Winter season is tough for new-born babies as well as mothers. As the temperature dips, germs in the air make infants easily succumb to diseases. Keeping their entire well-being in mind, mothers must give holistic care to their babies in terms of providing them with proper nutrition, hydration, skin-care and beyond. As their immunity system is still building up, mothers ought to put in an extra effort for their little ones so that they can sail through the ‘sick season’ in good health. Dr. Ruchi Golash, Consultant – Department of Pediatrics at CK Birla Hospitals CMRI, comes to the rescue of new mothers and shares her expert advice on baby-care during winter season.
Bath and Message:
- Bathing is the fun time for both mother and baby! Soaps should be used sparingly, only once or twice a week. For rest of the days just put a few drops of coconut oil in the water and give them a quick bath, then dry them up with clean towels
- Post bath put many layers of loose cotton clothing on the baby. Avoid single piece of synthetic clothing which is not skin-friendly for babies; as synthetic clothes often lead to allergic reactions
- Don’t over-wrap your child. Babies have high BMR which already makes them warm from within
- Oil massages are good for baby skin. Use an oil suitable for your baby’s skin. But avoid aggressive massaging everytime, instead stick to short, gentle massage.
Prevent your baby from winter diseases:
- New-born babie sand even older children are often prone to fever, cough & cold and other minor ailments. To avoid respiratory diseases, don’t expose them to cold polluted air. Steer clear from night time travelling
- Stay away from animals and, also pets which often lead to allergy.
- Use fresh and disinfected blankets, bed-sheets, pillows. Placing them under direct sunlight for a few hours does help
- Keep babies away from nicotine degradation products. Passive smoking harms respiratory tracts of little children massively. It will really help if family members stop smoking around children
Food and Nutrition:
- Appropriate balance of nutrition and hydration must be maintained. Breast-feeding babies below 6 months don’t need extra water. However, above 6 months, they must be given cooled boiled water
- Every baby must urinate at least 6-8 times a day. Anything below that means the baby is de-hydrated. In that case, increase the number of times the child is breast-fed or boost water intake
- Don’t feed large portion of meals to your child. Give them small quantity of meals every 2-3 hours
- Give them lots of fresh juices (preferably orange), soups and mashed or pureed fruits which will keep them energetic and nourished
- Above 6 months of age, babies should start with solid food like rice-paste mixed with milk, spoonful of dal (lentil), blended rice khichuri, dal ka pani (lentil water) etc.
- Once the child is habituated to solid food offer them suji (semolina), sabudana (tapioca), dalia (broken wheat) etc.
- Along with solid food, don’t forget to give them at least 6-7 intake of cooled boiled water
Do’s and don’ts of using diapers:
- Nowadays, Diapers are indispensable for baby care now. However, parents should check the quality of diapers before buying them
- Use doctor’s prescribed rash crème in case of diaper rash. Apply 2-3 times a day on the baby’s bum
- Change the diaper every 4-5 hours as soon as they get soggy
- No baby should wear diaper 24×7 as that can cause a host of skin problems
- Babies must wear diaper while taking an afternoon nap or during over-night sleep
- Diapers let both babies and mother enjoy sound sleep. However, mothers must ensure that at least once in every few hours babies must be kept diaper-free and their skin should be able to breathe
By, Dr. Ruchi Golash, Consultant, Department of Pediatrics at CK Birla Hospitals CMRI