Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Chest Test

Easy now, I’m not talking about breasts or brawn but about a baby’s temperature. (I probably just lost a bunch of readers.) Anyway-

Last weekend we visited Chris’ godparents on the Kent coast. After a lovely lunch we headed down to the seaside for a stroll and a view of the massive Wind Farm that made news headlines today. Considering the weather of late, it was a surprisingly sunny and still day, maybe somewhere in the 50s F.

I mention the weather not to be typically English, but to set the scene for what we observed next. A few adults a couple of small children, probably between 1-2 years walked down to the water’s edge, started to paddle and then full on waded straight into the water. They went out pretty far and one of the boys fell over and totally submerged himself.

Now these folk didn’t even seem to shiver. In fact they seemed to be really enjoying themselves in what must have been pretty chilly water. From what I can tell, small children usually love the water and don’t complain of being cold. But weren’t these parents worried about their kids being cold, and catching a cold?

I think my mom and Chris’ grandma are rubbing off on me. They both always ask if LLC is warm enough. Does she need another layer? A coat, a blanket, a hat, some socks? Maybe it’s a generational thing that hasn’t filtered down but they seem much more concerned about keeping LLC warm than I am.

From the time in her first week when a midwife told me not to dress her in a baby hat in our house, I’ve never worried too much about LLC’s temperature. Of course I try to make sure she’s warm enough, and not too hot either, but my ultimate test for all this is to feel her chest. If it’s hot and sweaty – she’s too hot. If it’s cold, then she’s too cold. Simple.

Is this reliable? Do you bundle your young children up as the temperature starts to drop? Or would you take them for a swim off the Kent coast this weekend?
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