Updated: Nov 13, 2019
You may think this is about the weather and in a way it is.. As the weather is cold, freezing in parts and snowing in others and alway raining! Yes, winter is coming , like they say in Game of Thrones. And , as I live in Northern Ireland where some of the winter scenes were indeed filmed I can attest , its colder that a brass monkeys... and we as humans need to be warm. It tis the season to rug up and cozy up , ourselves and homes and that is exactly what this blog is about . Keeping us and our wee ones warm and safe in doing so !
What brought this on is, my wee one is curious, very curious and wants to know what you're doing and do what you're doing. She has started to want what ever you are holding, and in most instances how I warm up it is hot drink. I have spoken about when she was younger and I never actually got to drink the hot drink ...well not until it was either tepid or stone cold. But now she is miss independent , I do get a few moments to gulp one down. And thats where she comes in literally... for a touch and a taste. And we have had to put a few boundaries in place. Personally I let her touch the outside of the cup and say hot , burny, ooh and blow on my fingers then say NO! Quite sternly. I am hopefully satisfying her natural instinct to learn. To want to know and to learn a lesson in the process. Her touching it is my boundary and I get others in the house to follow suit. So it’s a uniform approach. Figure out what your boundaries are and let everyone in the house know so they can keep to them. Nothing worse than an unmanned coffee ending up over an equally unmanned toddler.
Have some house rules.
Are you going to share the experience ? Let them look, feel touch and even taste.
If it has to have a coaster, put coasters up high so you naturally have your drinks out of reach at all times.
Maybe have a safe cup , like an insulated take away one with a lid. Maybe go as far as an anti spill one just in case you do leave unattended. That way its win win , your drink ( if got to in time ) will stay warm for longer and even if they do find it , and tip it, it doesn't end up everywhere. Also like it says on the tin , its insulated, that means to the outside as well so wee hands won't burn themselves if they get hold of it. Think high street coffee places cups that don't supply a sleeve. Ouch , burny hot.
Or is it off limits, out of bounds completely
This goes the same with radiators. My advice is to cover them you can. I have covered all the major ones in the house and she cant get at them as with the winter closing in they are turned right up and quite burny to touch. So thats what we say , hot, burn, ouch , and again I let her touch it for a moment. She has learnt as when we go to the toilet together , there is a heater in there uncovered as it's so small I cant get a cover for it . She is respectful of it as sometimes its on and sometimes it is not. But she definitely is tentative when approaching it and leans in slowly to ascertain whether it is hot or not.
There are no judgements to how you want to handle teaching your wee ones about the hot appliances in your home. Some treat it like a touch , learn and don't do again. And others won't even let the wee ones close enough to learn that lesson.
The one that I don't mess with is an open fire. Memorising as it is, it must be behind bars! The amount of ways a child can hurt themselves and badly is too numerous to think about. Touching the flames , falling in, to a coal/wood rolling out by accident and them picking it up or it setting fire to the house. Even playing in ash. Its never really cool underneath. My father learned that when he tried to dispose of ash from a fire we had days before and it soldered and set fire to our fence. And had to be put out twice !! If you have a fire place, gas or real, guard it, with an attached to the wall installed fire guard ! Toddlers are climbers and toys can get in-between the fences and they just want it...
One other aspect that can trip a parent in the winter months is what to dress your kids in for sleep. Whether you have your heating go off in the night or keep it humming to stay toasty , there is alway a worry of your wee ones getting cold so you over dress them and or if the room stays warm , how do you keep them just right. When this came up in my chat group recently , there were a lot of different answers. Some had their wee ones in thick sleep suits ( not to be confused with onesie pj's ) but body shaped sleeping bags . Others had layers on child and blankets on bed. Another a gro-to bed ( a duvet and pillow and sheet combo that zips together) so nothing can get kicked off. They had a winter tog duvet in for this season. I personally am a winter thickness tog sleep bag and PJ's girl for my wee one.
Sometimes if there is a dip in the old thermometer , I'll pop on PJ's with feet and have a vest under her nightwear to keep her torso warm. Ive attached a diagram to help you navigate what to put on your wee ones what ever the weather. Rule of thumb is to have one them one more layer than you wear yourself. I have found my wee one is a cold sleeper like me. Likes the room cool but the coverings warm. She snuggles in and sleeps really well. Both of us don't do well being hot in the night.
So find your magic combination. The mixture of a heavy blanket with light pjs and heating on most of the night verses a blend of sleep bag and a thicker onesie with hands and feet on top of a flannel sheet that retains body heat. Each family , each household, each night I find can be different. So make the most of those gifts of knitted blankets and hand me downs of cotton covers. Over-worn sleep bags that zip and clip in different ways. I found with a wee one in a previous job, I had to put her sleep bag on backwards as the wee minx could unzip it if it was in front and get out of it. As I was only the nanny, her parents would find her in the middle of the night freezing and cold. And waking a lot.
I have also found that I have a nap routine of covering my wee one and a night routine. As my heating is on during the day and only partially at night. And then again in the waking hours of my household. She doesn't need the full winter tog . She's dressed with a few more layers, and her room is warm so a lesser tog or just a blanket over her for nap time will suffice. Everything is fluid and adjustable with a bit of forward planning and weather watching.
I wish you all a warm and pleasant winter, dreaming of places that really are hot hot hot and thats another blog to keeping wee ones cool. Stay toasty and safe.