Yes, it is safe. But you have to take a few precautions for the same. Most doctors say that it is safer to use a cooler or an air conditioner (AC) with a newborn than to keep him/her in a hot, airless and humid surroundings.
Babies, especially newborns, cannot adjust their body temperature as well as adults. This makes them susceptible to overheating and heat-related sicknesses such as dehydration, heat rash, heatstroke or heat exhaustion.
Some experts suggest that a properly ventilated and cool room helps your baby to sleep comfortably and reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Contrary to the above suggestion, a room that is too cold could severely lower the baby’s body temperature and chill him/her.
To keep your baby safe and comfortable while using an air conditioner or cooler, follow the below mentioned steps:
Maintain a comfortable room temperature
Change in the temperature and humidity outside the room will affect the cooling of your AC or cooler. The room could get cool or warm very quickly, making it uncomfortable for the baby.
Therefore, keep the temperature at a comfortable setting, that is not too cold or too warm. It is suggested to maintaining the range between 23 and 26 degrees C.
- In case of AC, set the timer for the duration it takes to cool down the room. If your AC does not have an inbuilt timer, use an alarm clock to remind you. If it does not have a temperature display, keep a thermometer in the room to monitor the temperature.
- During monsoons, it is suggested to leave a window or door partly open to allow the passage of air. As a cooler evaporates water to cool the room, it increases the humidity in the air. Due to which in a closed room, the humidity keeps going up and eventually the cooling will stop. This can slowly rise the temperature, making the room hot and sultry.
Some experts advise using a fan or the AC instead of a cooler in humid weather.
Baby should be kept away from the direct blow of cold air of cooler or AC.
- Dress your baby in light layers that cover his/her arms and legs. This will protect your baby from cold air.
- You can also try a light cap for his/her head and some light cotton socks or booties to cover his/her feet.
- If you are planning to use a light blanket, make sure you tuck it below his/her elbows to avoid the chances of blanket covering the babies face.
- Baby should preferably wear one more layer than you and should not be dressed too warmly for the room or wrapped too tightly.
Get your cooler or AC regularly serviced for clean and efficient cooling
Talk to the service centre or check the manual for details on how and when servicing should be done.
Keep your baby well moisturized
It is said that dip an ear bud in baby oil and gently swipe it in each nostril may help prevent nose bleeds caused by dry nasal passages. Do check with the doctor before using any oil to apply to your baby’s nostrils.
Some Ango mums also recommend keeping a bowl of water in the room. The water is supposed to help reduce the dryness by keeping the air in the room “moist”.
Absolutely avoid sudden temperature changes
This sudden change in temperature may cause the baby to get sick. You should switch off the AC and give him/her time to get used to the outside temperature.
Be careful of temperature changes in the car
A stationary car can get very hot, especially during the summer. You should open the windows for a few minutes. This will allow the trapped hot air to come out. You can then roll up the windows and switch on the air conditioner after some time.
It is not necessary to use a cooler or AC at all times. When it is not too hot or humid, it is advisable to use just a ceiling fan. It works well to keep your baby cool and comfortable.