Tips for healthy summer newborns
Although babies born in the warmer summer months are less
likely to get coughs and sniffles in their first few weeks of life,
special care needs to be taken in other areas to ensure that your
baby is healthy and comfortable.
Newborn babies can't tell you if they are too hot or cold, but
there are ways to check. Place your hand across your baby's back
underneath their clothes, or on the back of their neck. They should
feel warm, not hot or cold. Feeling a baby's hands and feet is not
an accurate way of telling whether they are cold or hot, as a
baby's hands and feet are usually slightly cooler than the rest of
his or her body.
As a general rule, your baby needs one more layer of clothing than
you do. For example, if you are wearing a t-shirt, then your baby
will need a singlet and t-shirt. In very hot weather, your baby may
need less clothing.
Cotton clothing is great for summer
newborns, as it is light and breathes well.
Your newborn's skin is soft and raw, and offers no protection from
the sun. Use specially designed sun shades, or a cloth nappy or
blanket over the car seat or pram to protect your baby from the sun
when out and about. When at the beach or park, try to choose a
shady area to sit, or take an umbrella or pop-up tent to offer your
If you are breastfeeding, then your breast milk contains
both foremilk to quench your baby's thirst, and hind milk which is
your baby's food. Your baby should not need any fluids other than
breast milk, but you may need to give shorter feeds more frequently
to keep your baby hydrated.
If you are bottle-feeding, you may need
to offer your baby cooled boiled water from a sterilized bottle or
teaspoon to ensure that he or she has enough fluids in very hot
On hot, sticky summer days and nights, you may find that your
newborn has trouble settling to sleep. Open some windows in baby's
bedroom to keep the room cool, but be sure that baby's cot or
bassinette is not in a draft. If you can't open windows, you could
try using an electric fan in baby's room, once again making sure
that it does not create a draft on baby.
If you wrap your baby when he or she is
sleeping, remove one layer of clothing before wrapping to ensure
that your baby does not get too hot. Muslin is great for wrapping
summer babies - it is very light and breathes well. Muslin wraps
are available from baby stores, or you can buy plain muslin from a
fabric store and make your own.