It’s finally summertime! Time to enjoy the sunshine, maybe make some plans to travel, snack on some watermelon, and make some happy memories! But hang on, if you have a new little one in your world, you may need some of these helpful tricks for how to survive the summer season with a young kiddo! Here are 5 tips for how to have an awesome summer with a new baby!
#1) Hats & Hydration
With the higher temperatures and brighter days, a hat is a great accessory for your new little one. Keep them looking stylish and protected from those UV rays with some lightweight hats this summer! This is especially good to think about with newborns, whose heads have very thin skin and are very sensitive. Plus, tiny hats really make kids cuter, it’s just a fact.
Along with a hat, make sure you are always packing some water for your little ones. We know, it’s often hard for you to remember to drink your own water throughout the day, but seriously, dehydration is never good for a baby. Try to monitor your child’s water intake as often as you take a drink of your own water!
#2) Keep Some Warm Clothes Handy
“When I had Julia (my daughter) in July- I was given a lot of summer clothes, but we spent a lot of time in air conditioning, so it was nice to have some warmer outfits too!” – Dawn Kurtz, Donor Development Coordinator
When we think of summer baby clothes, our minds are focused on the sunshine and great weather. Parents can easily forget to include some warm pieces of clothing in the mix. Remember, not every moment will be spent outside on a sunny day! Make sure that when you are shopping/preparing for summertime with your child, your clothing stash has some outfits that will keep them cozy in the AC! It is always a good idea to have a few layers packed in your diaper bag so that your baby can stay comfortable no matter where you are!
#3) Buy the Baby Pool
This is a great way to keep your little ones cool while spending time with them outside! Inflatable baby pools are awesome to bring along on family outings or vacations because they take up very little space when packed-up. Make some fun memories and keep your baby occupied in a safe and controlled little pool. Our Social Services Director, Kolleen Long, spends a lot of her time offering helpful classes for parents of newborns. Here’s what she says:
“A baby pool can be a lifesaver. They are inexpensive and you can set one up in a small yard or porch and it’s ready whenever you are. It’s fun to see your little one explore splashing and water toys. Of course, you will want to stay with them the whole time to ensure safety, but the bonus is, you get in with them and cool off as well. (Hint – if it’s really hot, play the “who can get mommy or daddy the most drenched” contest with toddlers. They love it!).”
#4) Test Out Your Sunscreen
Another very useful tip from Kolleen:
“Take seriously the idea to spot test products like sunscreen on your baby. We learned the hard way with our youngest that many kids are sensitive and our poor daughter had big welts for a few hours. (In her case, thankfully, a good rinse with water solved the problem . . . and no more sunscreen for some time. We used shade instead!) It is important to shield their skin from the sun as they tend to burn easier than their parents.”
Every child is different; a product that works for one may severely irritate another. Before fully using a sunscreen (or bug spray as well), have a little test on a small portion of their skin. Have water and soap handy to wash the area in case redness or inflammation starts to occur. As always, contact your physician if a serious reaction starts to develop. Better to test these things out beforehand than to be surprised in the sun!
#5) Remember: Summer Happens Every Year
Some parents may feel pressured to have the “perfect summer” with their new babies. Maybe you want the cute beach pictures, along with the fun summer day-trips, the large gatherings in the backyard with BBQ and corn on the cob, the pool days, the nicely tanned skin… pretty soon all these to-dos will make you overheat! Take a breath; it’s okay to have a low-key summer season. You do not have to do every single fun summer activity! Remember that the sunshine and the pool floaties and the sandy shores will still be around next year. Remind yourself to enjoy your time with your new baby, and to take it easy on yourself if your summer is more chilled-out than expected. Here are a few helpful words on this subject from Life’s Choices director, Joy:
“My niece was in tears a few days after her first baby was born because she thought she would never be able to do anything fun again! The realization of just how demanding a newborn is can be overwhelming to a new mom. Be assured that while bike rides, eating out and other things you did as a child-free person or couple might be temporarily out of the question, there are other fun things you can do. Those first weeks and months seem long at the time but they actually go by very quickly.
My son took up a new hobby after becoming a father – bird watching! He discovered it was fun to identify new birds and photograph them. And it was something he could do while carrying his son in the pack. Be open to new things!”
Summertime fun is absolutely possible with a new baby! This year may be different than last year, but by no means will it be less meaningful or memorable. These are just a few tips for surviving the summer with a new baby, but we believe in you! New parents, you got this!