humidity can make it feel a lot colder outside than you might expect! Add wind into the equation and you could be in for a rough day!
If you live in the Northern states or anywhere that it gets below 50 on a consistent basis during the winter then you are definitely going to need the following items to keep your newborn warm:
- Footed pajamas (also referred to as sleepers)
- Fleece or thermal wear and blankets (for when you have to go out)
- Lotion for dry skin
- Nasal aspirator
- Car seat or stroller cover
Between November and January/February is when you will need to have all of the extra winter accessories. Depending on where you live, winter and icy weather can last until April and May. But don’t worry, there are adorable outfits for winter babies. They are not just produced in spring and summer!
As a general rule, you should aim to dress your baby in the same amount of layers that you feel comfortable in and then just add one extra. For example, if you are comfortable outside in a long-sleeve shirt and jeans, then make sure your baby has on a long-sleeve onesie, pants, and a light blanket. Most parents, especially new ones, tend to add too many layers to their baby when it’s cold out, but babies can easily overheat in these situations!
By the way, I wrote a much more in-depth article about bringing your baby home from the hospital during the winter months. Check it out right here for lots of good advice!
Benefits of having a winter baby
There are some pros, believe it or not, to having a baby during the cold winter months.
The third trimester will be more comfortable
I mentioned this before, but many mothers comment that they are the most uncomfortable during the third trimester because they always feel hot and everything just gets more difficult. If you are scheduled to have a winter baby, then your third trimester should happen during the Fall months, which should be much more comfortable than the summer, depending on where you live.
You would be stuck inside anyway
Parents and newborns tend to spend a lot of time indoors for the first few months as everyone is getting used to the new routines of life. If the weather is beautiful outside, many parents will start to get a little stir crazy and feel the need to get out of the house at some point. If there is a snowstorm going on outside, it will make those feelings much easier to deal with!
Just be careful because it can be bad enough during the wintertime if you deal with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during these months. While there isn’t a clear link, some studies suggest that women are more likely to experience depression or other negative thoughts during this time.
Your baby will be a little older for her grade in school
Most school cut-offs are in the late summer or early fall. That means that winter babies will end up being a little older, on average, than the other kids in their grade. While some parents might view this as a negative, there are a bunch of studies showing that older kids tend to perform better in school – all the way up through college! It might not be a huge difference, but it is definitely there!
Fun winter-themed party ideas
Birthday parties are always a big event, but especially for babies and young children. For the moms that love orchestrating big, extravagant parties and the dads that get
bullied asked nicely to help put everything together, wintertime offers many fun opportunities that you couldn’t experience during other times of the year. Here are just a few ideas:
- Ice skating
- Winter camping
- A ‘Frozen’ party
- Hockey games
- Slumber party
- Painting (snowmen, Christmas trees, and other wintery things)
- Cookie making and decorating
All of your medical expensive happen in one calendar year
This one might sound a little less exciting, but the expenses of having a baby are no joke. Depending on your insurance, it could be quite helpful to have all of your charges occur during one calendar year so that you don’t get roped into paying two deductibles!
Cons of having a winter baby
Along with the perks, there are also quite a few negatives to having a winter baby!
Breastfeeding could be more uncomfortable
When it’s cold outside, it’s often a little colder inside the house, as well!
For breastfeeding moms, this might mean that it gets a little chilly when you have to open up shop during mealtime. While there isn’t a perfect solution, you might want to check out a nursing hoodie like this one to help keep you a little warmer during breastfeeding.
Temperatures and weather could prevent outdoor play
I mentioned earlier that getting stuck inside with a newborn during the winter might not be such a bad thing, but it can seriously put a damper on your plans if you want to get outside and play with your new bundle of joy.
While short trips outside are fine, snow and extremely low temperatures are no place for a newborn to play for long periods of time and every outing becomes a chore. Layering up a baby is not always easy or fun!
Bad weather makes travel difficult
Speaking of getting out, you will probably want to visit friends and family after your baby gets a little bit older and show her off. Heck, you might even just want to get out of the house and take a trip somewhere.
Well, if there is a blizzard outside, you won’t be going anywhere!
Personally, I would just use this as an excuse to get friends and family to come to ME. After all, she’s our adorable baby – why should we have to put in the work to show her off?
Flu season and other illness worries
While most fears about cold weather making people sick are probably exaggerated, the fact remains that flu season occurs between the start of fall and ends somewhere through spring. That means that winter babies will have maximum exposure risk to things like the flu virus, RSV, and other common illnesses. Since newborns do not yet have fully developed immune systems, a bad virus could be much more devastating for them than it would be for you or me.
Remember that breastfeeding can provide a noticeable boost to your baby’s immune system, but your best bet for avoiding sickness is to keep everyone’s hands washed and avoid exposing anyone in the family to people that are already sick.
Having your baby around the holidays could cause issues
The holidays are already a stressful time for many people because there are always lots of activities and it can be difficult to cram everything into the calendar. Add to that the fact that work and school schedules change, vacations and trips to see family are planned, and having a baby during this time can feel overwhelming.
Plus, don’t forget about the fact that your baby could actually be born ON OR AROUND A HOLIDAY! While cute in theory, the reality of trying to get friends and family over for a birthday party a couple of days before or after Thanksgiving, for instance, could be difficult.
Maternity clothing could be more expensive
As mothers enter the third trimester, most baby bumps have passed the point of blending in and are now very obvious. In addition to the extra attention, it can also be more difficult to find clothing that fits and it is expensive to replace an entire wardrobe so that you can go outside.
While every mother will have to deal with maternity clothes regardless of when she is due, winter mothers have the added issue of having to bundle up when they go outside. That means that you might have to purchase a new jacket, larger winter boots (for the swollen feet), and all kinds of other accessories just to get through the harsher weather. In the summer, meanwhile, ladies can usually get away with lots of dresses and flipflops to help contain their expanding bellies.
Birthday parties might all have to stay indoors
I mentioned earlier that there are a ton of fun winter party opportunities.
Don’t forget, however, that outdoor plans could be smashed with a snowstorm and most of your parties might end up forced indoors or even canceled altogether if it’s not safe enough outside for the other kids to make the trip. As a result, you should always have a backup plan or two just in case your outdoor plan falls through!
Risks to a pregnant mommy
We’ve talked already about how babies might be more likely to get sick if they are born during the winter months, but we also need to address the fact that pregnant mommies might not be as…nimble on their feet during the third trimester as they normally are. Balance definitely becomes a problem and even things like bending over become more difficult.
If there is ice or snow outside, this could pose a serious risk for pregnant ladies as they are walking. A fall on the ice hurts everyone, but they could be seriously dangerous for a pregnant woman.