By Dr Anil Batra
New Delhi, Nov 29 (IANSlife): The winter comes with its own set of hassles. New moms have to be careful because they have to take care of themselves and their babies. It becomes imperative to protect babies from the harsh season.
The immune system of newborn babies is developing, which makes them susceptible to respiratory infections. But, you can take preventive measures to keep your child warm and safe. Newborn babies need extra care until their immune system becomes stronger to protect their bodies from the harmful effects of viruses and bacteria that usually become more active in the winter season. A drop in the temperature can aggravate different processes in the body, therefore, moms need to take extra care of newborn babies during winters.
New moms can follow the given tips to take care of their little ones and protect them from the harmful effects of harsh winds blowing outside.
Keep the temperature warm in the baby's room
Use a portable heater in the baby's room to keep the temperature warm. The air becomes dry due to the excessive use of a heater. Therefore, keeping a humidifier to balance the moisture levels.
The baby's skin is very sensitive and the harsh, dry, and cold air can make the skin dry. Therefore, apply a good moisturizer to keep it soft and smooth. Choose a moisturizer made of milk cream and butter, especially for children. This will keep the skin of your baby soft.
Massage is important to keep your baby's skin soft and healthy. Massage helps to improve the blood circulation in the body that helps in boosting strength. Use a natural oil to massage the body of your child. Make sure the room is warm where you massage the baby.
Avoid using heavy blankets
You can comfort your baby by laying a light blanket to keep your baby warm. Avoid using a heavy blanket to cover your baby during winters because your baby would not be able to move his arms and legs while sleeping. In this process, your baby may pull it up on its face and this can cause respiratory distress. Thus, use a light blanket and keep the room temperature optimum.
Dress your baby comfortably
Choose comfortable dressing for your baby. Avoid wrapping your baby in thick sweaters, gloves, and socks. This will restrict its movement and he/she will become irritable. Choose clothes depending on the room temperature. The clothes should cover his/her baby but should not restrict movement. You can use light gloves and socks to cover your hands and feet to keep your baby warm at night.
Breastfeeding is the most important activity that can keep your baby healthy. Breast milk consists of required nutrients and antibodies that will enhance the immune system of your baby and will protect him/her against diseases. During breastfeeding your baby will feel warm and cosy that will also give him comfort.
Maintain proper hygiene
Mothers should be careful when handling newborn babies in winters. You will be the first point of contact for your baby. Therefore, make sure you keep yourself clean and healthy. Wash your hands before handling your baby. Germs can easily enter your baby's body through your dirty hands. Therefore, make sure you wash your hands or sanitize them before attending to your baby. Also, ask visitors to wash their hands.
Take care outdoors
If you want to take your child outdoors make sure it is not freezing temperature. Take your child out for fresh air only if the temperature is not too cold and remember to cover your baby properly before taking them out. Taking your baby out will help to give fresh air and will improve their health.
Common issues that may arise in newborn babies during winters
Winter brings flu and other viruses that can easily spread and affect anyone. Common issues that may arise in newborn babies during winters include the following:
Parents can take care of their newborn babies from various diseases that may affect them in the winters in the following ways:
If your baby suffers during the winter season, you should consult a pediatrician.
You can give a homemade solution if your baby suffers from a cold. Check with the doctor and you can only give a saline solution or nasal drops.
Keep your baby well hydrated. Keep breastfeeding your baby and also give water if necessary.
Cuddle your baby lovingly and give him warmth along with other precautions.
In the first winter, you can take preventive measures to take care of your little ones and keep them safe. Maintain proper hygiene and keep your house warm. Avoid visitors if your child is not feeling well.
How often to give a bath to your baby in winter?
It is not necessary to give a bath to your baby every day. You can bathe your baby after 2-3 days in winter. You can sponge bathe your newborn every other day in winter.
Check the temperature of the room before giving a bath to your baby. The room temperature should be warm and comfortable for your baby.
Check the temperature of the water. Make sure the water is not too hot or cold. The temperature of the water should be right for the body of your baby. Check the temperature by touching the water with your elbow or wrist.
Use mild soap and shampoo to bathe your baby in winter. Also, apply oil and moisturizer to the skin to keep it soft and prevent skin allergies.
(Dr Anil Batra, Director, Pedeatrics, Madhukar Rainbow Hospital)