admin / Mar 29, 2022
The scheduled power cuts currently happening in Sri Lanka is a challenging time for babies and toddlers as it is for the parents. If you don’t have a generator or invertor this means that most of the electrical appliances that you usually depend on becomes inaccessible to you. Given the circumstances what can we as parents do to make things more comfortable for them?
Open all doors and windows to ventilate your home so that a natural stream of air keeps circulating. Try and reorganize your furniture so that your babies have access to the floor, remove cushions, carpets and any other item that covers the surface of the floor. The bare floor is much cooler therefore allow them to play on the floor without any mats or rugs.
Be mindful of mosquitoes, make sure you use a repellent on your baby.
Always use loose fitted, light cotton clothing. Choose light colours over dark colours as dark colours can absorb more heat. Avoid synthetic materials and choose light weight cotton clothing that covers their bodies instead. Dark and bright colours can attract more insects and mosquitoes.
There is a higher probability of prickly heat and nappy rash due to excessive sweating, always attempt to keep your baby cool, use a nappy rash cream, prickly heat powder or cream on the affected area.
You could even let your baby/toddler be with just a nappy or a short to make things cooler for them.
Extended power cuts could affect the food stored in your refrigerator. If you are pumping and storing breastmilk, use the freezer instead of the fridge section, you can thaw the milk in room temperature before offering it to your baby. Try and avoid the number of times you open the freezer/refrigerator door to retain the coolness.
For babies who have started on solids, prepare enough food for a day so that you don’t have leftovers. However, if this is not a workable solution for you use the freezer instead of the refrigerator. Keep in mind that when purees are frozen their texture may change.
If you need to sterilize bottles and teats use a pot of boiling water on a stove top.
Try and rearrange your furniture so that there is free space for your toddler to roam about without causing any harm to him/herself during the night. Be mindful of where you place the candles and matchboxes, ensure that they are out of reach from tiny hands. Candles are a joyful thing for kids as they make an appearance at birthday parties and kids take great joy in blowing them out. Speak to your toddler and explain to them the dangers of fire.
Extended power cuts mean your baby sweats far more than a normal day, if your baby is less than 6 months old consider increasing their feeds or feeding quantity to ensure that they are not dehydrated. If your baby is older than 6 months, offer them water and home-made natural juices to keep them hydrated.
Use the coolest room in the house to put your baby to sleep during naps and bedtime. If possible, keep all doors and windows open for ventilation. Let them sleep on a bed or on the floor on a thin mattress if you can be by their side supervising them. If they are sleeping in their cot or bed, remove all pillows, bumpers, soft toys or anything that can make it crowded.
Naps and nighttime sleep will reduce because they are feeling uncomfortable. This would cause them to have sleep debt. Sleep debt is when your child has missed out on their usual hours of sleep, they play catch up during a nap or bedtime. Plan for this during the times that you have power. You may need to give them an early bedtime or let them sleep in a bit during the morning hours. This would help to get rid of the general irritability and crankiness they feel because they are uncomfortable.
Before naps and bedtime give them a quick wash or a sponging, this will help them to feel much more comfortable when they approach their sleep. When we sleep our body temperature drops so this would then make it more likely for them to sleep for longer.
If possible, invest in a small battery operated or rechargeable fan, this will really help your baby sleep through.