You may hear that your new-born should be kept away from direct sunlight. The skin is sensitive, and without some care and attention, it can be bad. However, direct sunlight is also good in short bursts. The UV rays can help to improve some health problems and coloring within a child’s skin.
Make sure you follow your doctor’s guidelines for your baby. There are some that will suffer more from the sunlight than they gain. You’ll need to think about your skin type and the skin type of the baby’s other parent to make sure your baby’s skin is looked after.
It’s also important that you use sunscreen, especially when going outside. Avoid the times between 10am and 3pm to avoid the hottest parts of the day. This will help you avoid the most damaging UV rays.
Here’s a look at seven ways your new-born baby will benefit regarding health because of direct sunlight.
Your Baby Will Get More Vitamin D
Let’s look at the first big benefit. It’s all about the vitamin D. This is an even bigger benefit if you live in a part of the world where you get very little sun, especially in the winter.
Vitamin D is a necessity. The body can create it, but it needs the right elements to be able to do that. The elements come from the UV rays. By getting just 15 minutes a day of UV rays, the body will create enough vitamin D to support the whole system.
What does vitamin D do? It helps the body absorb the calcium. Without vitamin D, the body will take calcium and create calcium stones. These are excruciating. This then leads to the bones and teeth not getting the mineral they need, so they form weakly. The bones and teeth become extremely fragile, and your baby is more likely to suffer from breaks in the future.
Getting enough vitamin D is also linked to good health in other ways, especially when it comes to the cells. The body is protected against some cancers, high blood pressure, and autoimmune diseases. The immune system can work more effectively.
This will depend on the amount of time you spend in the sun. Of course, too much of a good thing is bad for youand your new-born. The sun’s rays can lead to some types of cancer, damaged skin cells, and other health problems. Let’s not forget burning, which is going to be extremely painful for your baby. Cover up your baby’s skin with sunscreen and only go out for a maximum 15 minutes a day without any protection. In fact, just 5 or 10 minutes is going to be enough for your little one.
You don’t even need to go outside. You can sit by a window to get the health benefits. They’re still direct rays, but a little more concentrated because of the glass.
The exact amount of sun exposure will depend on the color of the skin. Darker tones will need a little more, as they naturally have extra protection from damage and absorption.
Helps to Improve Blood Clotting
One benefit of more sun is for the blood clotting. Yes, this is linked to vitamin D, but your blood clotting abilities also come from the vitamin K. Together the two will help to make sure your baby’s blood clots after an injury.
If the blood didn’t clot, then it would flow out of a wound and leave you with severe blood loss problems. You don’t just need an injury on the outside to see an issue. Internal injuries can lead to serious internal bleeding that you don’t initially see or feel. You could put your child at serious risk of harm and death by not having blood clotting abilities.
The vitamin D also helps to balance out the blood clotting. It keeps your blood pressure down, meaning you don’t get too many clots into your system. Like not enough clotting, too much can lead to some serious health problems. Most commonly, blood clotting can lead to heart problems and increase the risk of stroke.
While these issues aren’t as common in young babies, they can happen. You want some direct sunlight!
Contribute to Nervous System Health
Vitamin D will also contribute to the health of your baby’s nervous system. While most of this development happens in the womb, some of it will also happen in the earlier stages of life. You want the sun to get the vitamin D to help support the development and overall health.
The nervous system is extremely complex. It’s a group of nerves that will transmit signals to the brain and around the body. It helps the brain tell the body what to do and when. The brain also gets messages from the rest of the body, alerting to issues like hunger, bowel movements, pain, and the need to sleep.
There are the central and peripheral nervous systems. Without going into all the scientific details, the body needs to develop both fully. The vitamin D will help with this.
Problems with the nervous system range between people. There are some who will have serious disabilities and others who live with chronic pain and health issues. Currently, very little is known about nervous system conditions and ailments. Scientists just know that we need vitamin D from a young age to help develop the system fully and improve quality of life.
Supports the Insulin Levels
Some children are diagnosed with Type I diabetes. Others will develop Type II diabetes throughout their lifetime. The sunlight from a young age can help to prevent both. Note that I say can help. The direct sunlight isn’t going to prevent medication conditions like diabetes completely, but it can help to slow down or stop the progression when added with the rest of your lifestyle and diet.
Vitamin D from the sun will help to manage and support your insulin levels. It’s a problem with insulin levels and uses that leads to diabetes.
The insulin is necessary for managing the blood sugar levels. While the blood sugar levels are high, the body will release insulin to get rid of the glucose. The body can start to become resistant to the levels of insulin, causing more to be needed and then too much insulin in the body.
Alternatively, the body may not produce enough insulin to tackle the glucose levels. This can lead to too much blood sugar and nothing to counter it, leading to serious health conditions. Those whose body doesn’t produce enough insulin can need injections to help add the necessary elements into the body.
Improve the Circadian Rhythm Regulation
You may have heard of the terms “internal clock” or “body clock.” These are two other names for the circadian rhythms. This rhythm helps to determine the sleep/wake cycle, something that babies don’t have at first. It can take a few months for a new-born to develop their internal clock, and learn that night time is when we sleep.
The sunlight exposure can help with the circadian rhythm creation and regulation. In the past, we needed to sleep during the night and remain active in the day. This was necessary for survival, as the night was when most of our predators were awake. We were also more at risk of falling off cliffs or succumbing to other dangerous situations.
While we don’t quite need to sleep at night for survival, our rhythm hasn’t changed. You may find that when you work nights, you struggle with sleep during the day. Until you get used to the night pattern, your body struggles to deal with the change in the circadian rhythm.
Babies need to learn to sleep through the night and remain awake during the day. Exposing to sunlight helps with that. It sets up the circadian rhythm and then helps to maintain it later in life. This is excellent for young children, especially now as technology tends to keep people in the house.
A good circadian rhythm isn’t just necessary for sleep schedules. It will help to keep your mental health in check. Your brain will find it easier to process emotions and transmit information. It’s easier for memories to be stored and for kids to learn throughout the day. Babies learn the most in the first year of life compared to any other year. You want to help with that through a good circadian rhythm.
Good Levels of Serotonin
The brain will release hormones throughout the day to help balance the mood. Babies need help with the hormone production just as much as children and adults. The hormones help to regulate emotion, mood, and many other cognitive functions. It helps to improve the learning process and remember there’s a lot of learning to do.
Serotonin is known as one of the happy hormones. Researchers have found that it helps to boost joy and happiness in everyone. It helps to create a relaxed feeling and builds that secure feeling. When babies feel secure, they are happy. This can help with their development in many other ways.
Low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression, anger issues, and developmental problems. Your baby may struggle with developmental stages in later life.
The sunlight is linked to improving levels of serotonin. This is linked to some reasons, including the vitamin D and the improvement in the circadian rhythm. The brightness and color of the sunlight can also help. There’s just something warm about the yellow coloring. This isn’t just a feeling that we get as we get older and start recognizing colors. This is a feeling that we gain from a very young age.
Help to Improve Jaundice
If your baby were born jaundice, you would want to increase exposure to direct sunlight. You may find that this is something your doctor advises when you get home.
Jaundice babies don’t necessarily mean a major health problem. Some can develop the yellow coloring after a few hours, as their bodies develop and learn to cope with the outside world. Remember that they’ve been used to the warm womb for so long! However, you will need to talk to your doctor about yellow coloring in the skin, especially if it is also in the eyes. Jaundice can mean a more serious condition.
In some cases, your baby will be prescribed medication to help the liver function. It’s poor liver function that can cause jaundice. However, sunlight can help to balance out the coloring. This is because the sunlight will help to dissolve the bilirubin over the skin. Bilirubin is natural, but sometimes the levels go up instead of down (hence later jaundice).
Just put your baby near a closed window with direct sunlight. The light will act like UV lamps in a hospital to dissolve the bilirubin and lower the levels naturally. You only need to sit in the sun for 15 minutes four times a day for the best results. It won’t hurt a baby without jaundice to sit here, helping to regulate the vitamin D levels and offer all the other benefits above.
Short Periods of Non-Sunscreen Sun Time Is Good
You don’t want your baby out in the sun for hours on end, especially with no sunscreen. However, you will want to consider just 15 minutes next to a window. This will help to get the UV rays, improving the ability to create vitamin D within the small bodies. Babies with darker skin may need slightly longer, so talk to your doctor about the best time frame.
When going outside, avoid the hottest parts of the day. You should avoid these times for your skin, let alone your babies.
The sun rays are known for their damaging effects, but they can be good. Your new-born will benefit in the ways above, whether they are jaundice or not. You can also help with development later in life with continued encouragement of the sun for a short space of time daily.
What do you think?