What Every Mom Should Know About Surviving a Baby’s First Summer
No offense but summer sucks. I hate it, my baby hates it, I’m sure my grandchildren will continue this glorious family legacy. The scorching heat can be dangerous for newborns as they sweat less which reduces their ability to cool down.
This significantly increases their risk of overheating, heatstroke, dehydration, and other heat-induced diseases. It can also make an existing disease worse. Therefore, it’s extremely crucial to keep them cool and adequately hydrated during summer.
In this guide, I’ll be explaining a few tried and tested tips to help your newborn beat the heat like a champ.
Guest post written by: Smily Mom
Tips for baby’s first summer
Bath time rituals
The easiest and most effective way to keep newborns cool and comfortable in the summer is a nice and gentle sponge bath. Make sure the bath water isn’t too cold or hot.
Lukewarm water is ideal for babies. Dip your elbow in the water to check if the temperature is all right. During the hottest days of the year, it’s okay to bathe the little fellow two to three times a day.
When giving a sponge bath, pay extra attention to the creases under the arms, neck, and ears. You can switch to a bathtub once the umbilical cord falls off, which usually takes a few weeks.
If the temperature is above 75 degrees, select light, loose apparel for your newborn. Choose lightweight, breathable fabric like cotton. It’s not only gentle on the baby’s skin but also highly absorbent. Bamboo rayon, jersey knit fabric are great choices too for children’s summer clothing.
When going outside, dress them in a cotton or jersey knit onesie and shorts, and a wide-brimmed hat to shield their head and eyes. If it’s a girl, you can slip them into a pretty sundress made of cotton along with matching bloomers to conceal the diapers.
Get an air conditioner
Because infants can’t easily adjust their body temperature, unlike adults. This makes them more susceptible to overheating, dehydration, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and other heat-related ailments. Keeping the baby in a well-ventilated, air-conditioned room can help them sleep safely and comfortably in hot and humid weather.
Pediatricians recommend setting the AC temperature between 73.4 to 78.8 degrees F (23-26 degrees C) in the nursery. You can dial it up and down a little bit, depending on the outside temperature.
The air-conditioner for your baby’s room must have an in-built timer and a temperature display to help you precisely adjust and monitor the temperature.
Avoid going out during the hottest hours of the day
When summer is in full swing, avoid taking your baby outside during the peak heat hours (10 AM- 3 PM). Go for early morning walks or a stroll in the park in the late evening.
If you are going to the beach, make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion on their skin and put a wide-brimmed hat on them.
Make sure the car seat and stroller you’re about to buy come with an adjustable sun shade. You can also get a little stroller fan to make them more comfortable and relaxed during your first trip to a theme park or beach.Â
To ensure further protection from sun damage, you can install standard window shades in the backseat of your vehicle.
Even after taking all the precautions, if the infant gets too hot and uncomfortable, spray some water on their hands and feet or wipe them with a wet cloth. Doing so will instantly cool them down.
Up your hydration game
Dehydration is one of the most common heat-related issues in infants. If your baby is sweating profusely and is not having enough fluids to replenish the lost liquid, it can lead to severe dehydration.
Signs of dehydration in infants can be general discomfort, crankiness, dry mouth, sunken eyes, sleeping longer than usual, and a dry diaper for up to 6 hours or longer.
If you are exclusively breastfeeding, nurse more frequently in summer. Watch out for the hunger cues. During hot weather, you may notice that the baby wants to feed more frequently but for shorter periods. That’s perfectly all right.
Frequent but shorter feeds will help them stay hydrated for longer periods with the foremilk, which is much thinner than the fatty hindmilk.
Don’t forget that babies below 6 months do not need water or any other fluid for hydration. If you are formula feeding the baby, you can give them some boiled, room temperature water from time to time to maintain a healthy hydration level.
Choose skin care products wisely
Oil massages are important for babies. It helps to improve their blood circulation and strengthen their joints. However, heavy oils can easily clog the pores and block their sweat glands, which is the very last you want for your baby on an oppressively hot day.
So, use light baby oil, if you must, and make sure to wash it off completely during bathing time. If your baby has dry skin-related problems, apply a mild, water-based baby lotion on the skin.
If you are using talcum powder to keep the skin smooth and dry, or prevent rashes, make sure to keep the powder away from the baby’s face. You don’t want them to inhale that stuff.
This is what every mom should know about surviving baby’s first summer.
I wish you all the best for your first summer with your newborn.