The hot summer months are the ideal time for swimming, barbeques and days at the park, but when you have a newborn, your summer plans may have to change. The National Sleep Foundation warns that overheating during sleep can be a cause of SIDS, so it's important to keep your little one cool and out of the sun during the summer months. By seeking shade and dressing your baby sensibly, you can engage in summer fun without any danger.
Skip heavy layers when it's over 75 degrees Fahrenheit, suggests HealthyChildren.org. Instead, dress your baby in clothing that you would find comfortable in hot weather, like a thin sleeper, a light romper or shorts and a T-shirt. Overdressing can cause your baby to overheat in hot weather, which can be uncomfortable and dangerous.
Set the thermostat in your home to be cooler during the daytime hours. Or, if you'd rather not change your thermostat, place a fan in your newborn's room to help him stay cool when sleeping. You can even place a wet washcloth over the fan to help cool the air.
Give your baby a tepid bath when he seems warm or after a hot summer's day. The Women's and Children's Health Network notes that a tepid bath can help cool your baby's body temperature. You can also apply a cool washcloth to your newborn's forehead if you're not near a bathtub to help him keep cool.
Offer the breast more frequently when it's warm. Your baby gets all the hydration he needs from breast milk or formula, so there's no need to offer a bottle of water to help hydrate your little one. Call your doctor if your baby refuses to eat or has fewer wet diapers -- it could be a sign of dehydration.
Find shade when you go outside with your baby. Not only will it keep your newborn cool, but it will keep him out of the way of the harmful rays of the sun. Newborn skin contains less melatonin, which is the body's natural defense from the sun. And, since the FDA doesn't recommend sunscreen until your baby is 6 months old, finding shade, having your baby wear a hat or avoiding the sun altogether is your best bet.