Welp, it is the 4th of July so let me start by saying Happy Independence Day! If you decide to celebrate today at a BBQ or watching fireworks with your friends, listen to see if people are saying, “Happy 4th of July,” or “Happy Independence Day.” You might find it interesting…
Anyway… in the spirit of the holiday weekend, I wanted to share some tips for parents who plan on having their little one outside today and throughout the summer months. Did you know that a newborn baby cannot regulate their body temperature? A lot of people do know that, but when can they start to regulate their bodies on their own? Here is an article on the subject to check out. https://www.climakid.com/en/vos-enfants/everything-you-need-to-know-about-regulating-your-baby-s-temperature-b68.html#:~:text=You%20still%20have%20to%20wait,in%20temperature%20than%20an%20adult. According to Climakid, babies between 18 months and 2 years old begin to start regulating their temperature, but they are still subject to risk more than an adult. Babies are more sensitive to sunburn, skin and eye damage, skin cancer, etc. So, we need to be safe when enjoying the heat during the summer.
You are still going to take your little one to the park, sit by the pool or chill at the lake, and have grill outs with your friends and family. Alex and I love being outside, but we have both noticed that it becomes a lot harder with a six-month-old. We have had to plan, and we still end up learning something new for next time when we go out. Watch out for your kiddos falling and scrapping their knee, what about those bugs… are they safe to eat? Is sunscreen safe for babies? Do you think Savannah is too hot? Is her skin more sensitive to sunburns? The dog days of summer are here so let’s look at 7 tips to stay safe with your newborn baby & toddler in the outdoor summer heat!!
Tip #1 – Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
Alex and I are Hydro Flask people. Alex has always had twenty water bottles around the house but a couple years ago I got my 40oz Hydro Flask and Alex had to make the switch. Now she has four of them. She even wants to get a little one for Savy Bee. They are fun but they do help us drink more water. We take them everywhere with us and we constantly drink water. Savannah is just under six months old, so she isn’t drinking water yet. She is a breastfed baby, so it is important that she get fed more frequently on days we are going to be outside in the heat. She can’t sweat just yet, but she can still show signs of dehydration with flushed skin, warm to the touch, rapid breathing, and restlessness. So be conscious of how much your little one is drinking! https://www.parents.com/baby/care/newborn/making-baby-comfortable-in-summer-heat/
Tip #2 – What is the Temperature?
My grandfather has provided our entire family with a weather report almost daily for more than a couple years now. It is truly amazing, thoughtful, useful, and much appreciated! Often times I use it to watch out for “bad” weather, but we also want to think about just how hot it is going to be today. Try to avoid the hottest part of the day with your newborn if you can. Alex and I having been taking Savannah on a walk the last few weeks first thing in the morning before it gets too hot. We love it and we are avoiding the peak in temperature. Look to see if it might be cloudy this afternoon or maybe the temperature will drop in the early evening. Get a sense of how hot is just too hot. https://blog.nwf.org/2010/07/7-tips-to-safely-introduce-your-baby-to-the-outdoors/#:~:text=Summer%20heat%3A%20Go%20out%20in,for%20a%20quick%20cool%2Ddown.
Tip #3 – Dress for Success
Think cool, dry clothing. Cotton is the best for babies in the summer heat. Alex does diaper time with Savannah before bed to help cool her down. We put her in shorts and short sleeves. If we are going outside, put on a hat to keep the sun out of her face. We love the bucket hats! The lower levels of your house are typically cooler than the upstairs, so we try to hangout in the basement during the peak temperature hours. Sometimes we even turn the AC on blast. Well, actually Alex does that every day. https://simplifiedmotherhood.com/12-tips-keep-newborn-cool-in-summer/
Tip #4 – Sunscreen & Bug Spray
I have to stress here that Alex and I are not experts when it comes to what baby products are free of harmful toxins. We do our own research and make choices that we feel are safe for Savannah, but we certainly do not feel comfortable saying XYZ sunscreen or bug spray is safe. With that being said, we have found a brand that we are okay using when necessary. Babies have delicate skin, so we want to protect them from direct sunlight and sunburns. Especially for babies that might take a dip into a kiddy pool, you can consider having them wear sunscreen for an extra layer of protection. Think about a little bug spray as well. I seriously hate the thought of little Savy Bee getting bit up by a bunch of mosquitos!
Tip #5 – Stay in the Shade
Seek shelter and shade whenever you can! Hopefully you are at a place where you can go between indoors and outdoors to keep cool. When you can’ do that, look for shade. Wearing a baby carrier will help shield your newborn. Remember, direct sunlight is the biggest enemy here. If you can avoid direct sunlight, that will help you so you don’t need to think about sunscreen as much. There are even outdoor pack n plays with bug screens that are perfect for keeping your little one out of harms way.
Tip #6 – Check for Ticks
Simply just avoid bugs in general. Of course, ticks are one of the most disgusting bugs of all and if you are in thick brush, you definitely want to give your baby a check. In general, try to avoid letting your little one getting bit by a bunch of bugs. Maybe avoid ant hills or piles of wood filled with creepy crawlies. Sometimes spider bites can swell up and those toxins are more harmful to children. Again, consider using a bug spray that is safe for children if you are going to be outdoors. I am terrified of bugs and I hope that Savannah is too!
Tip #7 – Come Prepared
Hopefully, the dads out there that are not naturally organized on their own have someone around to help them in this area. Alex is the keeper of our diaper bad and she is always prepared. We have everything we need in there at a moments notice. All you have to do is make sure you think about where you are going before you head out of the house and if you are going to be outside. If you are, then grad all the study your little one is going to need. Bring a bucket hat, a couple extra blankets to lay on the ground. Grad the baby carrier. Lots of liquids, baby sunscreen and bug spray, toys that aren’t going to get hot in the sun. You don’t want to be stuck doing something with your friends and family and then have to leave because you didn’t think about your little one in the heat! https://redtri.com/bump-baby/ways-to-keep-babies-and-toddlers-cool-in-the-summer-heat/
In the end, the summer is supposed to be fun for everyone. I know I can’t wait for Savy to be just a little bit bigger so we can take her to the park to play on the swings, run around through the yard together, and get ice cream and try to eat it as it melts all over us! I will just have to watch for signs of those scary things I talked about so that Savannah is safe in the summer heat!