There’s a bee coming towards your baby’s tiny foot and you can’t work the parasol. Summer with a newborn can be… testing. Here’s how to navigate it.
There’s no doubt that summer with a newborn is a special thing. You can spend your maternity leave wandering around parks, lazing in the garden while your baby sleeps or eating ice-cream as your baby relaxes in their pram. Plus there’s no doubting that night feeds are easier when the sun rises at 5am.
Yet some things are more challenging when you’re a new parent. Here are our summer newborn SOS tips…
Under six months, babies’ skin contains too little melanin to give any protection from the sun so they shouldn’t be exposed at all. When they are in the pram, attach a clip-on parasol or sunshade. Don’t cover the pram with a blanket, towel or even a trusty muslin because your baby can overheat this way.
Read more sun safety tips here.
Water, milk and what to do about hydration
If you’re breastfeeding your baby, they won’t need to be given water. They’ll probably just want to feed more often.
If you’re formula feeding, offer some cooled boiled water when it’s hot in between feeds. This should ward off dehydration.
Ask any new parent and they’ll tell you how much time they spend worrying over the temperature in their baby’s bedroom. The ideal temperature for your baby is between 16°C (61°F) and 20°C (68°F). The best way to measure it exactly is with a thermometer.
During the day, keep curtains or blinds closed, open doors and windows, and even put a fan in the room to circulate air. Don’t leave a fan in there when your baby goes in to sleep though, as that can be a danger.
Baby summer clothes
You had your baby at the peak of summer and now you have some new outfits ready for them, courtesy of generous friends and family. Yet the only thing your baby really needs right now is their nappy.
Even for sleep, a vest or just a nappy are fine on the hottest nights. You’ll get to those lovely outfits later, when the weather breaks in three days’ time – this is the UK after all.
Baby summer carriers
You might be keen to try babywearing but are worried about your poor baby getting sweaty in the sling. You could choose a carrier made from lightweight nylon rather than a heavier fabric.
But whatever you do, always stick to the manufacturer’s instructions and follow sling safety guidance, TICKS, which stands for:
Tight for adequate support
In view at all times (this refers to your baby’s face)
Close enough to kiss (your baby’s forehead or head)
Keep baby’s chin off their chest to ensure breathing isn’t restricted
Supported back so the baby can’t slump and restrict their airway.
What do you actually do with a newborn baby in the summer months? It’s a good question.
You could try taking them swimming to cool them down in your local pool or try some exercise outdoors. Babies are often happy with the simple things in life. You could try lying them down in the garden and blowing some bubbles over them.
Or you could simply put them in the carrier and head off for a lovely walk. Your local NCT branch is a great way to make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area. Find out what activities you could join in with.
Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.
You might find attending one of our Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.