Hot Weather Tips for Newborn Babies - Bugs, Pools and More
Warm weather and sunny days mean the whole family wants to be outside. But warm weather presents unique challenges for keeping baby safe from too much sun, dehydration, hot car interiors and insects such as mosquitos.
Keep the Bugs Away
Hot weather brings mosquitoes and other annoying insects. The American Academy of Pediatrics says no to bug spray for babies until they're at least two months old. After two months of age, consider the following bug spray tips:
- DEET provides some of the best protection against mosquito bites.
- Look for sprays that contain less than 30% DEET.
- The higher the percentage of DEET, the longer and better the protection.
- 10% DEET provides about two hours of bug protection.
- Use a mesh cover for baby when outside to keep the bugs away.
Getting Baby into the Pool
There's no formal recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the age when a child should be taken swimming, but most pediatricians say about 6 months is an appropriate age. That age is mostly based on baby's head control. It's easier for them to stay upright in the water once they have more neck strength and better control of their head.
Here are some tips for taking baby to the pool:
- Use swim diapers.
- Have a sun hat and use it even when baby is in the pool.
- Baby-sized sunglasses will protect their eyes from UV rays and face from the sun.
- Of course, use appropriate sunscreen.
Keeping Baby Safe in the Car in Hot Weather
Cars heat up quickly in the summer and can be hard to cool down. Before putting baby in the car, start it in advance as you would in the winter, but instead with the air conditioner on so it cools down enough. If that's not possible, be sure to check to make sure the metal and plastic parts of the car seat aren't too hot for baby.
Make sure you have good air circulation to keep baby cool. A canopy on the car seat is preferable to using blankets to cover baby. When possible, take the car seat inside with you to keep it from becoming too hot.
Use window shades on baby's window to block out the glaring sun. Some newer cars come with them preinstalled.
It almost goes without saying, but never leave baby in the car unattended, even if it's a quick minute. We all know how a quick minute can turn into five minutes or more. If you're a forgetful person, leave something in the back seat to remind you baby is in the car with you (such as a purse or cell phone). It may be hard to believe, but if baby is resting quietly, some parents have inadvertently forgotten their baby was in the car with them.
Sleeping with the AC on Indoors
The key is to keep baby warm enough but not over-bundled. A sleep sack, or other sleep clothes, instead of a blanket is highly recommended. You don't want to over-layer them. Practically speaking, you should mirror what you would do with older children or yourself, minus blankets or sheets.
The best indoor temperature for baby is similar to what you would like - between 68-72 degrees.