What About the Heat?

I caught up with a girlfriend who had just returned from Indonesia with her four month old son. Her family had a wonderful trip, but one of the main issues for their son was the overwhelming humidity and heat. Both our babies are winter babies so, presumably, it would hit them harder.

You know when you step off the plane after landing in a tropical country? The heat, and the heaviness of the atmosphere hits you. I imagine that heat would affect a baby even more. So, how can we minimise the discomfort the heavy heat might cause our babies?

One of the first things my friend said to bring was a pram fan! She hadn’t thought of it, but believed it would have made the trip a lot easier on their son.

Second, stay at a hotel with air conditioning (they call it AC in Indonesia).

Third, avoid heading out between 11am and 3pm. Indonesians also avoid being outside during these hours if they can.

Fourth, you baby will be spending most of the time in nappies and singlets, maybe not even singlets, so sunscreen and a good mosquito repellant (the travel Dr recommended one containing deet!) are important.

P. S. , don’t be surprised if your baby comes down with a rash. Measles is definitely something to be concerned about as their have been outbreaks in Indonesia, but mostly the rash will be caused by the heat. Check in with a reputable doctor though, and check for other symptoms, but don’t freak out at the sight of a rash.

P. S.S,. Also,  don’t be confused if Indonesians think your use of a fan, AC etc is not good for your child. One of the main causes of illness in Indonesia is considered to be masuk angin (literally ‘enter wind’) –  this is also why you see people wearing heavy jackets on motorbikes in the sweltering heat! The idea is that air gets trapped under your skin, making you sick. The solution offered is kerokan, where someone scrapes your skin with a coin. It hurts. The symtpoms of masuk angin are sore muscles, tiredness (kecapean), and common cold symptoms. You can also get masuk angin from being run down. But anyway, don’t be surprised if well intentioned Indonesians tell you not to point a fan directly at your child –  the whole masuk angin thing probably deserves it’s own post!

So these were the main things my mate mentioned. Sure more will emerge over the course of our upcoming trip.


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