Summer Letter 2015
Now that summer is here, you probably welcome the warm weather. Yet the heat can bring new challenges in keeping your newborn comfortable and safe. We’ve gathered information to help you feel confident about dressing and protecting your new baby this season.
Pediatrician and author of Heading Home With Your Newborn, Jennifer Shu, says babies are comfy wearing about the same amount of clothing as adults in the summer. So, if you’re okay in a shorts and a T-shirt, your infant should be fine as well. In the winter, she says, it’s wise to add one extra layer.
When outside, keep baby out of direct sunlight as much as possible and try to avoid intense sunlight between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Protect newborn skin with lightweight cotton pants, a long-sleeved shirt and a wide-brimmed hat. Invest in an umbrella, in case you can’t find shade.
For infants under 6 months, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a minimal amount of sunscreen for exposed skin, such as the face. For older babies, you can apply sunscreen to all areas – just be careful around the eyes. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours and after swimming.
It’s also important to emphasize the importance of hydration. Dr. Shu says offer, but don’t force, a little more breast milk or formula during hot weather. Babies will drink more naturally when in need. Dr. Shu also advises healthy babies do not need extra water, even in the summer heat – breast milk or formula provides all the fluid they need. When solid food is introduced, offer small amounts.
Finally, babies should never be left in a hot room or inside a parked car. Babies cannot regulate their body heat in the same way as adults, and the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rise quickly. Tragically, every year, children die from being left in hot cars.
A little knowledge and a few precautionary steps can help you and your newborn enjoy these long, hazy days of summer – comfortably and safely.
Linda Ciampa, RN