It is a well known fact that the arrival of the monsoons also means the start of illnesses, ranging from a basic cold to serious conditions like dengue. And if adults become more vulnerable to these during the rains, the risk is much higher for babies, whose immune systems are still developing. Besides, babies get wet frequently, from spitting up to soiling their diapers, exposing them to more dampness in an already wet season. If they’re crawling and mobile, they’re also wandering and putting whatever they find into their mouths – a sure fire way for stomach infections. Obviously, babies can’t be expected to understand how germs are transmitted!
The most common health problems during the monsoons are:
- Eye infections
- Fungal and skin infections
- Allergies and respiratory illnesses
- Food/water borne diseases
- Mosquito borne diseases
- Viral infections
There are several things you can do to prevent these illnesses and they don’t require too much time or effort. Here is a list of basic monsoon health tips for babies.
10 Monsoon Health Tips for Babies
1 . Ensure Proper Hydration
Breastfeeding is always recommended, but it is especially important during the monsoons to ensure that babies’ immune system is given a boost. Breastfeeding on demand also ensures that baby gets the hydration he needs. If your baby has started weaning, offer water that has been boiled and cooled or filtered, and always in a clean, sterilized sippy cup or bottle.
2. Avoid Dampness
Like we said, babies get wet frequently, and the dampness can quickly make them ill. Don’t leave a wet diaper on for too long – change diapers as soon as they get wet or soiled. After a bath, dry baby’s skin thoroughly to prevent moisture getting trapped, especially in the skin folds. Pay special attention to the underarms, neck, behind the ears, genitals and between the toes.
3. Cut Down on Baths and Massages
When it’s raining heavily outside and the weather feels cold, it may not be necessary to bathe your baby everyday. For newborns, 2-3 baths a week should work, unless they get really dirty because of a spit up or diaper explosion. Oil massages are generally fine during monsoons, but during humid conditions, they can get uncomfortable and cause skin problems. You can also check out some essential oils for babies.
4. Maintain Good Hygiene
Hygiene requires special consideration during the monsoons. If your baby has begun feeding herself, be sure to wash her hands well before her meal. Sterilize all baby’s utensils and pacifiers. Keep the floor clean for a crawling baby by using disinfectant. Cut baby’s nails to avoid dirt getting trapped inside. Clean baby’s toys frequently, especially those that she throws on the floor or puts in her mouth.
5. Use Comfortable Clothing
Monsoons can get humid and cold alternately, so it’s advisable to dress baby in layers so that you can just add or remove according to the weather. Stick to natural fabrics that allow baby’s skin to breathe, preventing fungal infections and keeping baby comfortable. Not all babies need thick blankets, so follow your baby’s cues to see if the blanket is making her fussy.
6. Keep Food Fresh
If your baby has started solids, pay special attention to her food. Feed her freshly cooked food, preferably at a warmer temperature. Wash all fruits and vegetables well, and use produce that’s in season. Include spices like turmeric to boost baby’s immunity. Prepare her meals with monsoon-special immunity-boosting foods. Make sure you feed her easily digestible foods, since her metabolism is likely to slow down in the rains.
7. Keep Mosquitoes Away
Mosquitoes can lead to many serious illnesses like dengue, chikungunya or Zika. For babies, physical barriers like mosquito nets are preferred over chemical ones like coils and liquids. You can also try natural methods to keep bugs away that are safe for baby and better for the environment. You can also opt for the Mashaka range from Omved. I have been using these for the past few years and I have found it to be a very safe and effective way to keep your home bug free.
8. Keep your Home Dry
Just as you should ensure your baby is dry at all times, you should also do a full check for mold and dampness in your home. This is actually better done before the monsoon starts. Call in an expert team who can check for possible leakages and provide solutions.
9. Rope in the Family
During monsoons, it’s important to see that everyone who comes in contact with your baby follows basic hygiene tips to avoid transmitting disease-causing germs. Older kids can bring in all kinds of illnesses from school, as can maids or nannies. Keep a hand sanitizer handy for everyone to use before touching the baby, and teach older kids to wash hands properly and change into clean clothes before entering baby’s room.
10. Avoid Crowds
During the rainy season, it’s much safer to stay home with the baby, rather than expose her to the wet, germ-ridden world outside. In case you do have to go out, dress baby in appropriate clothes and use a rain cover for her buggy or stroller. Try to choose a time when your destination will have the least crowds, so you can finish your errands quickly and head home.
Prevention is better than cure for everyone, especially babies, who can get really cranky when sick. If you’ve ever tried to get a baby to have medicine, you’ll know how difficult it is! By following some basic monsoon health tips for babies, you can ensure that your little one stays safe during this season and you can enjoy the rains without any stress!