The arrival of monsoon brings a much-needed respite from the sultry summer heat. But the wet weather, along with the increased humidity, also brings some challenges. Especially for parents of a newborn.
Newborn babies are most susceptible to falling sick during this time as their immune systems are not yet fully developed. Parents need to be extra careful with germs and dirt that wet umbrellas, muddy shoes, soaking clothes, damp walls carry. The moist air leads to various fungal and bacterial growths inside the house. The varying heat and humidity levels too cause discomfort to babies and have to be dealt with.
Read on to know more about keeping your baby safe and healthy.
Keep the baby comfortable
During the monsoon, the weather can change a lot in a day. The varying heat and humidity can make it uncomfortable for your baby. To deal with these temperature changes, it is best to dress your baby in light, comfortable clothing.
- Dress your baby in light, comfortable cotton clothes.
- Add or remove layers of clothing as required to adjust the varying temperature levels.
- Avoid clothes made of synthetic fabrics as they don’t allow sweat to evaporate easily and can make your baby uncomfortable.
- Switch off the AC about 10~15 minutes before you take your baby out of the room, so that the temperature changes are not so abrupt.
Keep the baby clean and happy
Baths can be a great way to help your baby cool down in hot and humid weather. Give your baby a daily bath or sponging. Some mothers bathe their baby twice a day. If you prefer, you could alternate full baths with sponge baths.
- Use pre-bath oil massages to increase blood circulation.
- Do not use cold water for bathing your baby. The ideal water temperature for your baby’s bath is close to body temperature (37 to 38 deg. C).
- Clean the underarms, genitals and other folds and creases of the body thoroughly.
- Use a fresh towel to gently pat your baby dry.
Keep the baby dry
Change your newborn’s diaper periodically to avoid rashes. Wet nappies could give your child a cold or lead to a diaper rash, as it turns into a breeding ground for unhealthy bacterial and fungal infection. Check the nappy more frequently than before and change it immediately.
It is a good idea to ensure that your baby gets frequent diaper breaks. While it is unavoidable to use diapers while outdoors, make sure to let your baby’s skin breathe freely without diapers once inside the house especially during the humid rainy season.
Ensure that the baby’s clothes are fully dry. Never put damp clothes on a baby. Wearing damp clothes can lead to fungal infection on the baby’s skin.
Keep a check on skin infections
The risk of skin infections is highest during the rainy season. Do not ignore minor rashes, spots, itching, etc. appearing on the body of children, as they can spread rapidly.
Do not apply a cream that you use for yourself or by a random recommendation from friends and family. The baby’s skin is very different and sensitive from adults. If you notice any rash, redness or other symptoms on the child’s body, consult your paediatrician immediately.
Make sure your children (< 5yrs) of age are vaccinated with the Flu vaccine
- Helps prevent spreading flu to family and friends, especially babies younger than 6 months who are too young to get a flu vaccine.
- Reduces the high risk of developing serious complications especially if the child is younger than 5 years.
- Reduces the risk and severity of flu illness and hospitalization, which can keep your child from missing school or childcare and you from having to miss work.
Boiled water is a must
During the rainy season, contaminated food and water are some of the most common ways that diseases can be spread. It’s important to make sure the food and water you offer your baby is safe.
Proper hydration is a must for the baby. Bring the water to a boil, cool it down, and keep it keep it in a container for your baby. If your baby is on formula food, then use this water to prepare it.
Keep your home clean
Germs and dirt are the main reasons due to which babies fall sick and during monsoon.
- Get a pest control treatment done before the onset of the rainy season.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to brush off the dirt from furniture, carpets and the sofa.
- Regularly clean the floors with disinfectant agents.
- Inspect your house and its surroundings for stagnant water puddles, overflowing drains, damp and dark corners, as they can breed mosquitos, germs and fungal infections.
- Keep away from dampness as much as possible.
- Wash your hands before feeding or touching your baby. Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Optionally use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean your baby’s toys and pacifiers often. Clean frequently touched surfaces. This is especially important if someone in your family or your baby’s playmate has a cold.
- Keep your baby away from anyone who’s sick. If you have a newborn, don’t allow visits from anyone who’s sick.
- Teach your older children (and the adults too) the importance of hand-washing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Teach everyone in the household to cough or sneeze into a tissue. Throw away used tissues right away and then wash your hands thoroughly. If you can’t reach a tissue in time, cough or sneeze into your elbow. Then wash your hands.
Consult your paediatrician at the earliest if your baby catches cold or mild fever.