Winter Tips for First-Time Parents

Submitted by Dr. John Schinner on Thu, 11/14/2019 - 3:14pm
baby photo

My son had a few pearls of wisdom for my wife and I to guide us through our first winter as parents. We thought we’d share it for all the other first-time parents this winter!

If you have questions about keeping your baby healthy this winter, please call your healthcare provider. Milltown Family Physicians can be reached at 330-345-8060.

- Dr. Schinner

Hi, Mom and Dad! I know you’re nervous about doing things perfectly right for me (especially you, Mommy) but I’m a tough little guy. I know you’re trying your hardest to get me everything I need, and sometimes I don’t even know what that is. Just remember that nobody’s a perfect parent, but loving me and knowing me makes you perfect for me! I'm learning just like you and we'll figure this out together!


I thought I would help you out and let you know some extra things you need to do to keep me safe and healthy this winter.

  1. Make sure I get my flu shot! I'm over the age of six months so it's safe for me to get the shot. I need a booster one month after the first dose, too. Also, make sure anyone in close contact with me gets their shot too. That means you both, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins; nobody’s exempt unless they have a medical reason to not be immunized. We've got holidays coming up and everyone wants to see me. Such a small price to pay to see my cute face! 
  2. Keep me warm, but not too warm. I should be dressed just as warm OR a little warmer than you. Layers like Randy from A Christmas Story is overkill (awesome movie btw), but I should have my hat, mittens, coat, and warm footwear or a blanket over my feet if I’m outdoors in the cold. Dress me in light layers as much as possible to make it easy to dress me appropriately indoors and out. Losing those warmer layers once I get back inside will keep me from overheating.
  3. Don’t forget to take my coat off if I’m in the car. My car seat straps will not be tight enough if you try to buckle me in while I’m wearing my coat on top of my clothes. Put me in a thin fleece before buckling in, or after strapping me in, put my coat on backwards, or drape a blanket over me if the car is cold.
  4. Don’t wear outside shoes inside the house. Now that I’m crawling, wearing the same shoes inside and outside brings in all sorts of germs and toxic stuff, like ice melt, and I can easily get into it and get sick.
  5. Make sure I’m hydrated. I should have between 4-6 wet diapers a day. Fewer than that and I need fluids
  6. Keep the house between 68-72°. The winter air is dry, and the extra heat with low humidity can dry out my skin. Use a thicker cream or ointment to help moisturize my skin if it gets really dry.
  7. Avoid taking my toys into public places. If you do, make sure they can easily be sanitized. Who knows what bug some other kiddo is germinating… and I don’t have the best control over where I put my things yet!
  8. Don’t be scared to take me out this winter, as long as I’m healthy. Doing your best to keep me away from germs is great, but I still need to interact and socialize, and being out and about among other people will help me build my immunity (and work on my social skills too). Just keep me from socializing with anyone obviously sick.

Forgetting my hat for a quick run to the store or getting into dirt or germs won’t break me. If I do get sick, it’s not the end of the world. That’s what doctors are for, and they (and you!) can help me through it.

Thanks, Mom and Dad! I love you, and you’re doing a great job keeping me healthy. (Mom and Dad helped me write this, they made me say that. But it’s true!)

Love, Brian