How to live with a baby in an Ice Age


The ambience of our home rivals that of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. It’s so cold that I can hear my fingers creaking as the bones grate against my crystallised flesh. (There may have been slight exaggeration in there, for literary flavour. It’s allowed.) The cryogenic effects have made it that none of us are ageing in here — this means I’m going to be living with an 8-week-old baby until spring.

I’ve been compiling methods of handling this. So far this collection is:

  • Feed the baby with formula if the air is too cold to expose my flesh to. Timmy doesn’t mind this arrangement, and I get to conserve precious body heat. I also then have the benefit of knowing just how much Timmy consumes.
  • Kangaroo-share the wheat pack. With only one wheat pack in the house, there’s fierce contest between Timmy and I as to who gets it. This may be remedied by putting the wheat pack down between my chest and my top, then hugging Timmy to it. This also passes for quality bonding time.
  • Make up the pram as a bed for Timmy to use for day sleeps. This means I only have to run the heater during the day in the living area as I have the pram in there, leaving Timmy’s room to be heated only at night. As well as reducing expenses, this also creates the benefit of a portable bed that can be raised or reclined according to Timmy’s curiosity needs.
  • As sacrificial as it is for me to maintain a dairy-free diet, this is worth continuing for the sake of such a young baby with a still-developing digestive system, as crying time is greatly reduced. This improves my mental and emotional stamina, making me more able to bear an unpleasant climate. (And anything else.)
  • When showering, before turning off the water I make it as hot as I can bear, so my skin gets a light burn. Then when I leave the steaming jets, I’m still warmed from the heat of the burn, which is light enough to not cause pain. The noise of the water is also an excellent means of drowning out Timmy’s cries — thus, a shower is best taken in an unsettled time for him. This is usually when he’s too tired to be entertained, but not tired enough to be mellow for sleep.
  • For one of Timmy’s daytime sleeps, I have him join me in my bed as I also nap. Then when he wakes up for a feed, I suffer minimal disruption, as I don’t have to move to another room that is inevitably much colder than my electric blanket. I’m also working on the skill of not even having to sit up, or hold him. (If I can regularly establish this practice during the day, thus getting more rest, hopefully it will make my frequent night wakings less crippling.) He also is then able to go back to sleep immediately, as I don’t have to move him afterward.

Any other winter/baby management techniques I haven’t yet discovered will be gratefully received.


(3) Comments

  • Naomi
    18 Jun 2012

    Another way to settle him and still stay warm is to have a shower with him. He gets clean and you stay warm, some babies find the water on there back soothing.

    • Eve
      18 Jun 2012

      We’ve done that a couple of times, but it’s a two-person job, and by the time Person Two is available to hand baby to me in the shower, then take him off me and get him dressed, it’s late and I’m usually not feeling alert enough to hold a slippery wriggling baby. It’s something we’ll have to do anyway though, when Timmy outgrows his bath.

  • Rachel Graham on Facebook
    19 Jun 2012

    Thinking of you Eve, would come and visit but bugs are flying high around here at the mo. Hope things are settling with Timothy, praying for you 🙂

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