mother and baby picture: pexels
Navigating life at work and at home amidst the persistent spectre of loadshedding has disrupted daily routines and caused inconvenience for everyone, particularly for families with infants or young children as the winter chills set in.
“Loadshedding can be quite a challenge, especially when you have a baby to take care of. Power outages and erratic loadshedding schedules can really disrupt your little one’s routine and comfort,” says Ronald Govender, Dis-Chem Baby City FMCG Executive.
Ronald proposes practical tips and ideas for parents to ensure their baby’s comfort during loadshedding and make power outages a little easier for themselves and their little ones.
Emergency lighting and power
By investing in battery-powered lights or rechargeable solar lights, you can turn loadshedding from a major disruption to a temporary inconvenience, ensuring your baby doesn’t wake up to darkness during power outages. Lighting provides a comforting glow and maintains a sense of familiarity, as well as providing a well-lit environment for changing and feeding, contributing to parents’ peace of mind and your baby’s comfort.
The ability to keep in touch in case of an emergency is important when you have a little one and power banks are important as backup for charging mobile phones. For parents who use baby monitors, battery-powered alternatives are available to help you keep an eye on your little one even when the power is out.
Milk and food safety
The sterility of milk bottles and food containers cannot be overemphasised. As the stages of loadshedding increase when the grid is overloaded, it’s worth considering a quick easy sterilising machine, which steams and sterilises bottles in minutes and keeps them sterile for 24 hours with the lid on.
Make use of flasks to store hot water for milk as well as food preparations. Insulated bottle warmers help keep water warm when there’s no hot water or kettle.
Familiarise yourself with food safety guidelines and the life span for different food items. This will help you determine the safety of perishable items during power outages. Prepare and freeze individual portions of food in advance. Use small food storage containers to freeze purees or soft foods like mashed fruits and vegetables. During loadshedding, these frozen portions can be thawed as needed and consumed within a safe period.
Feeding and baby essentials
Stay organised and plan for power outages. Keep a supply of essential baby items such as nappies, formula, wipes, and medication. It’s also a good idea to have a manual or battery-powered breast pump on hand if you are breastfeeding or milk warmers. By having these supplies readily available, you won’t have to worry about running out of milk during loadshedding.
During this cold weather, when heating is a challenge because of power constraints, layer your baby’s clothing and dress them in rompers to ensure they are warm. Sleep bags also help little ones regulate their temperature when sleeping, so they are less likely to be disturbed by being too hot or too cold. Breathable, all-natural fibre fabrics are more comfortable. Ensure you also get warm blankets for additional warmth.
For newborns, swaddling is great for keeping them warm and recreates the familiar deep pressure of the womb which helps to calm and relax the baby and prepare them for sleep.
Soothe and comfort your baby
Battery-operated nebulisers are a reliable solution during loadshedding. They provide uninterrupted respiratory treatment for babies who rely on nebuliser therapy. By using a battery-powered nebuliser, you can ensure continuous access to necessary medications and maintain respiratory health, even during electricity disruptions.
Babies can sense your stress and anxiety, so it’s important to remain calm during power outages. Comfort your baby with gentle words, soothing touch, and familiar objects like their favourite blanket or toy. Your calm presence will help them feel secure. Parents can also use soothers that glow in the dark for easy location when baby is fussy at night.
Also see: Ways to calm a crying baby at night