Baby’S First Winter: How To Protect Newborns In Cold Weather
Written by Dr Rahul Nagpal, Director- Paediatrics and Neonatology at Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj
Newborn babies require continued care and support until they reach a point where they can sustain themselves on their own. During winters, the microbes and viruses thrive and find hosts to infect. Combined with decreased immunity, babies become an easy target for diseases. Infants lose heat faster than adults and the younger their age, the less able they are to cope with cold weather. Small babies lack the ability to increase heat by shivering and don't have the body fat needed to warm back up once they get cold.
Dress your baby in layers.
The bottom layer can be snug, like leggings and a bodysuit. On top of that, you can put another layer of pants and a long sleeve shirt. Finish up with a jacket, cap, mittens, and warm booties to keep hands and feet warm. Choose breathable fabrics such as cotton and muslin so you can take clothes on and off as needed.
Keep the indoor temperature right
High indoor temperature can be a problem. Indoor heating has low humidity, and it's that lack of moisture in the air that can dry your baby's delicate skin. To avoid that, keep your indoor temperature anywhere between 24°C to26°C Keeping your home and your baby’s room comfortable and warm will keep your baby safe and protected from the harsh winter winds. If you use a heating apparatus, it could rob the room of water vapour, making the air dry as well as your child’s skin. Hence, install a humidifier in the room so that the moisture levels are maintained optimally.
Use a Moisturizer
Your baby’s skin will be extremely sensitive and the harsh atmosphere of the winter can make it dry. Opt for skin moisturizer that is made for baby’s skin.
Stick to the Vaccination Schedule
During winters, your baby will be more susceptible to infections. It is highly important to get your child vaccinated at the right time.
Breastfeed Your Baby
Breast milk contains antibodies and nutrients that help strengthen a baby’s immunity and protect him/her from the usual diseases. Breast milk will provide him/her with all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Also while breastfeeding, the warmth of your body will be relaxing for the baby.
Maintain Your Own Hygiene
You are going to be the first point of contact for your child. Hence, it is absolutely necessary for you to stay clean and healthy. Wash your hands and disinfect them with a sanitizer every time you attend to your child..