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Summer can be a tricky time for new babies and their parents.
Heat can lead to dangerous conditions for young babies, but fortunately, there are many stylish and cool summer outfits to help babies beat the heat.
Make sure you have a wardrobe of lightweight, breathable clothing for your baby, and dress them appropriately for the weather each day.
Remember that it is best to keep babies out of the sun, but if you’re going outside, cover up your baby to help protect them.
Choosing Your Baby’s Outfit
Dress the baby as you would dress yourself.
The general rule is to dress your baby the same way you are dressed.
As you adjust your clothing throughout the day, adjust your baby’s clothing in a similar manner.
If you are wearing a T-shirt and shorts, your baby can wear the same.
If you add a hoodie on a cooler day, don’t forget to add one for your baby.
Check the weather forecast everyday to make sure that both you and your baby are dressed appropriately.
Stick with short sleeves and apply sunscreen if they’ll be outdoors.
Short sleeves are best for activities where the baby is playing outside in hot temperatures.
Babies older than 6 months can have sunscreen applied to their exposed skin.
Cover their arms and legs to protect them from insects.
If you will be by a lake or pool, you may want to consider covering up the baby’s arms and legs to protect them from bites.
Make sure they don’t get overheated, though!
Alternatively, dress your baby is short sleeves and shorts and apply an insect repellant formulated for infants.
Carry an extra layer of clothing with you.
Most babies will be fine in a basic onesie and shorts or a skirt.
To avoid overheating, keep your baby in a single layer most of the time.
Pack an extra layer, such as a button-up shirt or sweater, in the diaper bag just in case you head somewhere cooler.
For example, the baby may wear short sleeves at home, but if you go to the grocery store, they may need a light sweater.
Avoid any extra layers if the temperature is above 75 °F (24 °C).
Skip the socks when you go outside.
If you will be playing outside, leave the socks off of your baby’s feet.
That said, socks can be a great way of keeping a baby’s feet warm if they are inside an air-conditioned room.
Babies that aren’t yet walking do not need to wear shoes or socks.
Put on a onesie for bed.
Even at night, overheating can be a problem.
Instead of heavy PJs, dress your baby in a onesie or leave them in just their diaper.
If you have an air-conditioned home or the baby’s room tends to be cooler, dress them in a heavier sleeper or swaddle them in a muslin blanket.
Avoid fleece nightclothes in the summer.
Never add loose blankets to your baby’s crib to keep them warm, as they can be a suffocation hazard.
Selecting Summer Appropriate Baby Clothing
Choose lightweight fabrics to prevent overheating.
Buy loose-fitting clothing made out of a lightweight, breathable fabric.
Look for fabrics made from natural fibers, like cotton or muslin, instead of synthetic fabrics, like polyester and rayon.
You might want to use a size larger than they normally wear so air can move through their clothing.
Fabric with a tight weave offers better protection against the sun and heat than loosely woven fabric.
Find light-colored clothing.
Light-colored clothing will help make your baby feel cooler in the summer sun.
This is because light colors do not retain heat as long as dark colors.
Pastels and pale tones work best
Use a lightweight baby carrier or sling.
Baby slings can be very hot so choose one that is made from a lightweight fabric, like nylon instead of denim.
There are also carriers that are designed to make your baby feel cooler, such as the ERGObaby carrier or the BabyBjorn Air.
Protecting Your Baby from the Summer Sun
Pick out a sun hat for your child.
A hat with a brim that is 3–5 inches (7.6–12.7 cm) wide will keep the sun out of your baby’s eyes and off their face.
Many newborn baby hats come with a strap that attaches under the chin, which can help keep the hat on your baby’s head.
Keep an eye on the strap as your baby moves to make sure it isn’t too tight or cutting off circulation.
Buy UV-protected clothing to avoid sunburn.
These UV-protected clothes can be a little pricey, but they are great if you will be spending long periods of time outside.
You can buy shirts, bathing suits, hats, and rash guards for your baby with this protection.
Put a pair of sunglasses on your baby.
Pick out a pair that covers your baby’s eyes entirely.
Make sure that they protect from UV rays.
Look for a sticker that says UV400.
While your baby might not want to wear sunglasses, letting them pick out the sunglasses (if they are capable) may help convince them to wear the glasses.
However, if your baby outright refuses to do this, don’t force them.
Stay in the shade even if your baby is dressed well.
While clothing will offer some protection against the sun, you should still keep your baby in a shaded area.
Avoid direct sunlight as much as possible to protect them from both the heat and the sun.
Babies younger than six months old shouldn’t wear sunscreen.
If you can’t avoid direct sunlight, however, a very light coat of baby sunscreen is acceptable.
You can buy sunshades for strollers and prams if yours doesn’t already have one.
Offer water in between feedings on hot days.
You can put an ounce or 2 of room-temperature water in the baby’s bottle and offer small sips to them on hot days.
Do this in between feedings so they still get all the nutrition they need.
A little water can help prevent dehydration and keep your baby cool.
Monitor your child for signs of dehydration or overheating.
If your child is dehydrated or overheated, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Watch for the following symptoms:
- Lack of crying
- Dry lips and coated-looking tongue and mouth
- Skin that is red or hot to the touch
- Urinating less than usual
- Sunken and dark eyes
- Irritable and tearless crying
- Dark yellow urine
- Exhaustion and drowsiness
- Rapid breathing