Summertime Baby Care Tips
Being a new mom or a new dad is a difficult task. The months immediately following having a baby are a time like no other. They are full of laughter and incredible joy, but there are also tough days and uncertain moments. Getting out in the sunshine and warmth can provide lots of great benefits for mothers and babies alike, but caring for an infant in the summer heat comes with its own challenges. These four tips can help mother and baby stay cool and make the most of the lazy days of summer.
- Know What's Coming
Weather changes rapidly, and for those planning a day at the zoo or state park, knowing the forecast is crucial. Having a weather app on their smartphones makes it easy for mothers to stay updated on what's happening in their areas, so they can watch the beauty of a summer thunderstorm from the safety of shelter or prepare for cooler mornings that turn into sweltering afternoons.
- Ditch the Sunscreen
While it may seem counterintuitive, sunscreen is not the most appropriate for baby skin. The FDA and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that infants be at least 6 months old before using sunscreen, and even then care must be taken to avoid certain ingredients and spray sunscreen formulas. However, there are baby sunscreen formulas that may be worth checking into. Babies' delicate skin still needs to be protected from the sun's rays. Using clothing with built-in SPF, making use of wide-brimmed and oh-so-adorable floppy hats and staying in the shade during peak sun hours can help. There are even infant-sized sunglasses available that double as UV protection and stylish accessories.
- Keep Cool
Heat exhaustion is real and can come on more quickly than most people think. Every year people are treated for heat exhaustion, but mothers can keep their children and themselves cool and comfortable by staying in the air conditioning on hot or humid days, getting some relief from the pool, the lake or even just a sprinkler attached to a garden hose, and planning outside events in the late afternoon and evening hours when the temps have started dropping.
- Stay Hydrated
Hydration is key to summertime baby care but is sometimes even more important to the mother. Adequate fluid intake is critical to staying healthy when the thermometer is in the red. The Mayo Clinic recommends that adults should get approximately 75 ounces daily to stay hydrated. While we’ve talked about baby skin protection, it’s also important to be keeping an eye on what’s going on internally. Breastfed babies fed on demand generally do not need extra fluids, but mothers using formula may want to check with their pediatricians about supplementing with the occasional bottle of water on very hot days.