While the baby is in the mother’s womb, she is protected and remains unaffected by changes in the environment. Once the baby is born, she gradually starts adapting to the outside world. Her body temperature and functioning of various organs get equipped to the surroundings.
Hygiene demands vary with seasons: Seasonal changes like variations in temperature, humidity and airflow are reflected in the external environment. These changes bring about behavioural/reproductive changes in various organisms and microorganisms. Climate also affects the transmission of several virus/bacteria. Mosquitoes and various other bugs are more active in warm weather as compared to winters. Because of this, every season is different when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness.
Take special care of newborn babies: Newborn babies are delicate and vulnerable to seasonal changes. Proper care is necessary to protect them from climatic adversities. Some of these seasonal changes and ways to manage baby care during these changes are discussed below.
BABY CARE DURING SWELTERNG SUMMERS.
Indian summers are characterized by hot/dry winds and sweltering heat. Months from March to June are the hottest in most parts of the country and it gets extremely humid during June and July. Temperatures soar drastically as there is increased exposure to the scorching sun. Babies are prone to heat illnesses during this season. If they are exposed randomly to hot climatic conditions outside, they may suffer from heat rash, heat stroke and dehydration. Therefore, maximum care is required.
Protect your baby from heat: It is advisable for babies to remain indoors during hot summer afternoons. In this season, early mornings and evenings are the best time for them to go out. It is a good idea to use a cap or shade for protection of your baby. Babies below 6 months of age are less prone to heat illnesses, as their outdoor activities are very less.
Make summer fun for your baby: Step out with your baby when the sun is not so harsh. Engage in activities like swimming and other water sports. These activities are relaxing and rejuvenating as they keep the body cool.
Don’t subject your baby to sudden temperature changes: You must allow your baby’s body to adapt to changes in temperature while moving in or out of the house. Suddenly stepping out in the sun from an air-conditioned room/car can be dangerous for your baby. So, it is advisable to spend some time in normal temperature, before you take your baby out in the sun. Also, when you bring your baby back home from outside, do not immediately switch on your coolers or air-conditioners.
Give plenty of fluids to your baby: Heat causes dehydration in the body leading to various illnesses. Keeping babies hydrated with fluids that keep the body cool is the best way to protect them from heat illnesses. No need to feed your newborn baby with water as up to 6 months of age, breastfeeding provides them with enough water. But fluid intake of older babies must be increased.
Healthy and tasty summer beverages for your baby: Healthy milk shakes, buttermilk, mango panna, coconut water, fresh fruit/vegetable juices, lemonade etc. are ideal for this season. Also, let your baby enjoy foods like fruit custard, homemade ice creams and fruit salads. Always carry a water bottle with you while going out in the sun. Do not allow carbonated beverages like cold drinks and sodas, as they tend to dehydrate the body.
Dress your baby in comfortable cotton clothes: Loose, comfortable clothing is the best for this season as it allows the passage of air and is light on skin as well. Light cotton clothes remain the order of the day to protect your baby from prickly heat.
Turn your kid to a baby of all seasons.
Every season is worth a lot of fun and enjoyment. Every season brings with it a lot of different colours and moods. Maintaining proper hygiene, paying attention to eating habits, providing appropriate clothing and taking small precautions can ensure your baby’s smooth sail through seasonal shifts.