With cold weather pretty much here for lots of us, and on the way for the rest of us (wah!), this is the time of year we start getting more reader questions about baby and kids’ skincare. I know it’s hard to weed through all the info; I’m sure you’ve read all sorts of things about what to do, what not to do, which of those lotions and potions in your medicine cabinet to use, and how to differentiate a minor skin issue from something that might require more attention If you’re like me, by the time you figure out what you’re doing, your baby may have rough hands, chapped lips, or rashes in their creases.

The winter air is tough on everyone’s skin, but babies and toddlers are extra susceptible to the harsh, dry climate. A few simple steps can help prevent dry skin and other skin discomfort.

1.Keep baths short and sweet, Even though water is, well, wet, too much time in the tub can actually be drying, so skip the hour-long soaks with your toddler. Babies, especially newborns, do not need to be bathed every day. Three times a week is usually plenty, and much of the bath can be focused on the diaper area. To heal already-dry skin, abbreviate bath time even more, or skip it altogether if your tot is not majorly messy. A quick wipe-up with a washcloth may be enough for non-bath days. Keep water lukewarm instead of hot to reduce drying.

2.Get soap-smart, It’s hard to resist the temptation of sweet-smelling soaps or the promise of a cleaner clean, but a cleanser that’s soap-free and fragrance-free is best to retain moisture in your child’s dry skin. You don’t need gobs to get the job done — a little goes a long way. And remember not to scrub kids clean, but to wash gently and pat (not rub) dry with a soft towel.

3.Hydrate on the inside, Babies do not need any additional liquids beyond breast milk or formula until they’re between 4 and 6 months old. Focusing on breast milk and formula keeps your baby plenty hydrated and helps ensure he gets all the extra important nutrients he needs. Toddlers, on the other hand, should be drinking plenty of water. It’s especially important to load your little one up on water when it’s hot out if your child’s been ill or if he’s just been weaned. And don’t forget that a nutritious diet is also important for a good complexion — for tots and grown-ups — especially one that includes healthy fats.

4.Use the right moisturizer, Moisturizers can be enormously helpful in preventing and treating a baby’s dry skin. For kids with very dry or sensitive skin, stick to products that contain both water and oils but no fragrances and few chemical additives. For the best results, apply moisturizer generously after bathtime, when your child’s skin is still slightly damp. For dry skin with particularly rough patches, opt for a super-emollient ointment. If your child has really dry skin, use a cream instead of a lotion and hydrate twice daily, if necessary.

5.Don’t overheat the house, Low temps and chilly winds can result in chapped skin for both you and your baby. To combat the cold, you may be tempted to make your house super toasty with a turbo-blast of heat, but overheated air can dry out skin even more. Keep the house comfy but cool enough that your child will want to bundle up a bit for sleep.

6.Choose skin sensitive laundry soap, Laundry soap can make baby’s skin dry and irritated if it includes harsh chemicals and fragrance. Switch to a fragrance-free, baby-friendly brand to eliminate skin-drying agents.

Brace yourself for a long list of winter health tips and advice, protecting children from the harsh winter is not very hard provided that you follow some simple steps from basic hygiene to maintaining health of children.

1.Vaccination against Flu, Although there are mixed opinions on vaccinating the children against flu, if your child is highly perceptible to cough and cold, I would advice you to vaccinate against flu just before the start of the flu season.

2.Immunity boosting food for children, Children have the tendency to attract every virus and bacteria that floats around. Always Prevention is better than cure, so develop your child’s immunity by food to ward off the infections.

3.Maintain adequate hydration, Even adults don’t feel to drink water in the winter. Hydrate your child with adequate water intake. Warm water seasoned with jeera is a good choice for winter months.

4.Warm up the Fluids, If your child doesn’t drink water, substitute water with warm soups and beverages. If you are breastfeeding then increase the number of feeds per day.

5.Get the sunlight, If it is sunny then take your kids outside in the sun. Sun is the best source for Vit D and in winter season due to decreased exposure to sun, some children even develop Vit D Deficiency. Don’t forget the sunscreen.

6.Cough/runny nose, If there is no temperature and very mild runny nose and cough and if the child feels comfortable, he can be sent to school. But if the cough is severe with sputum, then definitely keep the child at home and visit a doctor.

7.Sore Throat, A mild sore throat is OK, but if severe and unable to swallow it may be a strep throat and better to keep the child at home and consult a doctor.

How to prevent from your child contracting infection from others?

Children catch infection easily from other infected persons. So it is important to prevent your child from contracting infection from others.

8.No! Self Medication, Many moms enquire me, “The paediatrician gave this medicine last time during fever, Can I use the same now?” Well, this is is ok for the paracetamol and medicines to clear the nasal congestion. It is not ok  to give antibiotics prescribed earlier, because the infecting agent may be different and your child may require a different antibiotic. So please consult a doctor before starting your child on any medication.

9.Massage Your Baby Well, For the proper growth and development of your child, it is important that you massage him daily. The very act of massaging stimulates the blood flow within the body and increases the sense of well-being, which indirectly boosts the immunity of the baby. Use a good massage oil for massaging and massage him gently. And while doing so, make sure that the room in which you massage him is warm, especially during the winter season

10.Cuddling your baby lovingly and spending time with him is just as necessary along with taking other precautionary measures. Many times, the presence of safety and comfort can help the body combat the infection by itself. But if the signs and symptoms of the infection tend to start worsening, do contact your baby’s doctor right away.If it’s your baby’s first winter, you are bound to get worried, but by taking the preventive measures beforehand, you can take care of him and keep him safe. Maintain proper hygiene in your house and keep your house warm. But if you notice that your little one is not feeling well, consult a doctor.

sunita senapati

By sunita senapati

Sunita Senapati, believes that Nature itself is the best physician, a healer and a restorer which calms our mind, soothes our soul and cures our body.

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