When it comes to dressing baby for weather, the most difficult season to figure out - and the one of most concern to many parents - is summer. If you overdress a baby, he can develop a heat rash. If you underdress him, his body could overreact to hot conditions and he could get sunburned or have heat stroke. In the summer months, make sure your baby isn’t overheated as this has been linked to death because babies sleep more deeply when they’re hot. Watch for overheating, but also remember to bring a blanket with you wherever you go so you can cover baby if it is chilly – especially in air conditioning!
To keep your little one stays cool and comfy during the summer months:
- Pick the right clothes – A good rule is to dress baby the way you are dressed. If you’re going to spend most of your time indoors, choose loose fitting, lightweight clothing made from cotton, which absorbs perspiration better. When outdoors, dress your baby in light-colored long pants, a long sleeved t-shirt and a hat to shield his head and face.
- Provide good ventilation – Babies don’t perspire well and have difficulty controlling their temperature. That’s why they are more likely to become overheated. Never leave your baby in a hot room or in a parked car. A couple of minutes can be deadly, even if the windows are open.
- Use a summer friendly baby carrier – The combination of a parent’s body heat, combined with the confined space, can cause your baby to become hot very quickly. Try to choose a carrier made of nylon or cotton rather than a heavy fabric. If your baby starts to look flushed, remove him from the carrier immediately.
- Keep baby hydrated – Even if your baby isn’t sweating, he can become dehydrated in hot weather. If he has a flushed face, feels warm to the touch, is breathing rapidly, and appears restless, he may be dehydrated. Replace fluids by breastfeeding frequently. It is not necessary to give baby water or other fluids as breastmilk contains a large percentage of water and is all the hydration he needs.
When winter hits you’ll need to ensure your baby stays warm and dry:
- Create a cozy sleep environment – Choose a warm fitted sheet for your baby’s bed. Soft warm one piece sleepers work well. Use of blankets is not recommended because they can cover baby’s face and limit breathing.
- Easy on/off layers – A snowsuit provides great protection against cold weather and is ideal in the winter months. Simply slip baby into the snowsuit before heading outdoors. Be sure to take it off as soon as you come back indoors to prevent overheating. When you transport baby in a car seat or other carrier, be sure to choose a suit that allows access to the straps and buckles so he is safe and secure.
- Hat and mittens – A lot of heat is lost from the head so use a soft hat to keep the cold out and the heat in. If your baby’s hands are exposed when you are out and about, pop on some mittens. One piece mittens with clasps work great and prevent your little one from pulling them off and losing them. Be sure that you check periodically to ensure that the clasps have not come undone and are not wrapped around baby’s hands, fingers, feet, or legs. Remember to remove the hat when you come back inside.
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