As winter sets in soon, parents find it challenging to keep little babies comfortable in the harsh weather. The virgin skin of babies does take a toll if not taken care of correctly. Every aspect of baby care makes a difference during the changing seasons.
We understand that babies require to be tended to by adults for their needs until they reach a stage where they become self-sustaining and in due course develop skills to tend to their needs by themselves.
The eminent paediatrician, Dr. Balamurali Krishna B S, guides us through the basic needs of babies during winter. According to him, “the structure and composition of baby skin are such that each season induces different changes in the baby skin. Baby skin is structurally different from adult skin. Baby skin loses water more quickly than adult skin. Therefore, baby skin needs special and different care compared to adult skin. The composition of baby skin is also different from that of adult skin, containing less amount of natural moisturising factors. This contributes to the faster rate of drying in baby skin.”
There are so many opinions around on using lotions or creams or oils on babies that we would rather take it up with the doctor to show us what and how each works. As Dr. Balamurali suggests, “a good moisturising lotion will do wonders in keeping the baby skin healthy and free from infections during winter. Creams are thicker and greasier therefore, they tend to remain on the skin surface for a longer duration, giving a prolonged moisturising effect. However, it is an individual perspective whether a lotion or cream is best for the baby skin, which depends on the baby skin type.
Oil massage is extremely beneficial; it helps in retaining the warmth in the body. It also keeps the skin soft and supple for hours. A night massage routine is beneficial as it helps the baby to get a good night’s sleep.”
Our picks for Baby Lotion, Baby Cream, Baby Oil
When we take up bathing, the most important no-no as per the doctor is hot water. Hot water baths dry up the tender skin of the baby even faster, so lukewarm baths work best. A good brand of a moisturising wash gives that little extra to the tender baby skin.
Our pick for Baby Wash
Clothing correctly for winter is of utmost importance for babies. Sometimes, woollens might not be the best choice for kids as it could irritate baby skin. Dr. Balamurali maintains, “for ages 0mths – 12mths cotton sweaters, caps, socks and mittens are an absolute necessity. When it comes to ages 1yr – 2yrs, full sleeve shirts & pants (thick cotton fabric), sweaters, caps, socks can keep them warm.”
Winter also increases the use of diapers by babies. Always choose good quality diapers that are efficiently absorbent. You may need more changes during the night and diaper rash creams come in handy. As some experts suggest, do leave the baby bare for some time before putting on a diaper again.
Our picks for Baby Diapers, Baby Diaper Rash Cream
Dr. Balamurali gives some special tips for parents:
- It is important for parents to ensure that they choose the right type of moisturising lotion for their baby.
- Parents should ensure that the baby is adequately hydrated.
- Sleep duration is an important factor; parents should take adequate care so as to ensure the baby sleeps well.
And warm cuddles are always welcome to keep our little darlings safe and happy!
Dr Balamurali Krishna has an experience of over 12 years in the field of Pediatrics and is currently working at a private practice in Srinagar, Bangalore.