If you've had a baby in the last couple of months, then I'm sure you're already stressing over how you are going to get through summer, being that there are so many questions over what is and is not safe for your little one during warmer months.
I mean, summer activities usually involve being outside, and it's no big secret that small babies and sunshine really aren't a winning combination. So what's a mom to do?
I had my little guy in March, so when pool and beach time rolled around, he was still under the age of 6 months -- that magic age when you can finally use sunscreen and don't have to be quite as concerned that you're going to put your baby in harm's way by venturing outdoors.
And since my parents lived in Florida at the time and had a pool and all that good stuff -- I sort of freaked out a little bit when we'd go down to visit them. I was so paranoid about my precious angel getting sunburned, overheated, dehydrated, or winding up with some sort of crazy skin infection from the chlorine in the pool. (I really needed a chill pill at that point in time.)
But somehow, my little man never had a problem with the sun, most likely because I followed all the recommended tips for keeping him and his baby skin safe and shielded.
On that note, here's what you need to know if you're heading into summer with a baby who isn't 6 months yet.
- Sunscreen is actually ok -- Yay! The American Academy of Pediatrics now says you can use a little sunscreen on small areas of the body for babies under 6 months -- if you have no other alternative.
- Use protective clothing -- There are plenty of hats and clothes for babies on the market that are designed to protect them from the sun's harmful rays. Regular clothes do not work as well, so don't make the mistake of thinking your baby is protected if he/she isn't wearing proper attire.
- Always seek shade -- Use the canopy on your stroller every time you go for a walk. Make sure to bring an umbrella to the pool or beach to keep baby out of direct sunlight as much as possible.
- Choose pools wisely -- Yes, your baby can go into a swimming pool safely. But those that have a lot of chemicals, like indoor pools, for example, pose a greater risk of harm to his sensitive skin and breathing passages. If you smell chlorine, it's probably best to keep baby out of the water.
- Pool temperature matters -- Small babies get cold easily, so they need to swim in a pool that is heated. If it feels too chilly for you, then it's way too cold for your baby.
- Hydration is key -- Did you know that babies should take in 50 percent more liquid in the summer months? For babies under 6 months, make sure to nurse them more frequently or give extra formula.
- Bug spray can also be used -- If your family is more woodsy than beachy, then bug repellent can be used to protect your baby from insects as long as he/she is 2 months old.
Are you planning on spending a lot of time in the sun with your baby? What precautions have you taken?
Image via iStock.com/MilosStankovic