Having a new baby home during the summer months is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because it means you’re not still pregnant and miserable in the heat of the summer, but it’s a curse because it means you now have to worry about whether or not your new little one is safe, happy and comfortable in the midst of scorching temps. Take it from me, a lifelong Floridian with four kids. Our oldest was born the last week of July, and that was the hottest, most miserable summer of my life. Our second and our twins were born mid-March, so that was much better. But that means that we had new babies two summers of our lives, and it’s not always fun trying to keep them comfortable. Are they too hot? Are they protected from the sun? Are they able to wear sunscreen? Are they hydrated? What’s the deal? There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to summer infant safety, and I have a few great tips (from the pros) that make life a bit easier and more comfortable during the summer months:
Hire a nanny and never take the baby out in the summer and life will be easy.
Oh, wait; that’s not possible. It’s the only way you’re going to feel comfortable with your baby in the summer heat, but leaving baby home is neither fun or possible. So here are some tips that will help you relax this summer knowing that your little one is safe.
No Babies on Boats
If there is one thing you will learn in the midst of summer, it’s that you cannot take a baby on a boat. There are weigh limits for life vests, and a newborn on a boat is not legal, not safe and not a good idea.
Loose fitting cotton clothing is the best choice for your baby this summer. It’s actually the best choice for everyone, but you know what I mean. Your baby needs to breathe, and he or she needs to be covered and protected. Loose clothing is going to allow for that, and it’s not going to retain moisture or prevent your baby from sweating – which is gross, but it’s the bodies way of regulating temperatures and cooking off.
Feed that Baby More Often
Babies don’t need water right away, but they might need to be nursed or given a bottle more frequently in the heat of summer. Say you’re out by the pool hanging out in the shade; give that baby more to drink so that he or she is not dehydrated. It’s just common sense that babies need to take in more liquids in the heat since adults do, too.
Sunscreen is Okay
There are so many conflicting opinions about sunscreen and babies, and I’m sure someone will disagree with me about the harmful chemicals in it. But according to my pediatrician (who is an actual doctor and not someone who just googles his information), sunscreen is all right to use on babies so long as you use it in moderation, keep babies covered and refrain from having the baby in the hot sun all day long. Moderation is key, and you should check for sunscreen made specifically for babies. It’s the best, and it’s going to help prevent very painful burns on babies.
Get a Mosquito Cover
Summer is prime time for mosquitoes, which are not only annoying but also dangerous. They carry a number of infections and diseases that can be very harmful to a new baby, and even fatal to people at times. Your baby deserves the best care possible, and that means getting a mosquito cover to keep around the baby’s carrier when you’re outdoors. You can also consider hiring a mosquito service to help you get rid of the mosquitoes.
Limit Time Outside
It’s hard to be indoors on a beautiful day, but you should try to limit the amount of time your baby is exposed to direct sunlight as often as possible. If you like to spend your days by the pool, that’s fine. But make sure baby is napping in the house and you have the monitor outdoors to hear him or her should something happen or just so you know when the baby wakes up. While proper care makes it entirely possible to keep the baby outdoors, you shouldn’t keep him or her outdoors when it’s not necessary – such as nap time at home when a monitor will help you with the safety of your baby (and lock all doors so that no one can get in your house without your knowledge).
One of the things I like to do as a mother of four in Florida is use that amazing remote start to get my car nice and cool before we entre. I open the garage door and use that amazing little feature to start the car from in the house enough to cool while I load kids in the car. This allows the car not to remain stifling and it also prevents carbon monoxide from building up in the garage when the car is started.
Additionally, and this should really go without saying but some people make it impossible not to remind them: DO NOT LEAVE A BABY, CHILD, or PET in a car in the middle of summer. I don’t care if you leave the windows cracked or the air on a little bit. For one, cars that are turned on with kids inside are dangerous on a number of levels.
Secondly, the temperature inside a parked car is far hotter than the temperature outside, and it takes only a few minutes for the temperature to reach numbers that can kill a baby or a child. No matter what you’re doing, how inconvenient it is or how much additional time it will take, remove the kids from the car and take them inside with you. It’s going to save their lives, and it’s going to make you a much better parent. Trust me on this one.
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