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Having a baby in any season presents some awesome benefits but also some challenges. Winter babies are born during the flu season. You also have to be vigilant to keep them warm. On the flip side, summer babies need to stay cool which can sometimes be a challenge on those hot summer days.
Both of my babies were summer babies and I learned a few things along the way. Here are my best tips for making the most out of those summer months with your new bundle of joy.
Tips for having a summer baby
1. Baby Might Be On And Off The Breast More
Newborns are nursing machines. If you are spending all of your time nursing (literally), then you are doing it right. Remember, breastmilk is both their water and their food. This means that in the summer time, baby is more likely to want to be on and off even more. They want to pop on for a sip of “water” so they can stay hydrated.
I nursed on demand because it allows baby to tell you when they are hungry or thirsty. Once baby shows hunger signs such as turning their head side to side, opening mouth, hand to mouth, or rooting, I nurse. If baby comes off the breast or falls off, I always try to re-latch them. If they don’t re-latch, I check for burps, and try again. If they don’t re-latch, then I offer the other side. If they still don’t re-latch and seem content (aren’t showing hunger signs), then I quit nursing until they show me that they are hungry.
Another thing to remember is that if they are too hot and a little lethargic, they might not be showing hunger signs, so be sure to offer a breast often to keep them well hydrated.
2. Buy A Lot Less Baby Clothing
I know, newborn clothing is the cutest but honestly if you are going to have a summer baby, you don’t need a lot of clothing. Newborns (born in any season) also need their diaper changed A LOT. With the amount of diaper changes, you might find that it is easier to have baby in just their diaper.
I am also a huge fan of skin-to-skin and loved having my babies take naps on my chest. Another reason to go with just the diaper and less baby clothing is less laundry. My second baby spit up a lot and clean up was a lot easier if they were just in a diaper instead of a onesie.
3. Get a Breathable Lightweight Baby Carrier
I am a huge fan of baby wearing. My first was colic so I wore her practically all day for the first six months. The only problem was summer. Wearing her in the summer meant being super sweaty and uncomfortable. I would literally spend hours under the air conditioning with her in her wrap on me.
Additionally, the summer is a wonderful time to be outside and there is no better way to travel in the summer than by using a carrier. My favorite way to spend summer mornings is hiking or taking walks in the neighborhood with baby snuggled on my chest.
You want a carrier that is breathable, will last baby through toddlerhood, and can be worn by both dad and mom. The only one that I have found that meets these requirements is the Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh Carrier. I wore it in the summer with my baby and neither of us were sweaty. Plus, it is so easy to put on. You can do it yourself without help (which can’t be said for similar carriers).
4. Invest In Muslin Blankets And A Good Picnic Blanket
Even though it’s summer, you will still want to use blankets to cover baby or to swaddle. You might also just use them as receiving blankets. In any case, make sure you prioritize the type of fabric. Muslin is the best since it is the most breathable.
Another thing I found to be well worth the cost was to buy a picnic blanket that has a waterproof backing. I would spend a lot of time with baby out in the yard in the shade. As your baby gets older, they will have a blast laying on their back watching the trees sway in the summer breeze.
5. Use a Net not a blanket to cover baby’s stroller/car seat
When baby is in either their carseat or their stroller, you want to ensure they don’t get too hot. Putting a blanket or any fabric over the carseat or stroller will trap in all the hot air and result in limited airflow. A lot of moms do this because they don’t want people to touch their babies.
One way around this is to buy a net and place that over the stroller or carseat. An advantage of the net is that it will also keep mosquitos out. You can buy nets that are specifically designed for this.
Enjoy the Summer and Your New Baby!
Personally, I think summer is the best time to welcome a new baby into your family, although of course I might be biased.
If you have a due date in the summer or late spring, be sure to prioritize the fact that it will be hot in all of your decisions, such as how much newborn clothing to buy, and what type of carrier to get. Also, a short but simple bonus tip, be sure to always keep baby protected from the sun. That beautiful baby skin is fragile.
Are you having a summer baby? What are you considering that I may have missed? Already have a summer baby, what is the best or worst part for you? Let me know in the comments.
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Dr. Trina Fitzpatrick is a wife, mom, blogger, and a breastfeeding advocate. She is the co-author of the Week-by-Week Bump Smart Course, the Nesting Planner and the Breastfeeding Handbook. She attributes her success at breastfeeding her own children into toddlerhood with working with lactation consultants in the hospital in the early stages and on a weekly basis afterwards. By writing at MomSmartNotHard, she educates mamas-to-be on all things pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Read more about Trina.