Should you al­ways swad­dle your new­born, even when the weather is hot?

Young Parents (Singapore) - - C NTENTS -

Q My one-year-old doesn’t like to drink wa­ter. Can I sub­sti­tute it with juice?

A The av­er­age 10kg 12-month-old child needs 1 litre of uid per day; those who sweat ex­ces­sively or have con­sti­pa­tion may re­quire more.

Of that, around 500 to 600ml should be milk – ideally ei­ther breast or full-fat cow’s milk af­ter 12 months. (There is no med­i­cal need to con­tinue with in­fant for­mula be­yond the age of 12 months.)

The rest of the 400 to 500ml should ideally be plain wa­ter, but if it’s a strug­gle to get your child to drink up, you can of­fer di­luted fruit juice – mix one-part ap­ple juice to four-parts wa­ter.

Avoid other sweet­ened bev­er­ages or any drinks that con­tain caf­feine, such as iced tea.

Note that a baby un­der six months old usu­ally doesn’t need wa­ter, es­pe­cially if she is ex­clu­sively breast­fed.

If it be­comes nec­es­sary to in­tro­duce wa­ter to a young in­fant, due to con­sti­pa­tion or other med­i­cal prob­lem, do so only on the ad­vice of a doc­tor, and in small quan­ti­ties (30 to 50ml, up to twice daily). Re­mem­ber to only use cooled boiled wa­ter.

Q Should I al­ways swad­dle my new­born, even when the weather is hot?

A Swad­dling is use­ful in con­trol­ling the early in­fant star­tle reex, which is com­mon in all in­fants up to around three months of age. A new­born, used to the close connes of its mother’s womb, will ail his limbs and wake star­tled from sleep if he is not ap­pro­pri­ately re­strained.

Swad­dles should be made of light, breath­able fab­ric (the light, stretchy muslin ones are best), and be wrapped se­curely (not tightly) around the in­fant, with­out ob­struct­ing the mouth or nose, or be con­strict­ing around the neck.

Ad­just the cloth­ing that your baby wears un­der the muslin swad­dle so he doesn’t feel too warm.

It is not ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary to swad­dle. If you pre­fer not to use an air-con, and you nd your child sweats ex­ces­sively when swad­dled, de­spite min­imis­ing the cloth­ing un­der­neath, you can con­sider husk pil­lows, which have been tra­di­tion­ally used here for gen­er­a­tions to soothe in­fants to sleep.

The ra­tio­nale is that it mim­ics the weight of a care­giver’s hand on the in­fant’s body, and so pro­vides com­fort.

But, risks as­so­ci­ated with this sooth­ing method in­clude the po­ten­tial for the pil­low to move and be­come a suf­fo­ca­tion haz­ard to the baby, es­pe­cially if it slips over the face, ob­scur­ing the mouth and nose.

Such pil­lows should not be used un­less you’re keep­ing a close watch on your lit­tle one.

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