When planning when to have a baby, women have a lot of factors to consider. Can they afford daycare? Will their partner be a good father? Holy cow, forget that will they be a good mother? What will their schedule look like? Do they have room in their house for a baby? Do they have the right kind of car? Oh, gosh do they have to get a mini van?
With all of these thoughts swirling and spreadsheets being created based on the newest figure estimates for raising a baby, one important thing could be overlooked. When do you want the baby to be born? Do you want a summer baby or a winter baby? Maybe Spring?
Is this even controllable? To a degree it is. You can pick your fertile days and do a calculator on when would be the best month to get pregnant for the outcome you want. For many of us, we try to for so many months to get to the point of pregnancy that we "get what we get and we don't throw a fit."
That doesn't stop us from considering what the downfalls are in having babies in the harshest part of the year. If you are having, have had or plan to have in the future a baby in the winter this list will give you a pretty realistic view of some challenges that you may have. Look, every time of year has it's challenges, but there may be a reason that the highest birth months are July and August.
14 Flu Season
If you have or are having a baby in the winter you need to prepare for the possibility that your friends will need to give you space during the time you are at the hospital and slightly after. In fact some hospitals may recommend excluding some people from visiting due to the risk of germs. For example kids under 12 may be restricted during flue season. If your friends have a tickle in their throats that they aren't sure about they may decline to come visit you. If your baby comes earlier than expected and has NICU time the restrictions will be much higher. This can be a bummer when you have waited all this time to have the baby and pictured visitors celebrating with you. Try to remember that these things are for the good of the baby and the good of you. It's still hard to deal with.
13 Isolation Due To Weather Conditions
Traveling is hard in the winter. If you live in a place that has snowing and ice you know all to well what can happen on the roads. When you have a new baby you tend to have a heightened sense of danger that can make you reluctant to take any chances in driving anywhere. This can be due to legitimate driving conditions that are intolerable or this can be due to being anxious. If you go through a few weeks where the weather is bad, you can find yourself feeling pretty isolated. Your friends might be at work, leaving you the dog and baby to talk to. Though the dog tilts his head, he doesn't have a lot of helpful advice. It might be helpful to ask your significant other or mom to call in during the day to check in and talk to you a few minutes. It can make all the difference when you are feeling alone.
12 Bundling Up
It's a pain to get the baby bundled up to go out. Do you swaddle and then car seat? How many layers should they have? Do they really need mittens? Are they warm enough if you just do the car seat cover or is wind getting in under there? Will they be too warm with the onesie, pants, shirt, sweater, snow suite, hat, gloves, socks, booties, and car seat cover? Is it better to be too hot or too cold. You just get them bundled and you can guess what happens. Dirty diaper. Sure as sh... well sure as poo, they will have to poo right when that last layer is added. Likely you will get faster and hopefully this will not be a common occurrence. That's wishful thinking, they will continue to have to go to the bathroom like clockwork until the are 5 years old. However by that time they help do some of the work.
11 Car Seat Safety
Recently there have been many shares on Facebook about the safety of wearing a coat in the car seat. It's a no no. The car seat straps end up too loose. If the straps don't tightly hold the baby than it's rather pointless to have them in it. This fact stacked on top of all the other worries about car seat safety can make a new mom feel defeated about car seats and driving. If you find yourself to be an anxious person in this regard, try to familiarize yourself with the safety requirements prior to the baby coming. Check to see if there are any places that check on the placement of the seat before baby comes. This could help cut back on the concerns before baby arrives and help you to feel more confident.
This article on Today.com shows a demonstration and talks more about the safety aspect of having a coat on while in the car seat. This isn't something that was so widely shared when my children were small. Do not strap your kid in with a coat on.
10 Postpartum Depression
You can have this whether you have a baby in the summer, winter, fall, or spring. Winter does seem to be a little bit worse. Not that it's a contest. Many women that are affected by postpartum depression actually have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) too so they are already running a little bit low with the shorter days and longer nights. When you add hormonal changes on top of that it can be a very hard mix to get through.
Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about this. Many women I personally have talked to are reluctant to say anything because they don't want to be put on meds. That is valid to want to be able to get through without meds. Some women can do that by talking to a therapist or exercising to get a boost from that. In my experience my doctors were very open with me about monitoring it and only going on to a medication plan once I agreed that it was necessary for me. This can depend on how close you are with your doctor. My second baby we had a plan in place knowing that the first one required me to be treated.
9 Lack Of Vitamin D
Lack of any vitamin will put you out of whack. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because you get it from the sun. How very clever, huh? You also can get foods fortified with Vitamin D. Examples of this are milk and eggs. When the seasons change to winter we get much less of this vitamin since the sun is not out as long. There are a lot of interesting studies going on right now with Vitamin D and its effects on cancer. This article on Web MD will also give you a little more information. Basically being deficient in the is vitamin can be bad for our bones, it can have an impact on our heart health, and in adults it can affect cognitive though. These are all good reasons to try to supplement vitamin D in the winter after checking with your doctor.
8 No Place To Go
There aren't very many places that seem worth it when it's -10 degrees Fahrenheit out and there is snow planned in the afternoon. Even if you have him or her in the cutest outfit ever. Not only that, but when you take them out there are the sick people. They are everywhere. They don't seem to be aware of how sickness spreads. They want to get in your baby's face seemingly not understanding that they have germs. It can be quite stressful to hand your baby around to people you know, let alone going in public to unknowns and them wanting to play with your baby. It's almost a curse that he or she is so cute. If she wasn't the cutest thing ever maybe everyone wouldn't come up to her. Alas you were cursed too and you go through.
7 Birthday Party Planning In The Years To Come
When you have a summer birthday party you can do it all. Water balloon fights outside, putt-putt golf, or bounce houses. You can even do the inside things. How about bowling or Chuck E. Cheese? Those too are options. The summer people get to do everything. Winter birthday's only have about half of the options available to them if they live in a colder climate. Not only that, if your kids' birthday happens to fall close to Christmas, God help you. That child will forever hate their birthday. You may view them as your own personal Christmas gift (once you forget the pain of child labor), but they will always hate that their birthday ends up being mixed in with Christmas. Their birthday never gets to really standalone as an event and the kid always feels like they don't get as much. Sometimes it's true and sometimes it just feels that way.
6 Dry Skin
Baby's skin is sometimes sensitive to begin with. Hence the special baby detergents, bath products, and blankies. Add on top of that dry skin. Now you have to find a lotion that doesn't interfere with the sensitive skin and doesn't make your baby a little grease ball after you have them all lathered up after bath. Make sure that you have a good grip on the baby girl or boy after applying the lotion because things can get quite serious, quite fast. They will slip out of your hands like a bar of soap out in the shower. Check with your doctor on the appropriate lotions to try on the baby. Also make sure that you are covering hands and faces well. The cold can do a lot to chap and make the baby hurt if the wind is hitting them.
5 Missing Out On Christmas/New Year Celebrations
Do you have a party that you look forward to for holidays every year? If so you may want to adjust your hopes on that one. If you are very pregnant you will not be able to fully enjoy the celebration. If you are fresh from delivering the baby, you may not feel like attending the party and if you are postpartum, but breastfeeding than you may find that you don't want to imbibe. This can make the holiday party season a little less jolly. I don't mean to imply that the trade off isn't worth it, as it most certainly is. It can be quite frustrating in the last weeks of pregnancy to try to make any plans let alone plans revolving around a social calendar of a little human that refuses to leave your womb.
4 Not As Many Visits From Friends
This goes hand in hand with flu season and the hospital visits. A lot of your friends may not make it over to see you. They may be worried about getting the baby sick or concerned about the travel during this time of year. This is especially true if you have friends from out of town that need to take flights etc. Again this is not a reflection on how much you mean to them. In some circumstances they think they are looking out for your wellbeing. They don't realize that you are going stir crazy and need to have some interaction. See if you can do some Skype-ing and see their beautiful faces. Also if you feel comfortable let them know that you are ok with them coming over if they use disinfectant and wear a surgical mask when they come in your house. Kidding, mostly.
3 Holiday Decorating On Top of Nesting For Baby
Did you think you had a lot to do with getting the nursery ready? What about getting holiday decorating done. That is another task to add to your list that has now officially become the length of a toilet paper roll. Not only are you trying to figure out how you have to arrange your life to even get a baby to fit in there. Now you have to look at the house and decide where you should hang candy canes and how many strings of lights you should put up. Side note have your significant other do any ladder work. We know you can handle it, but for safety reasons it seems better. Once you have everything up and it looks like Father Christmas threw up his Christmas spirit all over your house, it's already two weeks later and time to take everything down. Who thought this up anyway?
2 Constantly Afraid The Baby Is Too Cold
Baby's temperature is something that constantly haunts a new mom. Are they too hot? Are they too cold? I feel hot, does that mean they are hot or does that mean my hormones are out of whack? This is so hard to judge. I lost all ability to judge air temperature during my postpartum weeks and I'm not alone. If you lose that ability and you feel yourself swinging to extremes you may panic about your baby's temperature. You may worry about if they are getting too cold. Many parents like to make sure that the baby as a hat on for the first few weeks after birth to stop the heat from escaping. Also there are cozy little sleep sacks that keep the baby all bundled in. They also are easy to get in to change diapers etc to put baby back to sleep.
1 Ice And Falls
One of the scariest things in the winter is dealing with ice. Black ice is something that strikes fear into many a heart. This fear multiplies when you take into account the tremendous change in the body of a pregnant woman. The balance is already off kilter. Add to that an ice dancing routine and it become a very scary prospect to do any walking outside. That seems like it would improve after you give birth, but wait... then you have a baby in a big bulky carseat carrier thing. That thing is bulky as crap and hard to deal with to being with. Now you have to choreograph carrying the baby in the carrier over the ice without falling (because the judges are pretty strict about not falling during your ice skating routine.) This doesn't happen in the summer is all I'm saying. If you are lucky in the winter wonderland you may slip, fall and land in a fresh pile of snow. That isn't very likely.