In the summer, especially in some parts of the world, air conditioning seems a necessity. Hot and humid temperatures make us all uncomfortable. But could turning on the air conditioning be harmful for your new baby? Could all of that cold air cause a chill or weaken her immune system? Could it cause Asthma later in life? Keep reading for the answers.
Two of my babies were summer babies. They were born in June and July and came home to a brick house that tended to retain the heat of the day. As infants, they slept in bassinets in our master bedroom that contained a window air conditioner. My mother-in-law wondered if this was good for them, to be in a room with air conditioning. The alternative to the air conditioned room would be a hot, humid and stuffy room, which I couldn’t see as beneficial. Should I have kept that air conditioning on?
The answer is a resounding yes. Fortunately, Dr. Alvin N. Eden, a pediatrician who has a regular column in the newsletter, Pediatrics for Parents agrees with me. He mentions how your baby’s temperature is no different from your own and that he would be much more comfortable in a cool environment than that hot stuffy room. Imagine if you had to try to sleep in a room that was too hot.
But because babies are little, I did take a few precautions with cooling the room. Here they are.
I never put the baby close to the air conditioning so that it was directly on him. Instead, I placed the bassinet as far away from the window air conditioning as I could, this way they could benefit from the air conditioning without it blowing directly over their skin.
I stayed away from using fans. Sometimes a fan can be too strong and have that “take your breath away” effect if they move too much air around where you are breathing. Babies breath very fast, so this worried me. I am sure that a gently blowing fan would probably have been fine.
I kept the temperature reasonable, between 72 and 78 degrees. Dr. Eden recommends a temperature of between 68 and 72 degrees, but we, as adults, tended to be too cold at those settings. Most air conditioning systems, including window or wall air conditioners have temperature settings on them now.
I dressed them lightly but had them covered. I usually dressed my babies in light clothing that covered their arms and legs when they slept, such as a thin bag or footies. This way there would be no cool air directly on their skin while they slept. Remember that infants should not be given blankets or bed coverings of any kind while sleeping unsupervised.
How do you keep your baby comfortable?
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