Can Exposure to Cold Weather Make Your Baby Sick?

You've probably heard it from your grandmother, your mother, or some elderly lady at the super market scowling at the way you dress your children. “Bundle that baby up, he's gonna catch a cold!” But your grandmother's wisdom may be a little off base.

Being exposed to cold or heat can't get your child sick with a cold. The common cold is caused by a virus that is passed on through contact and the exchange of bodily fluids.

It's possible that prolonged exposure to harsh weather conditions weakens your immune system, leaving you slightly more vulnerable to catching a virus. In reality, your child is more likely to get sick from touching a germ-covered grocery store cart or a door handle than from failing to bundle up properly.

How To Keep Your Baby from Getting Sick

Good hygiene and proper nutrition are your best defenses against the common cold.

  • Wash your hands properly before and after using the restroom, eating, or being in public places.
  • Eat plenty of nutritious foods
  • Cut artificial dyes, preservatives, and additives out of you and your child's diet.

Sometimes there is not much you can do about your child getting sick. Children are notorious for putting their fingers, toys, and other objects in their mouths. The good news? Getting and fighting off illnesses is an important process for your child's young immune system. It helps their body build up immunity to common infections, making it stronger come next year's cold and flu season.

Earth Mama® Organics Postpartum Lying-in Plan

The Case for Bundling Baby Up

You should still make sure that your child is dressed appropriately for the weather. There are several other reasons to keep hats, coats, and gloves on in cold weather. The dangers of frost bite, even after a few minutes of exposure in extreme conditions, are often overlooked. Tiny hands and feet are especially vulnerable, as they don't often know how to move their limbs to keep the circulation flowing when they get too cold.

Although your grandmother's wisdom may not be entirely true, it's still a decent piece of advice. More often than not, your instincts will tell you whether you should be dressing your baby in warmer clothing or not. When you go out, check your child's hands and feet often to make sure they are not too cold, and forgive the next person who makes a comment about how you dress your child. In most cases, they're only trying to help.

Vanessa Pruitt, PLMHP, MS

One thought on “Can Exposure to Cold Weather Make Your Baby Sick?

  1. Yes its true, some people today still swear by this old myth about catching cold… The only real cold you catch is maybe the shivers. I think they actually did an experiment a while back where they put kids in swim shorts on ice blocks to disprove this fallacy. I do always enjoy explaining to people why its a farce though!

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