Dressing Baby for Summer

Summer can be a tricky season for first-time mothers. From the day you bring home your bundle of joy, you’re so focused on keeping your baby warm. The most important thing to remember during the summer months, is that you want your baby to be comfortable.

If your baby is overdressed, they can easily develop heat rash or overheat quickly. Babies are much more sensitive to the sun than bigger kids or adults, because they have thin, delicate skin. It is important for all babies to avoid sun exposure, regardless of their skin tone. This is especially important between 10am and 3pm, when the sun is at its hottest. It is okay to apply sunscreen to babies over 6 months old, but still advisable to keep them in the shade or covered up if you plan to be out for more than 10 minutes.

Common cotton tees and tanks only have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 5, so remember to apply sunscreen under your baby’s clothing before leaving the house. Dress them in light coloured trousers, a light, long-sleeved top, and a wide brimmed sun hat to shield their face from the sun’s harmful rays.

It is important to remember that babies only sweat from their hands, feet, neck, and head. Booties and beanies will limit your baby’s ability to cool down on a very hot day, increasing the risk of overheating. If you are staying indoors, dress your baby in lose fitting, light-weight clothing made from a natural fibre like cotton.

Comfort is key when dressing a little baby. You can add layers as the day cools down. If it is an especially hot day, your baby will be quite content wearing just a diaper. Babies become irritable and restless when they feel hot and uncomfortable. If your baby’s face is flushed, their skin feels unusually warm, or their breathing is rapid, they may be overheated. In this case, remove some layers and/or adjust the air conditioning to a cooler temperature.

You can check your baby’s temperature by placing the back of your hand on the back of your baby’s neck. The skin should feel comfortably warm with a temperature between 36 – 37 degrees. You can also use a thermometer if you want to be completely sure.

When you plan a day out, be prepared for any climate by packing extra clothing. This will keep you calm and make the outing with your baby more enjoyable. Babies younger than 6 months shouldn’t drink water, so it’s necessary to nurse more frequently in summer. A little bit of water is acceptable for babies who are 6 months or older.

Always trust your instincts – you know your baby best, and if you ever have any doubts, discuss your concerns with your family doctor.

With thanks to Mini Exchange.

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