How To Take Care Of Your Baby During Rainy Season
With the monsoons setting in, new parents need to be at their watchful best to counter monsoon illnesses. Here’s a look at few ways you can take care of your little baby during the rainy season!
By Sherine Paul-Solomon
The steady pitter patter of rain during the monsoon is something everyone looks forward to after the searing summer heat. But the welcome relief comes with its share of threats to babies whose immune system is still developing; making baby care in monsoon time all the more essential. Here are a few guidelines on how to take care of your newborn baby this rainy season, so that you and your infant can enjoy a happy and healthy first monsoon.
Health risks during the rainy season
Babies are susceptible to a plethora of health risks during the rainy season, both indoors as well as outdoors. They include different kinds of water-borne diseases that could lead to typhoid, stomach infection or diarrhoea; viral infections like fever, pneumonia, cold and cough; diseases from mosquitoes like dengue and malaria; contamination of food or rashes.
Paediatrician and Parent Circle Expert Dr Jagdish says, “Cold and cough is something to watch out for as the virus is very prominent in young infants. The child can also contract it from their parents. Fever is another ominous symptom that parents need to be cautious about.”
Baby care during the monsoons
Look out for classic monsoon related illnesses and symptoms of sneezing, cold, fever or body ache as it is an early indicator of viral infections. Contact your paediatrician and nip the infection in the bud. Here are a few things you can do to prevent the spread of infection and diseases:
1. Ensure a mosquito-free environment
Dr Jagdish warns, “Watch out for mosquitoes and make sure your baby is well-covered from head to toe in order to avoid diseases such as malaria and dengue.”
Mosquito bites are extremely painful for babies and can leave swollen red marks. Make sure to cover your baby’s crib with a mosquito net so that he can sleep peacefully. Make sure your rooms have mesh net windows to restrict the entry of mosquitoes. Choose a mosquito repellent that contain natural ingredients, if you opt for one. Avoid going for walks at dusk time as mosquitoes throng to children. However, if you do step out, dress your infant in full-sleeved clothes and carry a natural mosquito repellent.
2. Keep your home clean
Make sure that all areas of your home are clean including the garden, balcony, bathrooms or anywhere where water can collect and stagnate. Make sure the drains are clean. Check your home for leaks or dampness in order to avoid molds or fungus. Mop your floors twice or thrice a week with a disinfectant to help prevent diseases.
3. Keep your hands clean
One of the biggest germ carriers, surprisingly, are your hands. The most important people are the caregivers who can pass on the infection. So they need to make sure that they always wash their hands with soap or sanitise them, before handling the baby or when they come from outside.
4. Keep your baby clean
Wipe your baby frequently in order to remove the sweat that could form on them from any humidity during the monsoon season. Pay extra attention to their ears, armpits and genitals as they are prone to retain moisture that could lead to infections. You could also give your baby a warm bath thrice a week to keep them clean.
Precautions to take with food and water
1. Fresh food
In case you have an older baby and have started them on semi-solids or solids make sure that their meals are cooked fresh. Humid weather could lead to the growth of mold in baby food as well as in baby bottles during the rainy season. Make sure you constantly sterilise the bottles in warm water and that it is mold-free before feeding your baby. Make their formula with boiled water in order to reduce the chance of an infection. Due to power cuts owing to rains, food can spoil, so look for signs that could indicate food going bad such as a foul odour, change in colour, fungus growth or acidic taste.
2. A healthy diet
If you can, opt to breastfeed your child, as it will provide them with the necessary probiotics and antibodies to stay safe. A wholesome and nutritious diet of fresh home-cooked food will be doubly beneficial for you and your child. Your baby may require more feeds due to the heat.
3. Clean water
Water-borne diseases increase during the monsoons and contaminated water could get mixed with your water supply. Boil the water in order to reduce infections.
Clothing for a baby during monsoons
1. Ensure regular diaper change
Make sure you change your baby’s diaper frequently as a wet diaper could lead to a cold, a diaper rash or turn into a breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria.
Read also: All you need to know about cloth diapering
2. Clothing should be breathable
Dr Jagdish says, “The best way to combat monsoon humidity and fluctuating temperatures, is to maintain the temperature of the room and dress your baby in layers. Also ensure that they are covered with a cap and mittens as well.”
Further, for baby care during the rainy season, opt for fabrics like thick cotton which while being comfortable will also keep your baby warm. Make sure that your baby’s clothes such as her dresses and coats including monsoon baby shoes, are dry and free of moisture. Avoid synthetic clothing that can lead to rashes.
- Avoid large crowds: Contact with more people will put your baby at higher risk of contracting an infection.
- Avoid dirty areas: Take your baby for a walk closer to your home, especially avoid dirty places with a lot of garbage or stagnant water as they are the perfect spot for infections.
- Carry a small portable sanitiser: With a sanitiser at your disposal, you can clean your hands anywhere at any time before handling your baby.
- Protect from mosquitoes: Avoid going for walks at dusk as mosquitoes throng to children. Dress your infant in full-sleeved clothes and carry a natural mosquito repellent.
- Carry home food: Make sure you carry a healthy home-cooked meal for your baby along with a bottle of boiled water.
- Take vaccinations: Most doctors recommend a flu booster during the monsoons to increase your babies immunity levels.
- Avoid the rains: Make sure you keep your baby dry and warm at all times to avoid infections.
- Check for allergies: If you notice a rash or redness after going out, contact your doctor right away as your infant could be allergic to pollen or some other allergen.
By just taking these simple indoor and outdoor precautions, you should be able to have an enjoyable first monsoon with your baby!
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