Here are some useful tips to safeguard your baby from monsoon woes this season.
By Dr Ruchi Golash
As the rainy season brings a much-needed respite from the sultry heat, parents need to be extra careful with germs and dirt that wet umbrellas, greasy shoes, dripping pipes, damp walls, soaking clothes carry. Meanwhile, the air remains laden with moisture, leading to various fungal and bacterial growths inside the house. Newborn babies are most susceptible to falling sick during this time. Parents must be cautious about washing their hands with anti-bacterial agents before touching the baby when they come in from outside. Take care to keep your baby away from anyone who is ill. Do a pre-monsoon check on the house by fixing leakages, damp areas and using effective but safe mosquito repellents. Consult your paediatrician at the earliest if your baby catches cold or mild fever.
Along with that, here are some more useful tips to safeguard your baby from monsoon woes this season:
Keep your little one clean and happy
Give your baby a daily bath or sponging. Clean the underarms, neck, genitals and other folds and creases of the body thoroughly. Continue with the pre-bath oil massages to increase blood circulation. Use a fresh towel to gently pat your baby dry. Pay extra attention to skincare as at this early stage it is significant to the baby’s development. Use a mild hypo-allergic moisturiser like Cetaphil for gentle moisturisation.
Cover with light clothing
It is usually hot and humid even during the rainy season, so make sure your baby is well covered in cotton-wear when outside. At home, put a thin cotton sheet on the baby so that they are not lying completely exposed. While sleeping at night, you can opt for full-length soft cotton clothing for them. Never put damp clothes on a baby. Always remember to dry off the damp clothes under the sun for at least two to three hours. Wearing damp clothes can lead to fungal infection on the baby’s skin.
Give your baby diaper breaks
Undoubtedly, diapers are a new-age mother’s best-friend; nonetheless, ensure that your baby gets frequent diaper breaks. While it’s highly advisable to use diapers while outdoors, make sure to let your baby’s skin breathe freely without diapers once inside the house. In case of diaper rashes, clean the area with mild wipes and create a protective barrier with a doctor’s recommended ointment/cream.
Maintain a pleasant room temperature
In most cases, babies are best raised in a thermo neutral environment. So, preserve the ambient temperature around at 28 to 30°C. It should neither get too hot nor too cold. It’s recommended to use lightweight bedding along with fine cotton covers for the baby. At night, if your baby feels cold, then add an extra layer to cover up.
Boiled water is a must
Proper hydration is a must for the baby, but don’t forget to boil the water first before cooling it. Cool down the boiled water and keep it stored for cooking solid food for your infant. If your baby is still on formula food, then use this purified water to prepare it. Make juices and pulp out of cherries, litchee, jamun, peaches and plums and feed your baby. For maximum protein, whole eggs, soya and pulse are good options.
Keep your home clean
Germs and dirt are the main reasons due to which babies fall sick and during monsoon chances of water-borne diseases increase in leaps and bounds. Clean the floors with disinfectant agents containing active natural ingredients. Take care of the internal drainage system and keep your garden area, bathrooms and roof tidy so that mosquitoes don’t breed in damp corners. Keep away from dampness as much as possible. Use a vacuum cleaner to brush off the dirt from furniture, carpets and the sofa. Get a pest control treatment done before the onset of the rainy season.
(The writer is Consultant, Department of Paediatrics, CK Birla Hospitals-CMRI.)