The chilly winter weather is being made even more bitter and challenging by ongoing power outages. Load shedding is disrupting daily routines and causing inconvenience for everyone, particularly families with infants or young children.
“Power outages can be quite a challenge, especially when caring for a baby, as it disrupts your little one’s routine and comfort,” says Ronald Govender, Dis-Chem Baby City FMCG executive. He offers the following practical tips and ideas for parents to ensure their baby’s comfort during load shedding.
Read our article on load shedding survival for more helpful tips.
emergency lighting and power
Investing in battery-powered lights or rechargeable solar lights to use during load shedding ensures your baby doesn’t wake up to darkness. Lighting provides a comforting glow and maintains a sense of familiarity, as well as providing a well-lit environment for changing and feeding.
Having reliable communication is important when you have a little one, especially in case of an emergency, so a power bank is an important backup for charging mobile phones. Battery-powered baby monitors are available too, so parents can still keep an eye and ear out for their baby.
milk and food safety
Do not overlook the importance of sterile milk bottles and food containers As the stages of load shedding increase when the grid is overloaded, it’s worth considering getting a quick and easy sterilising appliance, which steams and sterilises bottles in minutes and keeps them sterile for 24 hours with the lid on.
Use flasks to store hot water for milk and food preparations. Insulated bottle warmers will also help keep water/bottles warm.
Make sure you are familiar with the food safety guidelines for and lifespan of different food items to help you determine the safety of perishable items. 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. Thaw these as needed to be consumed during power outages.
be organised with baby essentials
Keep a supply of essential baby items such as diapers, formula, wipes and medication. It’s also good idea to have a manual or battery-powered breast pump on hand if you are breastfeeding. This way, you won’t have to worry about running out of any essentials during power outages.
During 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 changes in temperature. Breathable, all-natural fibre fabrics are more comfortable. Ensure you have warm blankets for additional warmth.
Swaddling is great for keeping newborns warm and recreates the familiar deep pressure of the womb, helping to calm and relax baby and prepare them for sleep.
uninterrupted medical care
Battery-operated nebulisers provide uninterrupted respiratory treatment for babies who rely on nebuliser therapy. By using a battery-powered nebuliser, you can ensure continuous access to necessary medication and maintain respiratory health, even during electricity disruptions.
keep calm and soothe your baby
Babies can sense your stress and anxiety, so it’s important for you to remain calm during power outages. Comfort your baby with gentle words, soothing touch, and familiar objects like their favorite 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.