This season, newborn babies are at high risk of getting an infection due to covid, and therefore they are likely to get a common cold, flu, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). Babies are delicate tiny human beings that are so sensitive in their few months of life.
Being newly born, a baby’s immune system is not capable to fight off illness as they don’t have antibodies. A severe cold season can cause infection of the RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), an illness that troubles breathing in babies by causing inflammation in the lungs and pneumonia.
Therefore, parents must protect their babies from unnecessary exposure. Once the temperature drops, newborns and infants cannot self-regulate their core temperature, and therefore cold chills can make it a danger to the baby’s health. Being a new parent, they often ask how to protect their new baby from the germs that are everywhere in our environment. And what could be done if the baby is born during the cold season?
Follow some Winter tips to help keep your baby safe from colds and flu during the cold season:
Dress your Baby in Warm Layers
Layering for comfort and warmth is essential when it comes to the cold and winter season. Dress your babies in layers depending on the room temperature so that it’s easy to layer and remove as required. Choose to layer in bodysuits and leggings followed by long sleeves shirt, finished with a jacket or sweater, cap, and mittens. Choose breathable fabrics that are soft such as cotton and muslin as baby skin is very sensitive to rash and cuts.
Avoid overloading layers with heavy woolen cloths that cause difficulty in doing playful activities. Often a baby feels irritated with too many layers therefore layering hack is to dress your baby in one more layer than you.
Wash your Hands Often
Your hands carry enough germs to infect the baby; therefore, every household member must wash their hands before touching your baby. Simply soap and water are the best to keep germs and dirt away from the hands.
Also, always insist that visitors wash their hands using an alcohol-based hand cleanser before touching or holding a baby. It’s not an insult but a humble request to keep safety precautions. Washing your hands frequently will help to prevent the spread of bacteria and germs.
You can also use alcohol-based sanitizer when washing with soap and water is not an option. To help prevent the spread of germs, clean surfaces and toys regularly and wash your baby’s bedding and clothes frequently.
Keep your baby away from sick people
If you or someone in your household is sick, try to keep your baby away from them as much as possible. Enforce a strict “No Entry” policy for sick people near your baby. Do your best to avoid going near sick members of your family like grandma, mother-in-law, or anyone who is not feeling well. Also, avoid social gatherings during such times as your baby is likely to get infected with people who could be ill.
Avoid crowded places, such as malls and supermarkets, to reduce the risk of your baby being exposed to germs. Encourage people to cover their mouths with masks when they talk or cough; also maintain safe distancing.
Also, skip giving baby kisses during cold/flu season. In many families and cultures, kissing is second nature. But it’s important to advocate for our most vulnerable.
Maintain the Room Temperature Right
Ensure your baby’s room is ventilated enough by keeping the windows and door shut to pass any chilly winds. Maintain a room temperature between 18°C to 24°C to keep the room warm and cozy for the baby to be safe and protected. Use a room thermometer to ensure the temperature is properly regulated for the baby’s safe environment.
If a heating system is installed to keep the baby’s room warm, don’t forget to use a humidifier. As dry air can irritate your baby’s respiratory system, so consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.
Breastfeed for Essential Nutrients
Breastfeeding is highly encouraged by doctors as it contains antibodies that help to build a child’s immune system. It protects your baby internally from any illness that could make it sick. If unable to pump milk for various medical reasons, talk to your pediatrician for formula milk.
Studies and research have shown, babies who are breastfed for six months are likely to get the least infections than formula-fed babies. For mothers, who are unable to nurse, don’t force yourself, to ensure your baby is getting enough fluids to stay hydrated. This can help prevent respiratory problems.
Checklist your Vaccination Schedule
Avoid skipping any vaccine that is likely to schedule during winter, your child needs to receive the vaccination at the right time. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting a vaccine for your baby. The vaccine is safe and effective and can help protect your baby from getting sick.
Keep yourself and your baby up to date on your vaccines and boosters and enjoy the best season with the ones you love.
By following these tips, you can help protect your baby from colds and flu during the winter. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider. They can provide you with more specific advice based on your baby’s situation. However, it’s important to follow recommended measures to reduce the risk of the baby getting infected, such as wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and washing your hands frequently.