Having a new baby in the heat of summer can be tricky. We are always trying to weigh out the risks and benefits of taking our activities outside and when we do go outside we wonder if we are taking all the precautions necessary to keep them protected. Whether you plan on staying in or venturing out: here are a few things to consider to help keep them more safe and comfortable.
What they wear matters
Overdressing your little one can cause them to sweat; babies do not perspire as effectively as adults, causing overheating much more quickly. This overheating can quickly turn to an angry heat rash. Baby heat rash looks like clusters of tiny, often moist red bumps similar to pimples or blisters. It usually appears on the face and in the skin folds of the neck, arms, legs, upper chest and diaper area. Keeping them in loose fitting clothing made with natural fibers such as cotton is best as it can absorb the moisture better and keep them cool. So always check their layers. Keeping them in the same number of layers as you are comfortable with is usually appropriate when it is hot outside.
Plan Your Outdoor Activities at Certain Times of the Day
Always keep in mind that the hottest time of the day is between 10 am and 2 pm. So it is best to avoid any activities in the outdoors during those peak heat hours. If you have to be outside at those times always be mindful of seeking shaded areas. Find spots that offer cover, such as trees, or have a canopy, umbrella or shade tent. If you can find a spot that offers good ventilation and air flow that is even better. Also keep in mind their clothing, light fabric, long sleeve shirt and long pants are better for protection, also a long brimmed hat can help too, some can even manage to have their little fashionistas wearing sunglasses to protect their eyes.
To Sunscreen or Not to Sunscreen
Baby’s skin is much more sensitive to the sun as their outer layer of skin is very thin. This can make them much more prone to burning. It is best to avoid direct sun exposure if you can. It is always recommended to consult your physician before using sunscreen with infants under 6 months of age. Sunscreen is recommended to help prevent exposure to the UV rays, small amounts applied frequently is best. Remember that although sunscreen helps protect against the suns UV rays it does not protect your baby from the heat, so be sure to use all of the other tips as well to fully protect them from all the elements of heat and sun exposure.
Keep Them Hydrated
A flushed face, skin that’s warm to the touch, rapid breathing, and restlessness may be warning signs of dehydration. When it is hot always remember to keep them extra hydrated. They should be having at least 50% more fluid intake during the summer months. Breast milk and water are the best options. For babies under 6 months just an increase in the number of times you nurse them is the best solution for best hydration. As they get older you can consider homemade popsicles or other cool treats to help with hydration and keeping them cool.
As parents you need to consider what your lifestyle as a family will be. If you enjoy outdoor activities you will no doubt be incorporating these things into your life with your new addition. So instead of feeling like you have to eliminate all the things you use to do, just be smart and as you keep in mind these simple tips you can be better prepared to enjoy your summer months with your new little one in a safe and comfortable way.