Summer is officially here and it’s hot outside! My kids are loving it, but it wasn’t that long ago that I was a brand new mom trying to figure out what to do with her new baby during the summer. Let’s face it, the heat and sleep deprivation can make those first few month difficult, but there are ways to enjoy your first summer with baby. Here are just a few ways to make summer with your new baby more enjoyable:
Dress accordingly. Our pediatrician warned me about this one during our very first visit. So often parents want to overdress their baby and then add blankets on top of the baby in the stroller or car seat. This is dangerous because it puts the baby at risk for overheating. Don’t overdress your baby and put him in layers, if necessary. You can remove layers as it gets warmer and keep your baby cool. A good rule is to dress your baby in no more than one extra layer than what you are wearing. For example, if you’re in short sleeve shirt, your baby should be in no more than a long sleeve shirt.
Feed more often. Just like adults need to stay hydrated in the heat, so do babies. Since a newborn cannot be given water like an older child, be sure to offer more breast milk or formula. You’re much less likely to have a cranky baby if they’re well hydrated.
Select destinations carefully. If you’re ready to leave the house with your new baby, choose your destination wisely. Select indoor locations during the morning and afternoon hours, when it can be the hottest. Locations like local museums, aquariums, the mall, or restaurants, will provide you with something to do and your baby with a whole new set of sights and smells. In the cooler evening hours (after 4 pm), consider outdoor destinations like the park.
Sun protection. It’s important to keep in mind that baby skin burns easily (easier than your own), and many pediatricians don’t recommend sunscreen until babies reach 6 months of age. Limit the amount of direct sunlight that your baby gets and find (or create) shade to protect your baby’s skin and eyes. Use hats, car seat and stroller canopies, and UV Protective clothing/cover ups when necessary.
Don’t give up on baby carrying. Many babies like to be carried, but parents often find the idea of carrying baby during the summer as somewhat unappealing. Rather than a traditional structured carrier, which can get hot, consider a woven wrap, ring sling, or breathable carrier. And when your baby is ready to go in the water, consider a water carrier to keep them safe!
With these tips in mind, you can enjoy the summer with your new baby while also keeping them safe. Have fun!