When bringing home a premature newborn, special care must be taken to keep the infant warm, healthy, and happy. Babies are far more susceptible to illness, cold temperatures, and respiratory irritants than most adults are. Try to keep the following air quality tips in mind when bringing home a newborn baby.
Maintaining Warm Temperatures
Babies have a very hard time maintaining a warm body temperature when they are under three months old. New parents should keep the home a bit warmer than usual. Even with the thermostat set at 71 or 72, babies can still become chilled. By coupling warm air temperatures with a cozy sleeper, the newborn should be able to maintain a proper body temperature.
Avoiding Sprays & Fragrances
While air fresheners, scented wax melts, candles, and natural oil diffusers make the home smell wonderful, they might actually be irritating or harmful to an infant. Certain essential oils are actually not recommended for use around infants at all. These products can cause the nose or throat to become dry or itchy, they can cause watery eyes, and some children may sneeze or cough. Avoid these items during baby’s first year altogether, and perhaps longer for sensitive children.
Keeping the Air Clean
Bacteria and viruses are commonly found in the air, along with allergens, dust, and hair. Since premature infants are at high risk of infection, try using sterile air filters to help prevent infection by airborne microbes. To further reduce the risk of infection, avoid accepting visitors into the family home until the infant is at least two months old. This gives the baby time to feed, grow, and strengthen.
When the air indoors is too dry, it irritates the nasal passages, the throat, and the airways. A humidifier helps to keep the air from becoming too dry, especially during the winter months. Avoid using hard water or spring water to maintain the health of the humidifier, as the minerals within the water could clog or damage it. If the air becomes too humid, allow the humidifier to rest for several hours.
Keeping a newborn comfortable and healthy is very important, especially when a baby arrives early. Babies do not have particularly strong immune systems or respiratory systems, and any unfavorable air conditions could cause problems for such small infants.