Last updated January 4th, 2021
Knowing how to dress your newborn in summers can be very confusing because cold is not a threat anymore but then, what is the threat in summers? Trust me, things can start to get ugly if your newborn is not dressed according to the weather demands. There’s a whole list of things that can go wrong for your newborn in hot weather, like overheating, dehydration, SIDS, and sunburn. Never take summers lightly and dress your newborn carelessly, because their tiny little bodies are unable to regulate their body temperature yet. I’ve compiled all your questions regarding, how to dress up your baby for summer? what to buy? and how to prevent your baby from overheating? Here’s a list of things to keep in mind, to prepare for the approaching summer for your baby.
Summers can be very testing for your newborn, for their hypothalamus that is responsible for regulating body temperature is still developing. The Hypothalamus, a small portion of the brain responds to external and internal stimuli, and in turn, makes changes to keep the body within 1 to 2 degrees of 98.6 degrees. Also, babies under 6 months have relatively fewer amounts of melanin in their skin, as compared to adults. Melanin, a skin pigment, present in hair, skin, and eyes, is a crucial natural pigment, that protects the skin from the Ultraviolet rays of the sun. This pigment also helps in blocking the processes that contribute to skin cancer in the body. Due to less production of melanin in newborns, they shouldn’t be exposed to the sun to avoid any damage to the skin. Use a sunshade to avoid direct exposure to the sun and make sure not to cover the pram with a blanket or towel, as it can overheat the body of your little one by entrapping the hot air inside. Breastfeed your baby as much as possible to make sure that your newborn is hydrated enough in the hot weather. For formula feeding babies, make sure to offer them a few sips of cold boiled water between feeds to avoid dehydration. Last but not least, never put a hat and socks on your newborn as you will be preventing his body from cooling down naturally.
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Dressing up your newborn for the hot weather
Just like winters, you need to protect your baby from summers as well. These hot and humid days are also very challenging for newborns, who have just arrived in this world of extreme weather. Here’s how you can keep your newborn safe in summers during day and night:
- In summers, when the temperature is beyond 75 degrees, a single layer of cloth would be enough for the newborn to protect him from the weather during the day.
- Be it winters or summers, make sure to use a hat for your baby to protect against the sun and its UV rays.
- Our earth is not what it used to be, so make sure to never expose your baby to direct sunlight in summer. Most doctors support using sunscreens even for babies, though The Food and Drug Administration doesn`t endorse using sunscreen for babies under six months. Never expose your baby especially newborn to the sun, in both winters and summers. At midday, the sun is at its strongest so make sure to keep your baby under a shade while going out on a beach. Expose your little one to direct sunlight for not more than a few minutes to avoid sunburns and other skin conditions.
- If sun exposure is inevitable then make sure to keep your newborn within shade at all cost, and use 100% UV protection glasses, to protect those angel eyes.
- For your onesie wearing newborn, you do not need to add another layer in summer, but add one if you want to be safe, just in case.
- opt for lightweight cotton shorts, pants, or a skirt for your newborn, as they let your baby’s legs be free and cool down during excruciating summers.
- During hot days, use light fabrics for your newborn specifically for the night. Sleep sack and another layer of fabric would make up enough layers for your little one for the summer sleep. Also, use a sling or carrier that is breathable so that your baby does not get too hot.
- Keep the temperature inside your house in mind while dressing your baby for sleep. If your house is cold, then dress your newborn in full sleeves onesie or cover her with a light blanket.
Dressing up your newborn for any weather
Using layer rule is your best bet against any weather. Always dress up your baby in as many layers as your baby needs, and then add one more to be safe. Never dress your baby in wet or damp clothes, as it can cause hypothermia despite the weather being normal.
Always check your baby’s diaper while outside and no matter the temperature, keep your baby shielded from the direct sunlight.
The right temperature for your baby
Your baby’s temperature in the womb was about 37.7 degrees C, so make sure that your newborn’s temperature is always between 98-100 degrees F or 36-37 degrees C regardless of the outside temperature. You can take a forehead or rectal temperature of your baby for accuracy, anything out of normal range can be a sign of illness.
One most of the most important things to remember during extreme weather is the temperature of your baby’s nursery. Make sure to keep the temperature of your baby’s nursery between 68-72 degrees F. For a preterm baby, the temperature needs to be a bit higher around 72 degrees F.
Both hotness and coldness can pose serious threats to your baby, for instance, the risk of SIDS increases if it’s too hot, or the risk of hypothermia increases if it’s too cold. Remember to dress your newborn up in a lighter, acrylic fabric, when he is sick or having a fever in summer.
During summer days, keep the curtains of the room closed, doors, and windows open, and place a fan to circulate the air. But avoid leaving a fan in your baby’s room for too long, as it can be dangerous.
Signs that your newborn is too hot or cold
Newborns and babies tend to look flushed and sweaty when they are overheated, they also tend to breathe fast than normal. Overheatness in newborns is not to be taken lightly as it can lead to heatstroke if ignored.
If you find your baby burning, then make sure to take layers off one by one. Call your pediatrician if the condition persists even after taking layers off, as it can be deadly for your little one with developing body functions.
Hypothermia and frostbite are very common among newborns that suffer from over coldness. You will find your baby lethargic and unresponsive when cold. In frostbite, your baby will have blisters over the affected areas or may have white or pale gray patches on the skin.
Winters or summers won’t be a threat to your baby if you know how to keep your baby comfortable. Follow your intuition and add layers according to your newborn’s need. You cannot control temperatures when you are outside, so head inside if you feel like the temperature is out of control and can affect your baby.
Are socks and hats essential for newborns?
Unlike adults, babies can only sweat within a limit, and from certain body parts like the neck, hands, feet, and head. Due to their limited ability to sweat they can get overheated easily, in summers. So, by putting hats and socks on your baby you are limiting his ability to cool himself down.
Avoid dressing your newborn baby in socks and hats during summer, unless it’s a sun hat, even then try keeping your baby in shade to avoid direct exposure to UV rays from the sun.
Newborns are rather sensitive to hot and cold as compared to children because their hypothalamus is still maturing and their bodies are still adjusting to the new environment.
Dress your newborn according to the changing weather and keep checking the temperature to make sure that your baby is not too hot. Be conscious of your indoor and outdoor temperature when dressing up your little one for sleep. Make sure to see your doctor if your newborn is being floppy or irritable, for this could be a sign of heat stress.
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Hajira is a certified editor, an experienced and thoughtful writer, and a mother of two. Her deliberate passion for writing convinced her to become a writer along with her mom duties. Driven by her passion for writing, she takes pride in providing the best possible. She aims to incite and provoke enthusiasm in her readers.