GETTING YOUR BABY THROUGH THE SUMMER

Summer is finally upon us! Time for bright sunshine, shorts and flip-flops, BBQs, picnics in the park, and trips to the beach. There’s nothing like summer fun!

However, if you have a baby, you might know that taking care of your child during these sunny times is different from the rest of the year. While summer brings fun and excitement, there are also many bugs, heat, and lots of noise your baby will be experiencing How do you help your little one get through these months while enjoying its first summer?

Let’s go over what you’ll need to do:

The Boiling Heat:

Summers can get very hot and it gets hotter in some places compared to others. People of all ages need to be careful when the temperature rises immensely, and babies need their parents to help them be careful.

Although it is perfectly fine for your baby or toddler to be outside during the summer, once it reaches 90 degrees and above, precaution needs to be taken. Children that young need to be kept away from such heat because it can make them irritable and they aren’t able to sweat as much as adults (sweating allows the body to cool down). They are also at risk for heat strokes and other heat-related illnesses because of their inability to sweat.

To help them cope, dress them in light-colored and light-weight clothing. Makes plans for extra rest time and even naps, since even babies get tired from the heat. Limit their time outside on extra hot days, or bring them outside in the early morning or early evening, when the sun isn’t so high. And when they’re outside, make sure to lather them up with plenty of sunscreen. You may have noticed that babies’ skin is softer and more delicate than adults, so they’re going to need lots of it, especially if your child is six months and older. If they’re younger, it would be best to stay in the shade.

Most especially, give your little one plenty of water. You might need to encourage or sweet talk to get them to drink water, but hydrating is as important for a baby as it is for everyone. Let’s not forget babies are miniature humans and are carrying the heavy weight of summer heat like all of us.

But they are still vulnerable and helpless human beings, and that is why you must never do the following: let your baby swim in a pool with little to no supervision or leave them alone in the car even for just a quick dash into the store. Both situations are highly dangerous and often lead to a baby’s death. During this summer, there will be news reports of babies getting sick or dying from being left in a car on a hot day or from not being carefully watched while playing in the pool. Please do not be one of the parents!

De-Bugging Your Baby:

Summer brings about great things, but there is a downside: all the bugs that come out. Be it ants, fireflies, dragonflies, and worst of all, mosquitoes, summer means protecting yourself from such pests - including your baby.

The good news is you can use insect repellant on your child if it is as young as two months. Just be careful to use repellants that won’t irritate your baby’s young skin. Always spray your hands first and then wipe the repellant on your child, but on their hands so they won’t put their repellant-covered hands into their mouth. Also, check to see if a repellant is baby-skin friendly because not all are.

If you are going to be outdoors at night, dress your child in neutral colors and nothing dark or bright, since those colors attract mosquitoes. Fully dress them, in light materials, and even cover their feet with socks or closed-toe shoes so bugs won’t bite their toes.

If your stroller already comes with a mosquito net, great! It is also recommended to bathe your baby after being outdoors to clean off any small bugs that may be on them (like ticks, which you certainly want to keep off your children) and to rid their skin of the repellants for the day.

Finally, while your baby or toddler is outside roaming and exploring their world, make sure they don’t get too curious about any bugs, like ants or bees. While some ants are harmless, they are still a nuisance, and then some aren’t safe. And we all know about bees…

Ka-Boom!

Summer brings many fireworks displays, and they are a delight to many. Unfortunately, your child may not yet understand their appeal and only thinks they make loud scary noises.

For your infant, you may want to cover their ears and have an escape plan if the fireworks show you’re at proves to be too much for the young one. If you have a toddler and they start to get uncomfortable, make sure to comfort them and don’t brush off their worries. Instead, start a game on how many booms they hear or bring a stuffed animal so they would have something to clutch during the show.

At the same time, bring plenty of snacks and friends and family to the show. Being surrounded by loved ones who are enjoying the fireworks may help the toddler relax when they see everyone else having fun.

Summer brings so much joy and wonderful memories, but you wouldn’t want to have any negative memories of your baby’s summer, especially the first one. Just be mindful and careful of the problems that come with the dog days of summer, and you’ll be assured that your baby will have as much of an exciting summer as you! 

Photo by Barbara Ribeiro via Pexels