Pediatricians around the world are of the opinion that an airless, hot and humid room environment is not safe for a newborn, and hence it is very much safe to use an air-conditioner or an air cooler – provided you take some precautions. Experts suggest that a properly cooled, ventilated and airy room helps the baby sleep comfortably and grow better. Unlike adults, babies cannot adjust to changes in temperature in their environment, and that is why they can get overheated quickly and suffer from skin allergies, rashes, prickly heat, dehydration and other such problems.
A comfortable sleep also largely nullifies your babies’ chances of getting SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Moreover, babies are vulnerable to heat related illnesses, since they cannot adjust their body temperatures as quickly as adults.
10 Tips To Use AC or Cooler Safely For Babies
- Maintain the temperature of the room between 23 degrees and 26 degrees Celsius. You can set the timer for the duration it takes to cool down the room. If your AC does not have timer set an alarm to remind yourselves for changing the temperature or switching it off for some time
- Increase or decrease the room temperature as per temperature outside. Keep on monitoring the temperature so that the room does not get too cold for the baby
- Cover your baby using a light blanket till elbow if she’s too small to move the blanket (to prevent any accident). Use light caps to cover her ears and head while sleeping. The baby needs just one more layer of clothes than you, so do not dress her in too many layers
- Whether you are using an ac or a cooler for cooling, make sure your baby does not get direct cold air from it. Do not make the lie down directly in front of cooler especially during nights
- If using a cooler, leave a window open to allow the passage of fresh air
- Night temperatures fall down post mid night, generally (unless it is too hot), it is less warm during this period. We as adults either cover ourselves using s blanket to get rid of direct cold air from cooler or shift ourselves to some other corner of the bed to avoid direct blast of cold air. But infants cannot do that so it’s better to dress them in light full clothes which cover their hands and legs and protect them from direct air. If room is cold enough, you may switch off the cooler and switch on the fan after 3-4 am
- Baby’s skin could become dry in AC, thus many parents keep a bowl of water to reduce dryness by keeping the air in the room moist
- Get your air conditioner or cooler serviced regularly. This will ensure cool and efficient functioning of the equipment
- Keep on checking the baby’s chest, neck, hands and feet to judge if the baby is too hot or cold
- Also, keeping the baby under an AC for long and then suddenly taking her out is not good as this temperature difference might affect her adversely. So, whether you are at your room or in car, switch off the AC and wait for sometime before stepping out
During the evenings, if hot air is not blowing, take your baby out for some fresh air. Let all the doors and windows of the room open to pass the fresh air which makes the environment good for the baby. It is always better to be as natural as possible in lifestyle for being healthy.
What Is The Ideal Room Temperature For A Newborn Baby In India
A temperature of 23-26 degrees Celsius is ideal for a newborn baby in summers in India. Most AC’s let you set the temperature and timeframe you want to keep it running for, so there should not be much hassle. If you are using an air cooler, keep a small window open to allow air passage. Coolers increase the humidity in the room as it evaporates the water, and of air is not flowing, the humidity will ultimately stop the cooling. You may keep the fan on instead of the cooler in monsoons – when it gets all humid and sticky.
Can Using Too Much AC Affect My Baby?
As wisely said, “excess of everything is bad”, and as such, too much cooling is bad for a baby. Keeping a new-born in a room with AC or cooler ON and running at all times is not safe for her -the baby’s body temperature can come down making her feel the chill. You will be able to keep your baby happy, cool and comfortable while using these cooling devices for your baby, if you start taking the above precautions.
Alternative Ways To Keep Your Baby Cool
Sometimes the air-conditioning is not available like and at these times you need to keep your baby comfortable by using alternate methods like-
- Dressing him in light and cool fabrics – cotton being the obvious choice. Know more on how to dress your baby in summers
- Use fans, and try dehumidifiers
- Regulate the indoor temperature by using curtains that block the heat
- If the heat is unbearable, a public space with air-conditioning facility would be a good idea
If you stay in a place where there are frequent power cuts, it is advisable to use hand fans to keep your baby comfortable. Also, you can draw thick curtains in the day time to prevent direct sun rays from entering the room. When the day temperatures are cooler and the weather is not humid, you can maintain the room temperature by just using ceiling fans. At all times, it is required to tune in your baby’s needs and accordingly make adjustments. The same is even more crucial when you have a premature baby. Happy Summers!!