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Once the sweaty summers are over and the moist monsoons have bid their goodbye, many welcome the winter with a happy smile on their face. The ideal picture for a new mother spending time with her kid in the winter is being snuggled in a blanket, cradling the child in one hand, a warm bowl of soup in the other, and reading a nice book to him. But this dreamy scenario can easily be shattered by the little one falling sick. Newborn baby care in winter is one of the prime responsibilities and your child requires all the help he can get to stay healthy throughout the months.
Why is Baby Care in Winter Essential?
Newborn babies require continued care and support until they reach a point where they can sustain themselves in a better way. But this need for care is increased when winter approaches. The reduced temperature of the atmosphere triggers various processes within the body to keep itself safe and the vital organs functioning well. Most of the energy is then used to maintain the body temperature appropriately, diverting it from other areas. This is where the immunity of the body takes a hit as well. Furthermore, winter is a gala time for different microbes and viruses to thrive and find hosts to infect. Combined with a decreased immunity, your baby becomes an easy target for diseases and increases the chances of the little one falling ill.
Problem Caused by Winter Viruses
Baby skin care in winter is just the tip of the iceberg. One of the key problems that take place in winter is the spread of various viruses that readily affect anyone in a matter of time. This gives rise to the typical winter diseases such as:
- Influenza and bronchiolitis, both affecting the throat
- Croup as well as rhinovirus, which can easily get quite severe if unattended
- A variety of respiratory sensitive viruses, which affect the respiratory tract and can cause anything from a simple cough to severe breathing problems
Symptoms of Winter Infections in Babies
Most of the infections that occur in winter have strong symptoms, which make them easier to be spotted and action being taken right away. The major ones amongst them are:
- Severe coughing that results in vomiting
- Having trouble in taking breaths, causing the baby to gasp or take tiny breaths
- Wheezing sounds while sleeping or even after coughing
- Pain in the chest due to inflamed lungs as a result of a respiratory infection
- Constantly runny nose, fever, cough, with a headache and fatigue
Useful Tips for Infant Care in Winter
To have a better understanding of how to take care of a baby’s skin in winter and ensure he stays healthy throughout the season, there are a few tips you can remember and put into action in order to keep your child safe.
1. Use a Humidifier
In certain areas, the temperature can plummet quite a bit, making it necessary to use heating systems or portable heaters next to your baby. In such a scenario, the heating apparatus could rob the room of water vapour, making the air dry as well as your child’s skin. Install a humidifier in the room as well so that the moisture levels are maintained optimally.
2. Use a Moisturizer
Your child’s skin is extremely sensitive and the harsh atmosphere of the winter does not treat it gently. To keep your child’s skin in the soft and lush way as it is, make use of skin creams specifically made for babies or even a nice skin lotion. Opt for those that are rich in milk cream and butter, or make use of actual milk cream as well, since it is a great natural way to maintain the glow and texture of your baby’s skin.
3. Don’t Use a Lot of Products
Tell parents to take care of their baby, and most of them will typically overdo it. Applying lotions and creams is fine. But in the attempt to keep your baby clean and safe for infection, you might give him numerous baths, which further exposes him to soaps and shampoos. These rob the little one’s skin from the existing moisture and make dry skin even worse. Water baths during winters are fine and opt for using soaps once in a week or so.
4. Massage Your Baby Well
No matter what season your baby has been born in, massaging your child is highly recommended by doctors and caretakers alike. The very act of massaging stimulates the blood flow within the body and increases the sense of well-being, which indirectly boosts the immunity within your kid as well. Maintain a warm atmosphere when massaging your baby and choose an appropriate time. Don’t hesitate to use natural oils, too.
5. Don’t Use Heavy Blankets
Laying a nice heavy blanket on your baby to keep him warm might seem the best way to comfort your child in winter. But that isn’t the safest way for your child. The inability of your child to shift the blanket and the chance of it pulling above his face could result in a sudden infant death. Use a light blanket and keep room temperature optimal.
6. Use Comfortable Clothing
Keeping your child constantly wrapped up in thick sweaters, gloves, socks and a cap could restrict him from moving easily and frankly make the entire getup quite irritating. Choose to clothe depending on the room temperature, and opt for clothes that fully cover his body but are not constricting. Gloves and socks are recommended as well since it is enough to make your child sleep peacefully.
7. Maintain a Warm Temperature
Keeping your home and your baby’s room comfortable and warm is quite a challenge in the winters. It is best to keep the windows shut if you are in a place where cold air keeps blowing quite frequently. That being said, make sure there is a way that the air in the room stays ventilated. Use a heater, if required, so that your baby is comfortable by himself.
8. Stick to The Vaccination Schedule
Yes, winter is a time when babies tend to fall sick and their immunity levels are reduced as well. But that isn’t a reason to skip any vaccine for the fear that it might make your baby ill. On the contrary, it is highly important to give him the shot he needs at the right time, so that he doesn’t face problems ahead in life or even during the same winter, too. In case you do end up skipping it by chance, get the next date confirmed from your doctor and go for it without fail.
9. Don’t Stop Breastfeeding
Mother’s milk is known to contain a treasure trove of antibodies and nutrients that help the baby strengthen his own immunity and protect him from the usual diseases. Continuing to breastfeed during winter makes sure that this support from the mother remains undeterred. Furthermore, the warmth of your body and your milk can be quite relaxing for the child as well.
10. Maintaining Your Own Hygiene
You are going to be the first point of contact for your child. Which is why it is absolutely necessary for you to be clean and healthy as a protection for your own baby. Wash your hands and disinfect them with a sanitizer every time you attend to your child. Germs can find the smallest way of reaching your kid, so make sure you stop all paths right away. Inform any visitors or guests to do the same as well.
11. Taking Care Outdoors
Unless is absolutely freezing outdoors, it is fine to step out of the house once in a while to get some fresh air. Make sure your baby is protected from head to toe before taking him out. Any exposure of the skin to the cold wind could make him uncomfortable quickly. Make sure that your baby’s toes are a bit on the cooler side and the tummy is on the warmer side. This is the ideal sign that your baby’s body is at the right temperature.
12. Include Soup in The Diet
If your baby has reached the age where he can start going for solids, winter is a great time to introduce him to the world of soups. The cold atmosphere mixed with a warm soup can be absolutely enticing for anyone. Using chicken broths or vegetables by crushing them down to a fine puree and making soup from it, is the best option for your child. If possible, try including some garlic with the soup too, since it is known to be a natural remedy for treating winter ailments.
What if Your Newborn Baby Falls Sick in Winter?
At times, even taking the best precautions cannot help prevent an illness, and your baby will soon be at discomfort due to it. Having a newborn fall ill is quite an issue and having that in the winter is yet another challenge.
Make sure your child stays hydrated. Keep breastfeeding him or giving him water separately. If he can drink soups or so, do alternate them appropriately to keep his taste interested and body fluids at a proper level.
Cuddling your baby lovingly and spending time with him is just as necessary along with other precautionary measures. Many times, the presence of safety and comfort can help the body combat the infection by itself. Although, if the signs and symptoms of the infection tend to start worsening, do contact your doctor right away.
Winter is a time of fun and family, but also a time that can bring forth numerous diseases. Knowing the right home remedies for baby skin care in winter along with the necessary precautions to prevent illness should be your first step in spending a safe winter. Stay in touch with your doctor to get a quick suggestion on any health issue. Maintain a proper atmosphere at home that is warm and hygienic, and your baby will enjoy his very first winter in all its glory.