The Summer Sun and a Newborn
The beautiful (but hot) season of summer can present a few challenges with having a new baby. You can't sit inside for the next three months, nor should you! Instead of avoiding the heat altogether, learn how to best care for your newborn while you embrace the season.
There are several things to remember – and not all are bad – about having a baby during the hottest part of the year.
Summer Sun and a Newborn
If you are hot, your baby is hot.
Find shade, head back inside, or jump under a lukewarm shower together to cool off.
Hello Vitamin D!
Vitamin D is naturally provided through sunshine, and it conveniently helps reduce jaundice levels and increases the immune system. This does not mean that your baby needs hours in the sun each day, but a stroll around the block will do her good! Even indirect sunshine will help her tiny body absorb Vitamin D.
Newborns CANNOT drink water.
Nurse and feed your baby on demand. This means that the breast should be offered often when outside, and even more often if your baby is fussy. (Or have a bottle in a cooler at the ready.)
Water is not recommended until 6 months of age or older, as it can harm your infant. (Remember to drink plenty of water yourself, though! A hydrated mom is a mom who’s milk supply should not be affected by the heat.)
Chlorine is Not Newborn Friendly.
After giving birth, a mother shouldn’t be in a pool until all postpartum bleeding has ended, and her OB/midwife has given the green light to swim. With that being said, a newborn has no business being in a chlorinated body of water either. That new baby skin absorbs everything, including harmful chemicals. Wait a few months before exposing her precious skin.
Sunscreen is not recommended until 6 months or older, but if you are nervous about sun exposure, rub some coconut oil on your baby’s skin to create a barrier. This will not give 100% protection from a sunburn, but it can help a bit. Make sure to use a sun hat and light-weight clothing as protection.
It is a myth that babies need to be dressed warmer than you; this is especially true in the summer months. Stick to light-weight, cotton clothing with a brimmed hat that keeps the sun off of your baby’s face. No blankets are needed unless it is being used as a shade and is extremely light.
It’s Not Flu Season, But the Summer Cold Does Exist
There is no reason to be a germ-a-phobe, but know that there is plenty of pink eye, coughing, and snot that flies around during this time of year. If you are a breastfeeding mom, chances are your baby won’t catch anything because of the magic that is breastmilk, but it’s always smart to be aware of others around you. Wear your newborn to keep others from spreading their YUCK.
Babywearing to Regulate Body Temperature
Keep your baby skin to skin against your chest in a breathable carrier to help prevent her from overheating. Make sure to nurse frequently and head into the air conditioning often.
Luke Warm Baths Together – or Nightly ‘Wipe Downs’
Make sure to rinse all of those little baby folds because the body heat produces moisture that can build and cause thrush (yeast) growth. Thrush is nothing you want to deal with, so avoiding it would be ideal.
The heat can cause crankiness, fussiness, and lots of crying… it can also cause:
- Heat Stroke
- Heat Rash
- Increased Baby Acne
- Damp Hair
- Flushed Cheeks
- Heat Rash
- Rapid Breathing
Never second guess calling your doctor if you feel your baby may be suffering from excessive sun exposure!