Climate

Bangalore babies all set for...

12:17 PM

A trek in the Himalayas!

No seriously this is something that always puzzled me, no matter the temperature or the weather condition you will see parents holding a baby wearing a thick outfit, a beanie hat, scratch mits, a receiving blanket and a thick quilt or thick fleece blanket, and I bet there are socks I can't see as well, never mind that the temps are well in the 30's Celsius degrees, the babies are all set for an arctic climate. Heck I haven't even seen babies that warmly dressed in Switzerland in December (where it can snow), but in our local tropical climate sure makes plenty of sense.

When Ishita and I were still in hospital, we got several nurses and doctors to tell me that she was not dressed enough in a long sleeved sleep suit and receiving blanket because her hands were still a bit cold. And all I did was smile wide. But the fact is that you can't tell if a baby is too hot or too cold by the temperature of the hands and feet, why? It all has to do with a immature blood circulation system, extremities will always be cooler even as the core temperature is fine, that's because priority is given to vital organs and brain, so to check if your little bundle of joy could use a layer more or should be stripped of one is by touching the back of the neck. Piling up the blankets in hope that the hands will be toasty warm is actually dangerous, as it can lead to overheating.
But try to tell people this? In the past month, I had family members telling me to not even step on my terrasse with Ishita because the weather was "cold" (it's monsoon time and the temp is finally just pleasant). Aunties in my street scolding me for taking her for a stroll in the evening, and when I told her Swiss babies do fine they said "Well at least do that when the sun is there, night is bad for babies, sun gives energy" (yes I have a solar battery operated baby apparently, silly me to think I created a conventional baby that run on breast milk!).
Then I got a friend who told me I should dress her more as Bangalore weather is really bad, and when I told her about Swiss weather she said "Oh but there is less germs around in Switzerland people don't catch colds that much there" Well no offense, but I got my share of colds growing up, and by the way the common cold is a virus, it has nothing to do with the weather, in fact I got nasty colds in the heat of the Bangalore Summer. My friend to say that at least a thick clothing and blanket will keep the common cold at bay...sure viruses see a fleece blanket and scream in terror running the other way.
As long as you don't let stranger touch your baby with hands that have been god knows where, the risk of catching a cold on a stroll is minimal for baby, and surely a simple Cotton outfit and a light weight Cotton blanket is enough for my little girl when I am myself wearing a pair of pants and a t-shirt.
And we had a "funny" incident on the matter with DH, one day we had to go grocery shopping and buy a few stuff for Ishita as well while my in-laws were still at home, so to avoid an argument, we overdressed Ishita, she had a short sleeve onesie, under a long sleeved,long legs sleepsuits with attached socks, was wrapped in her Cotton blanket put in her car seat, an additional blanket thrown on top and a rolled towel put around her head simply because the weather was slightly windy outside (never mind that it was 26 degrees celsisus), an hour into our trip Ishita was tomato red, extremely fussy and I had to run back to the car because she seemed hungry as well, upon checking her diaper there, I had to strip her down, and layer after layer was soaked in sweat, the carrycot was also damp, and once she was in all but a clean diaper she was all quiet again. Thankfully I had an extra vest for her in my bag, so I put her in dry clothes as well, and said "Screw what people think...I was right all along" and when DH came he agreed with me.
Last week we had to head to the hospital for me as I was running a high fever, and our darling girl was in her usual gear of a light vest, light blanket and again we had quite a couple of nurses scolding us for not piling up on the layers, but the fact was that in the stuffy waiting room she was starting to feel hot already so DH told them so and we got left alone.

That the myth persist among common people I can understand, but it is totally beyond me to hear that a Doctor will perpetuate it.
And if all it took was to pile up the woollies to avoid a cold, geez I should never ever ever have been sick while living in Switzerland, I was a notorious cold climate hater and would do whatever to stay toasty warm.

3 comments

  1. Do they know that SIDS rate increases with over heating?

    I wonder if this whole over dressing is a new phenomenon. Babies in my family were always but naked, except for a thread around their waist.

    May be it is because Calicut is way too hot compared to Bangalore:)

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  2. but naked was supposed to be buck naked, sorry about that

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes I wondered about the SIDS awareness around here, because I always heard overheating increase the risk too.

    I was born in Switzerland and I have lots of baby pics of me wearing way less clothing in a way colder climate. My mom told me that in summer she would put me in bed with nothing but a nappy on, and in winter on the coldest day I had nothing but a sleep suit and a sleeping bag on. I never wore scratch mits, and hats, even in hospital.

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