08 Jan Beating The Heat With Baby: Summer Safety Tips
Who doesn’t love summer? Warm days spent by the pool or visiting the beach, the chance to unwind and relax and maybe catch up with family and friends. There’s no wonder it’s a popular time of the year.
But if you’ve got a small baby to care for, summer can be tricky! Introducing your baby to the beach for the first time can be so much fun but proper precautions need to be taken to ensure everyone is safe and comfortable. Getting through hot days (and nights!) with a bub has its own set of challenges, too. Read our top tips for managing these warmer months with your sweet baby.
Sun Safety For Babies
Long, warm days are bound to entice young families outside to enjoy sunshine and fresh air. But keep in mind, the delicate skin of your precious baby is vulnerable to sunburn – and strong UV rays can hurt their eyes, too. Sunscreen is an important factor in staying sun smart, but remember that it’s not recommended for babies under 6 months of age. And even with sunscreen, our little ones (and us!) can be badly burnt.
To ensure you and bub stay safe in the sun, you should:
• Avoid heading outside during the hottest part of the day (roughly 10am – 4pm). Plan trips to the beach or park for early morning or late afternoon when the UV radiation levels are lower. This is a great way to avoid crowds, too.
• Wear protective clothing. Even in hot weather, loose clothing made from natural fibres is recommended for babies to limit direct exposure to the sun. If swimming, choose long-sleeved rashies to ensure the best coverage.
• Always wear a broadbrim hat. Little babies may hate wearing them, but they’re so important to protect their sweet little faces! And remember that modelling good sun safety is important so make sure you wear your hat, too!
• Look for shaded areas. This will offer additional UV protection. But beware, taking other sun smart precautions is still necessary – getting burnt while in the shade is absolutely possible.
• Use SPF 30+ sunscreen on babies over 6 months old. Don’t skimp! Many people don’t use enough sunscreen, leaving them vulnerable to sun damage. So lather it on. There are formulations made especially for babies and/or those with sensitive skin.
We all need additional fluids during warmer weather, but for babies, this is extra-important as dehydration can be very dangerous. If you are breastfeeding, you may find the feeds become more frequent in hotter weather. This is perfectly normal and your baby’s way of keeping themselves hydrated. Formula-fed babies may want extra feeds, too. Small amounts of cool, boiled water can be offered to bottle-fed babies over 6 months old. Learn more here. Feeding in the heat can be hot and sweaty for both mum and bub so keep a damp face washer on hand to relieve some of the discomfort.
Signs of dehydration in a baby can include lethargy, fewer wet nappies, dry lips, a sunken fontanelle and dark yellow urine. If you suspect your baby is dehydrated, a visit to the doctor is strongly advised.
Keeping Baby Cool in the Heat
Just like us, being hot and sweaty can make your baby extra cranky! Here are some ways to relieve the discomfort:
• a tepid bath can help cool bub down and is especially useful just before bed.
• keep curtains and blinds shut in bub’s room on hot days to minimise the heat build-up and if the room is just too hot at night, consider moving their cot to the coolest room in the house.
• air-conditioning can be too much for little ones so make sure to set it no lower than 24 degrees. You can also try a fan but don’t point it directly at your bub as they can become cold. For safety, ensure the fan is not within reaching distance of your baby.
• damp cloths can help. Gently wipe down baby’s arms, legs and face periodically.
• avoid direct sunlight wherever possible and stay indoors on extremely hot days.
• Loose, cotton clothing will be most comfortable for baby in the heat. At home, a nappy is often all they need.
• Prams can be covered in light, breathable fabric like a muslin wrap but ensure there is still good air flow.
• Never leave your baby alone in the car, ever.
Water Safety for Babies
Summer and water play go hand in hand, but drowning is a very real risk for young babies and toddlers. A dip in a paddle pool is fun and refreshing for your baby but they must be supervised and within arm’s reach at all times. Even 5cms of water can pose a drowning risk to children under 5. We recommend reading this article to ensure you and your little ones stay safe around water this summer.
Keeping Baby’s Skin Soft with Natural Baby Skin Care
Hotter weather takes its toll on the health of our skin, and just like us, babies are prone to lose extra fluid through sweating. This can make the skin dry and irritated. Replenish vital moisture with natural baby skin care that gently and safely soothes delicate skin. It may be helpful to apply moisture lotion day and night if the weather is particularly hot, concentrating on those sweaty little areas behind the knees, in the elbow creases and those sweet little necks. This may assist in settling heat rashes, too. Avoid harsh bubble baths that can contain drying ingredients, and instead opt for a natural baby wash that restores moisture rather than stripping it.