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Your Baby's First Summer - What Do You Need To Be Mindful Of?

We relive many events through our children, appreciating fresh experiences through new eyes. Our children’s first experience of summer is special and can be downright magical. So many new things lay in wait for discovery, from colourful flowers and butterflies to a whole variety of birds and other critters.

You spend a lot of time outside enjoying the warm temperatures together. However, in order to enjoy summer to the fullest, you should keep a few things in mind. We have gathered a few of the most important considerations and many useful tips in this article.

The right clothes

Choosing the right clothes can easily become a daunting task for parents. We think most about the heat in summer, but babies can also easily become cold. On one hand, the baby should not be left to freeze, but on the other, they also should not have to sweat. 

This becomes a particular problem during day trips that might start early in the morning when it’s still cool, but also last through the full heat of the day. In such a situation, it makes sense to pack different outfits or dress the little one in layers and proceed according to the onion principle. The warmer it gets, the more you can take off.

In very hot weather, however, you should make sure that the outfit still consists of long sleeves and long trousers because it’s important to protect as much skin as possible from the sun's rays.  In these cases, a head covering is also important.

Babies cool down surprisingly quickly, especially when we are in the shade for protection. It is therefore advisable to always have a change of clothes or a warmer layer with you. 

A baby's wardrobe should be versatile and include good combination options in order to be well prepared for all eventualities.

The right sun protection

In addition to clothing itself, other sun protection should be available to protect a child’s delicate skin from the sun’s aggressive rays. Some strategies include:

  • Find and remain in the shade as much as possible
  • Bring your own parasol or sunshade with you
  • Any sunscreen should be specially formulated and used as little as necessary - due to babies’ sensitive skin, clothing is a safer sun protector than sunscreen

Proper hydration for babies

Many mothers wonder whether their baby also needs water in addition to breastfeeding. In truth, they do not. Breast milk itself consists of about 80 % water in addition to providing the baby with all the nutrients it needs. Supplementary water or other beverages could even be harmful. A baby with a full belly might reject breastfeeding and thus also miss out on all the important nutrients that are not contained in water.

If however a baby is a little older and is already eating some solid foods or even snacks, then it is important to make sure that the baby is hydrated. Water or unsweetened tea are the best options.

Is the baby too warm or too cold?

Especially on very hot days, it is important to carefully observe the baby's condition. In summer there is a danger of sweating on the one hand and freezing on the other. Babies are not yet able to express themselves, which is why we must look after their condition closely.

A good way to monitor a baby’s condition is to check their neck. Being nearer the core, the neck gives a more accurate reading of a baby’s internal temperature. 

If the baby’s neck is cool, and especially if the feet are also cold and the face is pale, then the baby is chilled. In this case, a layer of clothing should be put on immediately. You can make sure the new layer is enough by continuing to monitor the same symptoms.

If the baby's neck is damp, they are sweating. In this case, a cooler place should be sought, or clothing should be removed.

As your child grows, you will no doubt look for more involved and overtly educational activities, such as Summer Schools, but for now you can relax and enjoy a much more chilled summer in the sun with your little one.