My firstborn came as the weather began to grow warm and my second graced us in the dead of summer. No, I didn’t have to worry about flu season or frost bite but I was concerned with keeping my brand new babies safe from sunburn and heat exhaustion. . .not to mention keeping myself cool while I adjusted to life with my blessings.
If you are looking towards the summer months with a newborn in your arms, here are a few ways to ensure you can enjoy the season while keeping your sweet bundle safe and comfortable.
1. Find shade. Your newborn’s skin is very sensitive. Make sure to cover baby up with loose fitting, cool clothing as well as a sun hat. As much as possible, stay in the shade to avoid direct sunlight. Although sunscreen manufactures warn consumers against applying sunscreen to babies under 6 months old, this is more to discourage parents from thinking their baby is OK in direct sunlight. If you absolutely need to be in the sun, apply sunscreen to baby’s exposed skin. Use a sunscreen formulated for babies or sensitive skin. Try some on a small patch of skin before applying liberally to make sure baby doesn’t react to the product. Using a shade umbrella or tent is a great way to keep baby out of the sun while you enjoy the park or the beach.
2. Monitor Baby’s Temperature. If you plan to be outside for a long period of time, make sure to closely monitor your baby’s temperature. One of the best ways to do this is to watch his temperament. Does baby seem happy? Is baby fussing? This probably goes without saying but never, ever leave baby in a hot car for even a minute. Cars can get to very dangerous temperatures in the summer months so baby should only be in the car with an adult and while it is running cool air. Make sure you find a cool place to bring baby from time to time throughout a long day outside.
3. Stay hydrated. While baby is staying hydrated with his regular diet of milk, mama can easily get dehydrated, especially if you are breastfeeding. Be sure to drink plenty of water – perhaps even more than you would normally drink – to keep your body regulated and ready to feed throughout the summer months. Try to exceed the normal recommendation of 64 oz of water per day to keep yourself sufficiently hydrated in the heat.
4. Be travel ready. Since you may be planning a vacation or family visit during the summer months, make sure you are equipped with everything you will need to keep baby comfortable in the car or on an airplane. You will also want to ensure you have a safe and comfortable place for baby to sleep away from home. A pack and play or travel bed work well in these situations. We will talk more specifically about traveling with baby next week in our post 5 Things You Need To Travel Well With Baby.
5. Be Careful In and Near Pools. For baby’s under 2 months old, be cautious when considering pool time. Due to baby’s immature immunity, he will be more sensitive to bacteria that could be lurking in the water. Baby’s skin is also very tender and could react to chlorine pools. Make sure you trust the pool owner to keep the pool clean before bringing your baby in the water. Always hold baby in the water and never wade in waters where you do not have a strong foot hold. Although baby is not yet mobile, always keep him in a secure place outside of the pool and directly near an adult for supervision.
When in doubt, trust your instincts mama. If baby seems uncomfortable, adjust his atmosphere. Trust your heart to know when baby is unsafe. Above all, enjoy these sweet, summer months with your newborn.
What are some of your best tips for surviving summer with a newborn?