It is not safe to use an Air Conditioner(AC) or Air cooler for a newborn baby?

June 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Baby Tips

Is it safe to use an AC or cooler for a newborn babyYes, it is not safe to use an Air Conditioner(AC) or Air cooler for a newborn baby if you do not follow the basic precautionary measures. Pediatricians recommend to keep the baby in cool and airy environment than to let him remain in hot, airless and humid environment.

Babies are delicate and cannot adjust to external weather changes quickly as adults do. This is the main reason for babies to get affected with overheat and associated illnesses such as prickly heat, heat rash, dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

It is generally observed that babies sleep well and are comfortable when the room is properly cooled and ventilated. This will nullify the chances of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Watch out that the room does not become too cold i.e too low than the baby’s body temperature and chill him. This could lead to other health complications.

You need to follow these precautionary measures to keep your baby safe and comfortable in hot summer days while using an AC or air cooler.

  1. Ensure the room temperature is between 23 and 27 deg C

External heat changes and humidity variations can have an impact on the functioning of the AC or air cooler. Your room can get too cold very quickly making it uncomfortable for the baby. Baby will be restless due to too much coolness.

  • For AC: Set the timer for the duration it takes to cool the room. If your AC does not have an inbuilt timer, you can use an alarm clock for convenience of reminding. If your AC does not have a temperature display, maintain a thermometer in the room to monitor the temperature and manage your newborn baby.
  • If your room has an air cooler, leave a window or door partly open to let the flow of air. This is mandatory in monsoon when the weather is humid. As the Air cooler evaporates water to cool the room, it increases the humidity in the air. If the room is closed, the humidity keeps going up, cooling will stop and the room becomes extremely hot and sticky.

In humid weather it is suggested to use a fan or AC in place of an air cooler.

  1. No direct blow of cold air from the AC or air cooler

Cover your baby with light layers especially a light cap for his head, small cotton socks to cover his feet. Dress your baby in thin cotton clothes to protect his legs and arms. Use light colors as dark colors will absorb heat. Keeping him covered will avoid direct cold air.

If you are covering the baby with a cloth / thin blanket ensure it does not cover his face ( avoiding suffocation incidents)

Too much of clothes and wrapping him snugly will make the baby uncomfortable, remember basic protection from cold air is sufficient.

Read: How To Keep Your Baby Comfortable and Healthy in Summer

Other watch outs while using AC or Air cooler:

  • Service your AC / Air cooler timely to allow clean and efficient cooling. You will not come across surprises like breakdowns during peak summer making your baby sick and inactive.
  • Moisturize your newborn baby’s skin as the AC / cooler air will make the skin dry. Few moms place a basin with water in the room to make the room moist.
  • Avoid taking your baby to warmer conditions immediately from an AC room. Sudden temperature changes will make the baby feel sick. Ideally you need to switch off the AC and make him get used to the room temperature and then plan to go out in the hot weather.
  • If you plan traveling by car, cool down by keeping the windows open for some time and then putting on the AC especially if the car was out in the sun. This will remove all trapped air. The hot air external air blowing in from the windows can be risky and may cause nose bleeding. Avoid direct blast of external hot air.
  • If the baby is placed in a cradle ensure there is sufficient air for the baby and there are no obstructions.

You can follow the traditional way to keep the room cool during a power cut, blow with a handmade fan. Place the baby on the floor and dress him with light clothes. Ensure baby’s movement is monitored.

Draw the curtains to avoid direct sun rays. Thick curtain materials will keep the bright rays out. Make the baby become equipped at all weather conditions. It isn’t required to use the AC or air cooler all the time. When it isn’t hot and humid you can use the ceiling fan and maintain temperature of the room.

Keep a close watch on your newborn babies routine and make adjustments to suit your baby’s health. More care should be taken for a premature baby in hot sultry conditions.Concluding with the message that is is safe to use an AC or Air cooler provided you follow basic precautionary measures like room temperature maintenance,etc…

Taking Care of a Premature Baby

January 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Baby Tips

Taking Care of a Premature Baby Premature babies are defined as those born between twenty four and thirty seven weeks of gestation. An average Indian baby weighs about 2.8 kgs when born at full term. According to the World Health Organization, any baby who weighs less than 2.5 kgs is termed as a “low birth weight” baby, irrespective of when the baby is born during a pregnancy.  In general babies, who weigh less than 2 kgs, need specialized neonatal care for the initial few weeks after birth, until they are much stronger and ready to go home.

The chances of survival for a baby born before twenty four weeks of pregnancy are narrow. Premature babies are very delicate and needs to be handled with lots of care and alertness. It is observed that generally the premature babies are vulnerable to external climatic changes too and due to low resistance are prone to illnesses quickly. That is the reason premature babies are kept away from visitors. These extra precautions will improve the existing health condition of the baby.

Premature babies are transferred to intensive care unit immediately after birth. They are placed in incubators as they require round the clock nursing support. The premature babies are tiny, fragile and very difficult to handle in the initial days. Only nursing staff and experienced people should administer the baby. The premature babies are fed intravenously and at times put on respirator to aid breathing in certain situations.

Close monitoring is required for key parameters such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and pulse. Premature babies are retained in the incubator till the time the consulting doctor confirms that the babies health is stable and can be taken home. Even after premature baby is discharged from the hospital, periodical checks has to be conducted to ensure the baby is progressing well and you do not come across surprises in ignorance.

Bringing a premature baby home after several weeks in the hospital is very exciting yet stressful as you need to keep monitoring round the clock. Relatives, close friends and neighbors will be anxious to see the baby. Control should be maintained over the visitors as baby is prone to viral infections with exposure. Prevent insect bite, provide mosquito net.

Premature babies develop for two to four months outside the womb. During this period , they are exposed to different types of stimuli such as light, noises, touch and pain. They are comfortable when wrapped in blanket and the room is kept warm. A quieter environment with dim lights is recommended such that the baby stays calm. Parents and caretakers need to take extra care to nurture the baby. Start breast feeding based on availability.If you are opting for formula milk then follow all precautions while preparing feed.

Crying in premature babies:

Crying is a common phenomena in babies and a way of communication with those around them. Some infants cry more than the other babies. Crying may indicate several reasons- baby is hungry, seek attention , need a diaper change, some sort of an irritation or displeasure with the environment.

Premature babies are more fussy and cry often. Babies continue to cry in spite of all basic needs addressed. If babies are kept in the Intensive neonatal unit they will take time to adjust to the new environment. Usually baby is separated from the new mom who is recovering after the delivery and probably in another ward of the hospital to support feeds for the baby.

Unusual crying in premature babies:

By the time the baby is 3 to 4 weeks, the parents and elders taking care of the baby will be able to identify the cause of the cry. In case you sense that the baby is crying for more than the usual time is not stopping to cry with all the efforts to soothe the baby you need to consult a pediatrician and take medical advice. Unusual behavior and crying pattern should be mentioned to the doctor which will aid in diagnosis.

Prior to taking medical advice rule out the possibility of the baby being hungry, Baby diaper is clean and dry, no signs or symptoms of pain in the ear, check for body temperature, redness on the body due to insect bite. Pacify and soothe the premature baby from crying by holding the baby close to the body and talking to the baby in soft tones. If the baby has a liking to music, distract the baby with light music or shift the babies attention with baby toys and favorite posters. Sing songs that the baby enjoys usually and try to put the baby to sleep. Baby may cry if it feels cold too. Wrap the baby with clothes that provide warmth if the external weather is cold, baby will feel comfortable in warm clothes.

Read: How to handle the New Born Baby

Monitoring baby’s progress

Round the clock monitoring has to happen. Therefore if you are hiring baby sitter for caring the baby, ensure the help is an experienced one. Create awareness and be alert. The mother will be also on medication post delivery. Share responsibilities and create a happy environment for the baby.

Closely watch out during seasonal transition and be able to interpret the symptoms. Premature babies are more fussy when compared to the full term babies born at the normal stage of pregnancy. The initial weeks are very challenging and gradually your baby will outgrow this phase in no time.

You can add your comment based on your observations thru comments.

Read:Valuable tips on how to develop your baby’s brain

Feeding a premature baby

May 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Problems

When it comes to dealing with a premature baby, the rules change somewhat from the typical ones for dealing with a baby where everything has happened more or less on schedule. Sometimes you will find that, due to their reduced size and strength, your baby has less of an appetite if it has been born prematurely. In order to mitigate against this you may need to pay more attention and encourage him or her to feed. Even though their natural desire to feed may be reduced as compared with a stronger baby, they will still need to feed in order to gain some of the strength that they lack.

A newborn, fully healthy baby will want to feed between eight and twelve times a day. They will automatically wake up in order to do this. A premature baby may prefer naturally to sleep, as they will tire easier due to their lack of strength. This may mean that you need to wake your baby and persuade him or her to feed. After a time this will become a more natural process as they gain in strength and consequently in appetite. While you are waiting for this to happen, it may be necessary to wake without “fully waking” – an alarm clock set to a gentle chime will mean that you can wake, feed, and go back to sleep, which is much better for your own health. By keeping your baby in the same room as you, you can simplify this matter a great deal.

Read: The importance of Setting a Baby’s routine