The winter chills are just beginning to creep in on us. And we are already reaching out for lotions and moisturisers like there is no tomorrow. But slathering on any and all products like these is most definitely not the way to go when it comes to our little ones.
While parents are aware that baby skin is nowhere nearly as tolerant as adult skin, some often are at a loss on how to correctly take care of their babies in winter.
Bundling up the new-born in a bunch of blankets and baby winter-wear, rubbing in top-brand baby lotion every alternate hour are common practices, but these tactics backfire as the infant wails in sheer discomfort.
There is no cheat-sheet to baby skin care in winter, but there are certain things that every parent must pay attention to rather than paying for things that will not help the baby.
LAYERING, NOT BUNDLING
The first steps to skin care lie with winter-wear. Babies born in the hot, summer months will face their first time experiencing a different temperature. Some may enjoy this chill, especially after the hot humid months; others may not feel at home at all. Parents need to be in sync with their child's tolerance as well as their own common sense. Dress your baby in several layers of clothes. In general, babies need one more layer of clothing than adults.
Not all baby lotions and moisturisers are created equally. What works for the rest, may not work for your baby at all. The general rule of thumb here should be to use a product that does not contain colour, fragrance or anything alcohol based. Do use the moisturiser of choice after every bath; it is the best time to pamper your baby from head to toe.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Even if your baby is dressed in several layers, check the diaper frequently. The skin on the bottom is vulnerable to moisture, heat, and irritants.
Chapped lips and dry cheeks are another issue. Never use the flavoured, colour enhancing lip balms or scented lotions for your baby. Gently dab a bit of unscented petroleum jelly on affected areas.
The baby's scalp is often overlooked during the season. Keep an eye out for dandruff and dry scalp. Unscented olive oil, or pure coconut oil can be used too in small amounts every three to four days for the baby's scalp. Massaging the scalp itself is vital for blood circulation in the area.
Parents should not underestimate the early morning sun or the softer afternoon sunlight in the winter. For the baby, a total of fifteen minutes in this direct light daily will ensure the right amount of Vitamin D essential for growth.
Winter happens to be one of the most well-loved seasons in this region. The absence of the glaring sun and the low humidity all make for good weather. There is no reason that your baby should not enjoy his or her time to the fullest during this time. All it will take is a bit of daily care and the right choice of winter-wear to make it so.
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed