Summer is now here, but are you and your baby prepared for the glorious hot weather?
If this is baby’s first summer, you may understandably be pretty concerned about keeping them safe and comfortable. There’s a lot of issues the hot summer sun can cause from heat rash to sunburn and even a potential increased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). So, how can you ensure your little one is happy and healthy this summer? Below, you’ll discover some of the best tips and advice you can follow.
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Dressing Baby For Summer
One of the most important things you can do to ensure baby is safe and comfortable in the summer heat, is to dress them appropriately.
If you’ll be staying indoors, you’ll want to choose either lightweight, loose-fitting, short sleeved cotton clothing, or you can leave them in just a diaper. Cotton clothing is great for absorbing perspiration than a lot of synthetic fabrics, helping to keep baby cooler.
If you’re heading outdoors, again you’ll want lightweight clothing, only it should also have longer sleeves and legs to protect baby’s skin against the sun. It’s also recommended you use a wide brimmed hat to protect their head too.
Ensure You Use Adequate Sun Protection
Your little one’s skin is extremely delicate, so it’s going to need more than a little sun lotion to keep them safe this summer.
Ideally, the best sun protection is to keep baby out of direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm. If you do need to venture out, be sure to use a buggy sunshade to fend off the harmful UV rays. Finally, you’ll also want to use an SPF sun lotion of at least 30, applying a generous layer to exposed areas of skin if baby is older than six months. If they’re under six months of age, you’ll need to be careful to just apply a very minimal layer of lotion.
Keeping Baby Cool Indoors
Even if you’re keeping baby indoors, they’re still at risk of overheating. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure there’s plenty of ventilation, especially within baby’s room.
As mentioned earlier, research has shown that hot weather can increase the risk of SIDS. This is because, when baby falls asleep in hot weather, they’ll tend to fall into a deeper sleep and their breathing will be really shallow. This can make it more difficult for them to wake up, increasing the risk of suffocation. Keeping the room cool and comfortable will help to prevent their temperature from spiking.
Never leave baby in a hot room. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, there’s a serious chance they could dangerously overheat.
Get Out The Paddling Pool!
One way to keep baby cool while it’s hot outdoors, is to get out the paddling pool. Not only will this help to make them feel more comfortable, but it’s also super fun for baby too.
Just be aware that even though you’re trying to keep baby cool, the water should still be warm enough. This is because babies cannot regulate their temperature very well, so while they can easily overheat, they can also just as quickly become too cold if splashing around in cold water.
You’ll also want to keep their sun lotion topped up. Just like adults, sun lotion will wash off in the water, leaving their skin unprotected.
Ensure They Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can pose a big problem for baby during the summer; especially if they are too young to drink sips of water. So, if you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding, you may need to offer more frequent feeds during particularly hot weather.
It’s not always easy to tell when baby needs more fluids. This is because when they start to become too hot or dehydrated, they’ll typically become lethargic. So, they won’t fuss to let you know anything is wrong. It’s a good idea therefore, to remove some of baby’s clothing if you notice they’re not as fussy as usual and offer another feed.
Preventing Prickly Heat
Prickly heat is a very common issue for baby’s in summer, but there are ways to prevent it. Keeping them hydrated and ensuring their skin is patted completely dry after having a bath or swimming, are two ways to reduce the risk.
You’ll also want to pay attention to how you dress them, as prickly heat is often caused by excess sweat. The diaper area is especially prone to developing prickly heat, so you’ll also want to try and change wet diapers as soon as possible. If they’re wearing loose, cotton clothing, this will also help to reduce the risk of prickly heat, as can keeping them out of direct heat.
If baby does develop a heat rash, you can apply a cornstarch-based baby powder to soothe the area.
What If Baby Gets Sunburnt?
If your little one develops sunburn, you’ll need to contact your doctor or pediatrician right away if they’re under one years of age. They’ll be able to give you instructions on how to soothe the burn safely. You’ll know if baby has sunburn if they have red, swollen skin that’s hot to touch.
The above is some of the main tips to follow to ensure baby stays happy and healthy this summer. Remember, if in doubt, don’t take baby out! Avoiding direct sunlight, especially during peak hours, is by far the best tip you can follow. Providing you take adequate precautions, you and baby should be able to simply enjoy the warmer, summer weather.