Caring for Babies During the Changing Seasons
With the arrival of April, the seasons are quickly starting to change. The Northern Hemisphere is moving into Spring, while Autumn kicks off in the Southern half of the world. The move into colder weather in particular weakens the immune system and many adults risk getting colds and flus; this is even more the case in new babies, because they haven’t been around for long enough for their immune systems to fully develop! Another thing that newborn babies especially aren’t very good at is regulating their body temperature, which means they need some time to get used to changes in the temperature of their environment. In this post, I will give you some tips to help make the change of seasons a smooth and easy transition for your baby.
When Cold Weather Hits...
When it starts to get cold outside, it’s very important to keep babies warm and dry! Babies and small children can get cold much more easily than older kids and adults, so they need to be dressed more warmly. Snuggly, soft clothes are a great idea, and when it’s really cold, a hat and some soft mittens can make a big difference (because most heat is lost from the head, hands and feet!) in keeping your baby warm.
You can also create a cozy sleep environment for your baby to help them sleep better through the night, as the colder temperatures can make them wake up more often, or much earlier in the morning.
If bub falls sick, make sure you know when to visit the doctor. Keep an eye out for signs such as wheezing or trouble breathing, diarrhea and/or vomiting, and baby pulling on or rubbing their ear. If their symptoms are milder (such as a mild cough, sneezing, runny nose, etc) there are some simple things you can do to help them. You can read about them here.
When Summer arrives...
The warmer months of the year can be a challenging time of for both babies and for the people looking after them. There is so much to consider: if you overdress your baby, he or she could overheat or develop a heat rash. Overheating in babies is extremely dangerous and has been linked to death in some cases, so make sure you know the signs of overheating and watch out for them. On the other hand, however, it’s also important to keep in mind that if you underdress your baby, he or she could get sunburned or even get heat stroke.
As a general guide, consider dressing your baby in lightweight, loose fitting clothing made from bamboo (such as our gorgeous bamboo baby rompers, available here), which absorbs perspiration better and help keep your baby cool. To protect your baby from the sun when outdoors, dress them in light-coloured long pants and a long-sleeved shirt to shield their sensitive skin from the harmful UV rays. Always remember bringing a hat with you for your baby to wear whenever you leave the house in summer, to protect bub’s head and face which could easily get sunburned.
Babies have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so make sure that whatever environment your baby is in has good ventilation. Never, ever leave your baby in a hot room or in a parked car, even if it’s been parked in the shade! Even just a couple of minutes in a hot environment can be deadly, even with the car or room windows open. Keep an eye out for warning signs that your baby is too hot and dehydrated, such as a flushed face, feeling warm to the touch, rapid breathing, and restlessness.
Make sure to combat the risk of dehydration (which can easily happen in hot weather, even if bub isn’t sweating) by replacing fluids more frequently. If breastfeeding, it is not necessary to give water or other fluids, as breastmilk itself actually contains a large percentage of water which provide the hydration that your baby needs.
The heat isn’t the only concern during summer months: air-conditioned environments can make babies too cold, as well as vulnerable to getting sick from the rapid change in environment from the outside heat to the cool, air-conditioned room and vice versa. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to carry a light, breathable blanket with you at all times to be able to keep your baby comfortable even in a colder room. Remember to keep your baby out of the direct air flow, and when at home, keep your air conditioner set at 23 – 25 degrees Celsius.
While the change of the seasons can certainly be challenging to navigate with newborn babies, if you keep in mind these simple suggestions then you’ve pretty much covered all the bases! Here in Australia, the weather is gradually cooling down. So, if you haven’t already, make sure you grab some extra warm clothes and blankets for your baby so that the colder days and nights don’t catch you by surprise! Our baby boy and baby girl gift hampers each contain one super soft and cozy blanket, as well as other quality products, perfect for bubs that are born in the cooler months. (You can check those out here!)
I would love to hear what your tips are for caring for your baby during the changing seasons. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
❤️ Monika Hricko,
Inspire Baby Wear