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A new baby in summer

A new baby in summer

Michelle Warriner - Midwife

Summer is upon us so it's time to consider how having a baby in summer is different to other seasons and what to look out for in the upcoming heat. I had a Christmas surprise, they are the best blessing!

I often go for a walk and see new babies being cuddled close in a baby carrier, with a muslin wrap over them…. Or I see a pram with a wrap draped over the top, to shield that baby from the sun. I also notice babies being clicked to their prams in the car capsule (the ones that double as both) and pushed around in summer. To most this might seem perfectly fine and protective to baby especially with our harsh sun in Australia, but that's not always the case.

Research has shown that draping a cover over your baby’s pram or over your baby in the carrier in hot weather, increases the temperature of that space very quickly. Capsules with limited airflow can get hot quickly. Babies can become VERY unwell if significantly overheated. Please remember that if you are hot SO are they.

Babies and children sweat less and their temperature increases and is not regulated as well as adults when they increase their physical activity. It's best to avoid going out in direct heat and sunlight in the middle of the day. If you need to do this please try some of the below tips:

  1. Baby sunscreen is available.
  2. Make it short and in the shade as much as possible.
  3. Remember that glare/sun reflecting off water creates sunburn too!
  4. Use an umbrella for shade rather than a blanket that limits airflow.
  5. If you are hot SO are they and probably more so.
  6. Dress baby appropriately.
  7. Think about airflow where your baby is resting - soft foam battery operated fans or other baby safe fans can be very helpful.

When dressing your new baby we generally dress them with one extra layer to what you have on. It’s also important to consider the fabric of your clothing or sleep coverings. For example, if I am wearing a light cotton shirt and I am hot, then your baby would only need a light cotton short sleeve onesie, no singlet, and no wrap. If it’s extremely hot, then just a nappy on in the shade is a perfect solution.

You may notice that your baby feeds more in the hot weather and your milk supply will match what your baby needs perfectly. Trust yourself and listen to what your body is telling you, if you are hot so are they and feeding more on hotter days is expected and normal.