When the baby is born and discharged, one of the indications of pediatricians and / or neonatologists is the so-called sunbathing at home, something that new parents may be very surprised by because most are unaware the importance and benefits of sunbathing for babies. Do you want to know all its advantages?
The baby needs to be exposed to the sun to produce enough vitamin D to maintain normal levels of circulating calcium and phosphorus in the blood, but also, sunbathing helps the absorption of calcium in the bones and, alone or together with calcium , increases bone mineral density, decreases the incidence of fracture and the correct formation of teeth.
Another important reason why parents should establish this routine in the first month of life of the child is that sunbathing allows you to set your biological clock, form healthy sleep habits and reduce neonatal jaundice. And is that the lack of this vitamin in the body can lead to rickets in children, which produces soft and brittle bones.
Many pediatricians suggest that infants under one year of age, exclusively breastfed, should receive, in addition to sunbathing, a vitamin D supplement to maintain adequate blood levels, since despite the fact that breast milk contains vitamin D, most mothers do not receive enough sun to synthesize it and provide sufficient amounts through breastfeeding.
This situation can also be solved by the mother through the intake of foods rich in vitamin D, such as fish oils (sardine, tuna, salmon), dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, butter), egg yolk , fortified cereals or mushrooms.
Many parents, when they come for consultation, tell me that they do not take sunbaths frequently, because they feel sorry to wake the baby or they are afraid to place them in the sun due to possible burns. I explain to them that these baths are necessary and important, for all the benefits that I have just referred to above, and I also tell them the best way to carry them out without endangering the health and life of the little one. Take good note!
1. Place the little one preferably without clothes, so that the sun's rays go directly through the baby's skin. It is advisable, however, to leave the little one with the diaper to avoid injuries in the genital area and to put a dark mask at eye level, to protect him from the sun. In the event that you choose to wear it with clothing, it should preferably be made of cotton fabric, that is, light and light colors.
2. If for weather reasons (cold, rain or breeze) you cannot place it outside the house, put him on a blanket or a baby carrier next to a window, so that the rays pass through the glass.
3. The time that I recommend the most is first in the morning, that is, when the first rays of the sun come out or in the afternoon, always after 4 pm. It is very important to avoid doing these sun baths on babies between 11 am and 4 pm, as they could cause burns on their delicate skin.
4.- Finally, the time to be kept in the sun should not exceed, in any case, 10 minutes on each side (front and back) in children under 6 months. In older children, it can be extended for a couple more minutes, although he may not like it at all and until it is a horrible nuisance to him.
While doing sunbathing, never leave your baby alone, on the contrary, accompany him, talk to him, caress him and play with him. Show him the world around him and what awaits him! Remember that everything is new for him and that you are in charge of showing him the beautiful place where he arrived.
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