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Anyone who’s ever had a winter due date will tell you that late pregnancy and infant care in cold climates comes with unique challenges.
My first baby was born in August; so I didn’t need to worry about navigating frigid temperatures while heavily pregnant or with a newborn. My next baby came in January. Let’s just say I wasn’t well prepared. Now that I’m expecting my fourth child – with yet another January due date – I’m drawing on experience to come up with a list of must-haves for when your due date falls during the winter months.
Things to have on hand for winter due dates
1. Boots you can just step into and go. When that third trimester rolls around, bending over gets tricky. Putting on shoes and tying them is pretty much the worst – if not impossible. Since flats and sandals aren’t practical in the snow, no-nonsense winter boots can make life so much easier during a winter pregnancy. Just shove your feet in, and go. No bending over, and groaning, required.
Koolaburra by UGG Women’s Koola Short Fashion Boot (Amazon)
Merrell Women’s Tremblant Pull on Polar Waterproof Snow Boot (Amazon)
2. At least one jacket that will still zip – but not necessarily a heavy coat. Depending on where you live, it’s often a necessity to have something that will cover your third-trimester bump on those extra-cold days. This can be accomplished by purchasing a jacket that’s several sizes too big – or by using a partner’s larger coat – if you don’t want to shell out a bunch of money. A larger coat can also accommodate a baby carrier underneath, once you and your baby are ready for fresh-air outings. Or, you can splurge on a “maternity jacket” like the one below.
Champion-C9 Maternity Track Jacket (Target)
3. Maternity leggings paired with tunic tops. I don’t know what took me so long, but maternity leggings are where it’s at. They’re stretchy, comfortable, and so versatile. Personally, I like the extra-thick leggings that can pass for pants – so you don’t have to wear a top that covers your butt, if you don’t want to. (But let’s be honest; if you’re in the third trimester, pants are anything you say they are.) I’ve found it helpful to pair leggings with a tunic top, anyway – because as flattering as those ruched-sided tops were earlier on in pregnancy, they can have a difficult time containing a 35-plus-week bump. Here are some cute and comfy options to consider.
Motherhood Maternity Full Length Terry Secret Fit Belly Leggings (Amazon)
sofsy Soft-Touch Rayon Blend Tie Front Nursing Top (Amazon)
4. Plenty of zip-up, footie pajamas for the baby. They’re great for nighttime, for sure. But they’re also an easy way to keep baby warm when running errands/making the morning school run for the older kiddos during the winter months. I like to add a hat and a blanket to tuck around the baby’s trunk and lower half – over the straps, of course -- when it’s extra cold. Just remember: Puffy coats and car seats don’t mix. And covers/accessories added to car seats post-production can pose safety risks.
Simple Joys by Carter’s Baby Boys’ Cotton Footed Sleep and Play (Amazon)
Simple Joys by Carter’s Baby Girls’ Cotton Footed Sleep and Play (Amazon)
5. A few hats and pairs of mittens for your baby. Don’t forget to keep those little ears and fingers warm while out and about with your baby! Because tiny mittens and hats have a way of disappearing into thin air, it’s probably best to have a couple of backup options, too. And there are so many adorable options from which to choose.
Twinklebelle Baby Winter Beanie Hat and Mittens set (Amazon)
XIAOHAWANG Cute Bear Knit Winter Beanie (Amazon)
6. Plenty of moisturizer – for you and for your baby. I don’t know about you, but when I have a newborn, I’m constantly washing my hands. (Between dealing with spit-up, cleaning up diaper blowouts, and just trying to keep the germ exposure to a minimum, it’s a must.) My poor hands end up cracked and bleeding if I don’t keep on top of moisturizing. I’ve found this stuff is magical:
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream (Amazon)
Your little one’s skin also needs some protection from the dry winter air. I prefer thicker lotions that are unscented, like Aveeno Baby.
Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisturizing Cream (Amazon)
7. Delivery service cheat sheet. Planning and cooking a meal, and cleaning up afterward, can get overwhelming when you’re running on a couple of two-hour stretches of sleep per night. Having food delivered to your door lightens your worry load. It also means no one needs to go out in the bad weather to pick up your take-out order. Compile a list of your favorite restaurants that deliver, along with links to the menus. Then all you have to do is whip out your cheat sheet, order, and let the food come to you. More and more grocery stores seem to be offering online ordering, too.
Want to go beyond your local eateries, or supermarkets? Try an online national food delivery service like Freshly, or Hello Fresh, or Chef’d.
8. Easy-to-use traction devices for safe winter walking. If you are the outdoor type who won’t let weather keep you inside, a pair of Yaktrax or some other brand of easy-on traction devices is just the thing for you. Just slip them over your regular shoes – or have your significant other do it for you if you can’t see your feet – for safer walking on potentially icy sidewalks or driveways, or on snow-covered walking trails.
Yaktraks (Amazon) Being extremely pregnant and/or having a newborn during winter can sometimes feel logistically challenging. But if you go into it prepared with practical gear, it doesn’t have to be miserable. On the upside, foul weather can give you an excuse to spend endless hours snuggling with your baby on the couch while watching cold rain or, if you’re lucky, fluffy white snowflakes fall softly past the window. It doesn’t get much more cozy than that.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.