The quintessential winter pictures that most mothers of a newborn have are of snuggling in the blanket with the little one while baby wears an adorably cutesy hoodie or sweater. As snug as this sound, the truth is that winters can be harsh for the little ones and just dressing them up in winter wear isn’t enough.
The onset of winters brings infections, falling temperatures, and a dry atmosphere -all hard for baby to cope with. It is during the winters when a baby’s immunity is put to test. Without proper care and precautions, winters can prove to be havoc for the baby as well as the mother.
Apart from the infections, a baby’s body isn’t accustomed to the low temperatures and cold conditions. Their bodies need warmth and they are less capable of tolerating the colder times. Using woollens and warm clothing seems to be the easy solution but it isn’t quite. But this doesn’t have to be a time of pain -here are some tips to help your baby fall in love with the Indian winter:
- Sanitize your hands every time you pick the baby
Winters are when microbes and viruses abound in the air. You wouldn’t want to be a carrier for the baby. You may be more immune but sanitizing your hands each time you pick up the baby can reduce the risk of transferring infections. Make it a practice for everyone around the baby.
- Wash woollens and blankets regularly
Washing woollens and blankets is not an everyday thing in most households but with a baby around, you would need to. Wash the baby’s woollens and blankets regularly. Woollens are known to be hosts to germs and viruses. Using unwashed woollens to protect baby would be unhygienic and futile.
- Install a heater or humidifier
If you are residing in one of those few places in India where the temperature falls significantly then it is advisable to install a heater in the baby’s room. Overloading the baby with woollens and blankets isn’t a very good idea. An appropriately placed heater could help in restoring the room temperature to a bearable normal for the baby.
- Use a light blanket
As mentioned above, using a heavy blanket may seem like the perfect solution to keep the baby warm but it absolutely isn’t. The weight of the blanket will not only render the baby immobile but can also create breathing troubles for the baby. Babies’ internal organs are tender and cannot bear much weight. The blanket may also be way too warm for baby considering that Indian winters are mild at most times and just slightly nippy on the odd occasion. A pro tip is to but a longer blanket -a high-quality durable blanket (like from Kaarpas) will last for 3 – 4 years easily so why buy a new blanket each year?
- Use comfortable fabrics
Babies have tender skin and woollens are known to have the tendency to create a rash on sensitive skin. Before burdening the baby with woollens, test if your baby’s skin is fine with it. You can try by making the baby wear woollen socks. If rashes appear, you would need to choose for an alternative cosy option for your baby.
- Skin care
Winters rob off the skin of its moisture, making it dry and scaly. Babies’ skin is no different than ours, in fact, it is much more tender and prone to drying. Dry skin becomes even more delicate, prone to scratch marks, and irritates baby. Moisturize your baby’s skin with either a baby-safe moisturizer or oil. Massaging it into their skin will help keep the baby warm and snug. The process of massaging also helps mama form a stronger bond with baby and helps to make the tiny bones and muscles stronger too.
- Clothe them right
When dressing up the baby in winter wear, make sure to go a little light on the feet. The toes should be on a little cooler side as compared to the stomach. The stomach needs to be the warmest. Don’t make the baby wear too thick woollen socks. This is a great way of balancing body temperature.
- Disinfect baby’s room
It is essential to disinfect baby’s room at least twice a day. This will help in keeping away the microbes and viruses present in the air and help save baby from common cold and viral infections. Keep the baby out of the room at the time if you wish so she is not inhaling somethings she shouldn’t when the concentration is the highest.
- Introduce soup in your baby’s diet
Soups are a saviour during winters. If your baby has started weaning, introducing soup in her diet would be a good idea. Soups help in keeping her warm along with providing essential nutrients. You can feed the baby a warm chicken or vegetable broth.
- Swaddle the baby when sleeping
Swaddles are a great way to keep babies warm. Swaddling will not only provide warmth to the baby but also promotes peaceful sleep. Swaddle the baby and put a lightweight warm blanket over her to protect her from night-time drops in temperature.
Winters in India, while not super-cold, can be harsh for a little baby. But that doesn’t mean that you need to keep your baby hidden away in her blanket all day long. Do allow baby some time out an about in the world around her. A well-prepared mama can then enjoy India’s winter with a well-adjusted baby!