Babies need to care for every season. However, summers, with their soaring temperatures, can bring their share of woes.
With their soaring temperatures, Summers can bring their share of woes, which in turn can make your baby irritable and uncomfortable. Your baby is getting too hot if he or she is sweating, cheeks are flushed, hair is damp and has a heat rash. You need to ensure that your baby is relaxed and comfortable at all times.
Swapping that adorable miniature snowsuit for a teeny tiny swimsuit shows off your little one’s chubby arms and dimpled knees. But with warm weather exposure comes a new set of risks to your baby’s tender skin, including the sun’s harmful rays and biting insects. Your job: to protect that kissable coating with these simple summer skincare tips. Online baby product directory at My Baby Nursery.
Babies and young children can become ill during scorching weather. Their health can be seriously affected by:
- heat exhaustion and heatstroke
Try these tips for keeping your child happy and healthy in the heat.
Keep your baby cool and protect them from the sun.
- Babies less than six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight. Their skin contains too little melanin, which is the pigment that gives skin, hair and eyes their colour and provides some protection from the sun.
- Older babies should also be kept out of the sun as much as possible, particularly in the summer and between 11 am and 3 pm, when the sun is at its strongest. If you go out when it’s hot, attach a parasol or sunshade to your baby’s pushchair to keep them out of direct sunlight.
- Apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to your baby’s skin. Make sure the product also protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Many brands produce sunscreen specifically for babies and young children, as these products are less likely to contain additives that might irritate the skin. Apply the Sunscreen regularly, mainly if your child is in and out of the sea or paddling pool.
- Make sure your child wears a sun hat with a wide brim or a long flap at the back to protect their head and neck from the sun.
Like adults, babies and young children need to drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated.
From 0 to 6 Months
- Fully breastfed babies do not need any water until they’ve started eating solid foods. During hot weather, they may want to breastfeed more than usual.
- If you’re bottle-feeding, as well as their regular milk feeds, you can give your baby a little cooled boiled water. If your baby wakes at night, they’ll probably want milk. If they have had their usual milk feeds, try cooled boiled water as well.
- Remember, you can ask your health visitor or another health professional for advice about any baby care issue; advice will then be tailored to meet your baby’s needs.
From Around 6 Months
- Once you have started introducing solid foods, you should offer your baby sips of water from a cup or beaker with meals. Remember that breastmilk or infant formula should be their leading drinks during the first year. In hot weather, you may need to offer some additional water outside of mealtimes.
From 12 Months
- Water, breast milk or whole cows’ milk should be your baby’s leading drinks. You can try giving them frozen lollies made from plain water or from very diluted fruit juice to help keep them hydrated in hot weather. Lollies made from diluted fruit juice should only be given at mealtimes because they can cause tooth decay.
- For older children, provide them with plenty of fruit and salad to help keep their fluid levels up. Remember that undiluted fruit juice or smoothies should not be given to children until they are five years old.
Follow the tips below to help keep your children cool and safe during hot weather.
- Playing in a paddling pool is a good way of keeping babies and children cool. Keep the pool in the shade during scorching weather and supervise the children carefully at all times.
- Run them a cool bath before bedtime.
- Keep your child’s bedroom cool during the day by closing blinds or curtains. You can also use a fan to circulate the air in the room.
- Keep nightwear and bedclothes to a minimum. If your baby kicks or pushes off the covers during the night, consider putting them in just a nappy with a single well-secured sheet that will not work loose and cover their face or get entangled during the night.
- A nursery thermometer will help you monitor the temperature of your baby’s room. Your baby will sleep most comfortably when their room is between 16C and 20C.
What to Know About Sunburn in Babies and Toddlers
Because a baby’s skin is thin and delicate, it can quickly get sunburned. And as you probably know from personal experience, that can hurt. To make matters worse, one bad sunburn in childhood doubles the risk of malignant melanoma, the most dangerous kind of skin cancer, later in life. So it’s no wonder that sunscreen and summer skincare has become synonymous.
How to Treat Sunburn in Babies and Toddlers
First, cool the baby’s skin by gently applying a cold, wet washcloth for 10 to 15 minutes, three or four times a day, until the redness goes away. Then soothe the skin with aloe vera gel or a mild, hypoallergenic moisturizer. Most sunburns make the skin red, warm and painful. If your child is younger than one year old and gets a sunburn, call your pediatrician. Call the doctor if a sunburn is severe for older kids, meaning it’s very red and may come with blistering, fever, chills, and pain. As long as you have the okay from your doctor, you can also offer an age-appropriate dose of acetaminophen to babies two months and older and of ibuprofen to babies six months and older. Be sure to keep your child out of the sun until the sunburn heals.
How to Prevent Sunburn in Babies and Toddlers
When it comes to summer skincare, there’s a lot you can do to keep your tot from getting burned. Try to stay inside when the sun is hottest between 10 am and 4 pm and schedule your outdoor play sessions around that peak sun time frame. Dress the baby in a hat with a wide brim and lightweight clothes made of tightly-woven fabric to ideally cover as much skin as possible. And about 15 to 30 minutes before going outside, apply a child-safe sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher, broad-spectrum and waterproof). With younger babies (under six months), dab a small amount on tiny patches of exposed skin and rely on shade and clothing, like lightweight long-sleeve shirts and pants, to do the rest. With older babies and toddlers, slather away — reapplying every couple of hours, especially after water play.
How to Protect Your Baby’s Skin from the Hot Summer Sun
Over two decades, the definition of parenting has changed immensely. In earlier times, parents used to take their baby out only after they turned six months old. Today, parents want to explore everything with their newborn. They want to enjoy each moment, click pictures and make beautiful memories with them. It is indeed lovely to go out with the baby in the sunshine, but the cumulative nature of sun damage indicates that babies should be protected from exposure to UV and infrared rays from the day they are born.
Use the Right Kind of Sun Protection Cream
Use Sunscreen even for infants six months and younger. Apply Sunscreen all over your baby’s face and body 20 minutes before heading outside.
The UVA (skin-damaging), UVB (burning rays) and infrared rays cause sunburn to the baby and do long-term damage to their skin. Thus, it is essential to choose the right kind of sun protection cream or spray that protects the baby from all three, i.e. UVA, UVB and Infrared rays. It is also essential to check that the sun protection product has been dermatologically tested and suitable for babies and kids.
Parents should also buy those sunscreen creams which are water-resistant, so if your baby goes out and is exposed to moisture during a swim or while sweating, the layer of protection doesn’t smudge away. Also, before buying these creams, please check the PA rating mentioned on the tube/bottle of the product. Any cosmetic product for babies with a PA rating below 4 is not ideal for the baby’s skin protection.
Here are a few tips to prevent damage to your child’s skin and spend a happy summer:
- Many doctors and child specialists recommend using baby sunscreen, especially for sweltering days when the sun peaks. In addition to sun protection, parents should also be alert to ensure that the baby does not feel too warm and drinks plenty of fluids.
- Several times, babies resist the application of sunscreens, but parents must not let them be exposed to the outdoors without it. For tiny babies, other than sunscreen lotions and creams, parents must buy hats, caps, and cotton cloths that can lower heatwaves and skin damage.
- It’s vital to choose Sunscreen that is optimally effective against the sun’s harmful rays, keeping the health of the young skin a priority. Try to look for broader features like water-resistant SPF (Sun Protection Factor), which is easy to apply and includes natural moisturizing extracts to use one product suitable for all activities like swimming, travelling and playing.
- A lot of sunblocks comes in different variants like creams and sprays. Bottled sprays can make application easy on babies who don’t like to be touched much. However, a creamy base may take longer to apply but provides high protection for sensitive and delicate skin; they’re worth it to make sure your baby is fully covered.
During the hot season, your baby may sweat. Bathing your baby regularly, at least twice a day or more, if your baby likes having a bath will keep her comfortable and help her sleep better. The water should be lukewarm and not too cold. Always check the water temperature before bathing your baby. Pay special attention to washing your baby’s neck, armpits and all folds in your baby’s skin while cleaning. Pat, your baby, dry well afterwards. Check out our range of nursery change table change mats here.
Avoid getting your baby dehydrated. Even though your baby does not sweat, s/he loses fluids. Rapid breathing, restlessness, warm skin, a flushed face are some signs of a baby being dehydrated. Babies below six months should not be given any water. They should just be nursed frequently.
Watch Out for Sunburns
If you have to step out in the sun, make your baby wear full sleeves and full pants made of light cotton. A wide-brimmed sun hat is also essential to protect your baby from direct sun.
To avoid heat rashes or prickly heat caused due to sweating and clogging of sweat glands, keep your baby indoors away from the heat as much as possible. Avoid carrying your baby for too long in a sling or a baby carrier, as this makes babies very hot and sweaty.
Some babies may get rashes due to talcum powder, while for some, it may help keep the baby’s skin dry. While applying, do make sure to keep the powder away from your baby so that your baby doesn’t inhale any of it. Look for signs of rash, if any, and discontinue using talcum powder if there is.
You can apply any light oil for massaging your baby during summers. Make sure that you wash it off well while bathing. There should not be excess oil on your baby’s skin which might block the sweat glands. On the other hand, no oil at all can make your baby’s skin dry.
Watch out for skin allergies to baby wipes and body lotions during summers. They can cause irritation and dryness of the skin in some babies. If your baby has eczema or dry skin, apply a suitable body lotion to keep the skin moisturized after a bath.
Your baby can’t tell you she’s had too much sun, and it’s essential to avoid even minor sunburns. If her skin looks red, she may have already been burned. Take her indoors immediately.
Seek the Shade.
Let your baby play outdoors, but limit direct exposure to the sun. Bring an umbrella or a tent to the beach, park, or pool — and get one specifically designed to filter UV rays. Outfit your infant with a wide-brimmed hat, tightly woven full-length clothing, and sunglasses, and go inside during the middle of the day.
Test for Allergies.
Use just a tiny amount of lotion on Baby’s skin at first to see if she is allergic to it. Para-aminobenzoic (PABA) is the ingredient most often linked to allergic reactions. Also, watch for cinnamates, benzophenones, and anthranilates. If your child’s skin gets irritated, switch to a brand that contains other ingredients.
Look for a High SPF.
Products with an SPF below 15 won’t prevent overexposure to UV rays. For the best protection, reapply a child’s Sunscreen with a high SPF every two hours when outdoors. If your infant perspires or goes for a swim with you, reapply every 40 minutes. Don’t forget to cover the backs of the ears, knees, and hands. And remember to use sunscreen even on cloudy and cool days.
What to Know About Heat Rash in Babies and Toddlers
Heat rash, or prickly heat, is a typical summer skincare problem. It shows up as tiny red bumps on the face, neck, armpits and upper torso and can make for one very cranky child. That’s because the blemishes caused by clogged sweat gland pores that trap perspiration is pretty darn itchy and uncomfortable.
How to Treat Heat Rash in Babies and Toddlers
Cool your prickly tot with a lukewarm bath. Use a mild soap and nix any powder or lotion after, which can further block pores. The rash will usually fade within a week, but call the doctor if you see bumps and swelling (those could be signs of a yeast or bacterial infection).
How to Prevent Heat Rash in Babies and Toddlers
Keep your baby from getting too hot and bothered in the first place. In sweltering weather, cut down on time she spends hanging out in a sling or carrier (your body heat plus the lack of ventilation isn’t a great combo) and dress your tot in loose-fitting, lightweight clothes.
What to Know About Insect Bites in Babies and Toddlers
Are insects bugging your baby? While most insect bites are harmless, your little one is bound to be bothered by the itch or the occasional sting.
How to Treat Insect Bites in Babies and Toddlers
Wash the area with soap and water. Then apply a cold, wet washcloth to reduce any swelling or pain. With itchy bites, you can also use calamine lotion. If you notice signs of an allergic reaction (such as severe pain or swelling, difficulty breathing, hives or itching all over the body), call the pediatrician ASAP.
How to Prevent Insect Bites in Babies and Toddlers
For babies younger than two months, the best defence is a chemical-free one: Dress newborns in lightweight long-sleeve tops, long pants, a hat and socks to ward off biting bugs. Apply 0.5 per cent permethrin bug spray to clothes to protect against mosquitoes and ticks; the protection should last several washes. You can also cover your baby’s stroller with insect netting and head indoors at dusk when the mosquitoes come out. My Baby Nursery is your one-stop baby product store.
The good news is that it’s safe to use products containing DEET or picaridin (your best bets against biting insects) on infants older than two months, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), as long as you avoid products that contain more than 30 per cent DEET or 10 per cent picaridin. Whatever insect repellent you use, please don’t put it on your child more than once a day and avoid getting it near her eyes, mouth or hands. When you’re back inside, remember to wash it off with soap and water.