Home | People, life, etc... | Newborn care for winter babies

Newborn care for winter babies

After the hot humid months, winter brings much needed respite. Of course, winter brings its own challenges like seasonal colds or trying to keep warm. Read on to find out what problems you may face with your newborn during the winter, and how to tackle and prevent them.

Health care
Keep you and your baby safe from winter bugs by following some basic preventative measures.
•    Frequently washing hands is the simplest and most effective way of getting rid of cold and flu germs. Wash your baby's hands as often as you can, especially if he keeps putting them in his mouth.
•    As most winter diseases are spread through coughs, sneezes and direct contact, keep your baby away from sick people and avoid going to crowded places.
•    Ensure your baby's vaccinations are up to date to protect him from viruses and bacteria.
•    Naturally boost your baby's immunity by breastfeeding him.
•    Dehydration is a common side effect of winter diseases. Sore throats and stuffy noses can make it difficult for your baby to drink. Give your baby plenty of breastmilk (or formula milk if you aren't breast feeding).
•    Avoid irritants like smoke or sprays. They can trigger a coughing fit.

Call your doctor if your baby:
•    Is pulling on his ear (which can signal an ear infection)
•    Is wheezing or has trouble breathing (it could be a bronchial infection or pneumonia )
•    Has diarrhoea or vomiting, which can lead to dehydration
•    Is younger than three months and has a temperature of 100.4 degrees (read more about when to call your doctor)
Massaging your newborn baby in the winter can improve his blood flow and help build his immunity. In the colder regions of the country most mothers use mustard (sarson) oil as it warms the body. If you find the smell too strong, try almond or olive. Read more on massage oils for babies. Make sure that you massage your baby in a warm, comfortable place that is safe from cool draughts. While bathing your baby, ensure that you wash off the oil well. Many babies develop skin rashes due to the left over massage oil.

Common winter illnesses
Babies are especially vulnerable to illnesses as their immune systems are still developing. If your child falls ill (even if it is a simple cold) speak to your doctor about his symptoms and treatment before it gets worse.
Find out how you can protect your baby from these winter illnesses:
•    Common colds
•    Fever
•    Viral fever
•    Flu
•    Croup
•    Ear infections
•    Pneumonia
•    Bronchiolitis
•    Rotavirus
•    Meningitis

Hygiene and cleanliness
Be careful to not overdo baths in winter as too much soap and water can dry out your baby's delicate skin. Use a mild soap and warm, not hot, water when bathing your baby. You can alternate between proper baths and sponge baths since newborn babies don't get that dirty in winter.
You can run hot water for a while in the bathroom to create a steamy and warm environment for your baby's bath. Keep the bathroom door and windows closed to avoid a sudden gush of cold air.
Don't let your baby soak in the tub for long and wrap him in a hooded towel as soon as you take him out. While giving him a bath, you could leave the heater or blower on in the bedroom so that you don't have to dress him in a hurry.

Healthcare for your family
Consider getting healthcare insurance for you and your family to help with the expense of unforeseen medical emergencies. Then keep your health insurance card and any relevant paperwork handy in case you have to leave in a hurry.

Overall hygiene
Ensure visitors and family members wash their hands before your holding your baby.
Discuss personal hygiene with your babysitter or maid and ensure she washes her hands and feet thoroughly as soon as she enters your home. If you have a cook, ensure she washes her hands with soap and warm water and has trimmed nails before handling any food.
Go for clothing made from warm materials like wool, flannel, fleece, hosiery and so on. Mittens and booties will keep your baby's hands and feet warm. Body heat can be lost through the extremities, so keep your baby cosy by covering his head, hands and feet with woollen hats, gloves and socks.

Home and surroundings
Keep your home warm and cosy by taking care of all gaps in and around the doors and windows. Weather strips are ideal for taking care of these gaps and are easily available in the market.
If any family member smokes, ask them to smoke outside the house. This way you won't have to keep letting the cold air in to clear out the smoke. Smoke is also bad for your baby and can worsen and cause serious respiratory illnesses.
Even though insects during winter are not as widespread, consider calling pest control to get rid of any leftover bugs. Clean the floors and bathrooms with a good quality disinfectant. Look out for mould build-up, especially in poorly ventilated and damp areas of your home.

Pre-winter check
Check to see that all heating appliances like geysers, heaters, blowers and heating rods are in good working condition. These appliances usually need power points so it would be a good idea to call an electrician to check them and ensure that they can carry the load. This way you can avoid short circuits which could lead to fire hazards. You might like to get your winter bed spreads, blankets, quilts or razais washed or dry-cleaned before you need to use them to keep warm in the winter.

Child safety and other tips
More tips to keep your family safe and comfortable.
•    Think about getting a humidifier or steamer for your home. The moist air will thin out your baby's mucus discharges, helping to calm his cough or congestion.
•    If you are going out with your baby for a stroll, keep him warm with blanket in the pram. Some parents use a baby carrier or sling which is strapped across the chest. This way, your body heat keeps your baby warm.
•    Be careful when using a blanket on your newborn baby, as it may cover his mouth and lead to suffocation. Use it to either swaddle your baby or tuck him in properly. When tucking him in with the blanket, ensure it doesn't go higher than his shoulder and arm pit.
•    Don't dress your baby in heavy, bulky clothing when he is in the car seat. The car seat harness or belts may not close properly and could be dangerous in the event of crash.
•    Make time to simply snuggle up with your baby. This will provide comfort and warmth to your little one, not to mention the joy of bonding and spending some quality time with you!

Login or Register to post your Comment (Available for registered users only)

Comments (0 posted):

Post your comment comment

Please enter the code you see in the image:

  • email Email to a friend
  • print Print version
  • Plain text Plain text
Log in
No tags for this article