Light treatment, also known as phototherapy, is one way that infant jaundice has been treated, as per the Mayo Clinic. It works by using blue-green spectrum light to target the bilirubin in the bloodstream and alter its makeup in order to help the liver filter it, eventually passing it through the kidneys and into the intestines to be expelled by the body through urine and stool. A baby must be undressed for the treatment to be effective while their eyes are protected with patches.
Researchers took the effectiveness of phototherapy a step further in a 2015 study that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine by utilizing a free resource: the sun. To ensure babies weren’t receiving harmful UV rays, researchers placed them underneath specially designed canopies and let the sun treat them for about five hours a day. They found that the filtered sunlight was just as safe and effective for reducing bilirubin levels in the blood as phototherapy.
The Birth Center explains how to use sunlight at home to treat jaundice. You’ll want to make sure the baby isn’t receiving direct light, but rather filtered light through a window. Lay them on a blanket in just a diaper for about half an hour per day until the yellowing of the skin passes. It’s important to note that if the condition doesn’t clear up in a few days that you contact your child’s medical provider for follow-up testing and treatment.