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Baby Winter Care (Part-2) | Immunity for Newborn Baby (0-12 months)

Your baby’s first few winters can be tough on both the baby and the parents. Cough, cold & flu is very common in winters and there are ways you can protect your baby from these ailments by building their strong immunity. In this article you will learn about different ways to improve your baby’s immunity & protect them from the harsh winters ahead. Read on to know how to protect your baby in winter.

The cold winter draft brings with it cough, cold and flu. Not just for the babies, the change of season is a challenge to the body, irrespective of age. Part 2 of our winter care is hinged on the precautions and immunity building measures that one needs to take to safeguard a baby in the trying months. Period between September end to the end of February, causes anxiety amongst parents, it is actually normal for a child to have cold and flu like symptoms, once a while. This triggers their immune system, building early resistance to it, therefore laying blocks to ward off the common cold as they grow up. This fact may help to relieve some of the stress in parents. Alongside precautions, measures and home remedies, one can be assured to have a snug winter with babies, looking especially chubby in their winter garments. Before we proceed to how to clothe your baby in winter, here in Part 2, we focus on the steps to prevent or avoid the onset of common cold.

Breast Feed

Breast milk is rich in antibodies that strengthens the baby’s immune system. WHO and all pediatricians would advise you to breast feed your baby. If your baby is less than 6 months of age, then exclusive breast feeding will keep your baby healthy. If you are formula feeding, for any reason, it would be desirable that a few feeds can be of breast milk. If you have low milk supply then read this article on how to increase breastmilk supply (link).

Wash hands frequently

While this is applicable and enforced by parents on themselves, we often forget to wash the baby’s hands as frequently. While crawling or otherwise, babies reach out and grab anything that attracts them. This especially worsens during teething, when babies try to chew anything in their reach. Hence its equally important to wash a baby’s hands often. Hand sanitizers are discouraged for a baby, due to the high alcohol formulation. If you are outside your home, wiping the baby’s hands with a baby wipe is an alternative option.

Also ask any visitors to wash their hands well, before touching or picking your baby. Discourage them from touching the baby’s face at all times, as infections make their way through nose and mouth.

Limit visitors for the first month especially if they are unwell

This is applicable to any member in the house, who might be sick. Restrict their exposure to the baby. If either of the parents are unwell, wear a mask and keep a distance from the baby, as much as possible. For parents, it is advised that they take steps to build their immunity as well, at the onset of winter.

Avoid smokers from being in close contact with your baby

Smoking in a closed space that the baby can be exposed to, is not an option at all. Quitting smoking would be the best for family health. However, if any family member smokes outside the home, ask them to bathe and change their clothes, before touching the baby. Smoke particles stick to hair and clothes. These are incredibly harmful to the baby.

Encourage outdoor time

Just because it is winters, do not keep your baby indoors at all times. Early afternoon sun is great for babies in winters. Fresh air revitalizes the lungs and does away with any minor afflictions. Research validates that child who spend more time outdoors, are healthier than children who are always indoors. That said, do apply sunscreen at all times of the year.

Influenza Vaccinations

These are additional vaccinations to provide immunity from seasonal cough and cold. For Kabir, we were initially skeptical whether to vaccinate him with the same, as it would add to his discomfort. Yet, we went ahead at the recommendation of our pediatrician. And we reaped its benefits when everyone around was falling sick with common cold. Before vaccinating your child, seek the opinion of your medical practitioner. Some parents also choose to vaccinate with the pneumococcal vaccine, to prevent pneumonia. Always follow the doctor’s advice.

Steam and home remedies

Observe your baby. At the first signs of cold symptoms, begin with additional measures like steam and saline, nebulize if required. Mustard oil application with garlic and ajwain (bishop’s weed), also provides warmth to the body. Once a day steam inhalation and 3-4 applications of saline, along with mustard oil application melts the mucus, that is later discarded by the body when the baby passes motion. To know more about these home remedies, check out in depth article and video on the same (link)

Immunity building foods

This is only valid for babies above 6 months of age, who have already started on solids.

a) Soup: at least 3 times a week, lukewarm soup is advised for the babies, in winters. Chicken soup is nutritious and has a warming effect. If you are a vegetarian, you can give a baby mix veg soup (carrots, potatoes, beetroot, spinach etc). Please do test the temperature of the soup before serving.

b) Dry Fruit Powder: Dry fruits are healthy all year round. However, they are especially beneficial during winter. Soak the dry fruits overnight and grind them into a powder, to be added to oats, khichdi and other meals. Do not give whole or big pieces of dry fruits to a baby. It’s a choking hazard.

c) Hing- Haldi- Garlic: Asafoetida (hing) aids in keeping the digestive system healthy. Turmeric (haldi) is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Garlic keeps the body temperature at a comfortable point, to avoid cough and cold. A pinch of these in any meal, on a regular basis, build immunity in the baby.

d) Seasonal Fruits and vegetables: A baby’s diet has to be charted according to its age. However, to get optimum nutrition adding seasonal produce is a must. In fruits, one can serve apple, pear, pomegranate, dates, oranges, avocado, papaya, chickoo. The best winter vegetables for a baby are- carrots, potatoes, sweet potato, broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, beans, peas. Do note that all the above have to be served in a mashed and easily digestible form to the baby.

e) Grains: Rice, wheat, Suji, Barley and Oats are wonderful for a baby. Do add them in turns, to a baby’s meal.

f) Eggs: Only after a baby is 8-9 months old, can you start adding eggs to its diet. Eggs are wonderful for a baby. Only the yolk is to be given to a baby less than a year old (that too with milk or water, as it is very drying to the throat). Only after the baby turns one, can you start off with egg whites.

The above points should help you develop your winter “must do” list. Do remember to double up on hygienic practices during winter. Children generally sleep more during cold months, so enjoy the nap times by catching up on your sleep as well. Do read the Part 1 of this series to know about the baby skincare routine (link).

The content of the baby winter care series is also available in video format below. Please do share your comments and feedbacks with us. We are available on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and on our website. I would love to assist you should you have any doubts on parenting at all. To make it a journey that we cherish, help fellow parents iron out the hurdles and celebrate the joys of conscious parenting, on our platform. Together we build a community. Enjoy simplified parenting.

♥ सर्दियों में बच्चों के बिमारियों से लड़ने की ताकत कैसे बढ़ाये | इस आर्टिकल में इस बारे में बताया गया है | इस आर्टिकल की जानकारी हिंदी में पाने के लिए नीचे दिए वीडियो को देखें 

Must-read articles for new mothers:

A Must Have List for New Mommies | For a Smooth Postpartum Journey

Weight Loss After Delivery | How To Lose Weight After Delivery

Diet Chart For Breastfeeding Mothers: Perfect Meal Plan For Indian Mothers


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