If you are a new parent, then dressing your new-born for summer may seem like a challenge – dressing for cold weather is somewhat simple as you can add layers with onesies and blankets until they are sufficiently wrapped and warm.
Summer, on the other hand, is about both protecting your baby from the sun as well as ensuring that they are not overheating.
The first thing to understand is how to know what your baby is too hot, and with this knowledge, you can make the right decisions for what they are wearing. Your baby should always stay at a temperature of just between 96-98F, and if they start to get above 99, then your baby may be overdressed and becoming too hot.
Luckily your baby will most likely tell you that they are uncomfortable before you need to start checking temperatures, and they will become moody and irritable.
Other things to look for are red or flushed skin, sweating, skin hot to the touch, and even rapid breathing if they are becoming too hot.
These are all signs that your baby is getting too hot and that you need to start cooling them down quickly. If it is a particularly hot day, then take extra care as this can be an issue if you don’t deal with it properly – from simple irritability to heatstroke if you aren’t careful.
How to Dress Your Baby in the Summer
One of the best ways to gauge how to dress your baby is to look at what you are wearing. If you are wearing a t-shirt and shorts or a dress, then this will be a good option for your baby too – I even like to be matching with my baby girl!
The main thing to think about is that young babies are not able to regulate their temperature as well as older children and adults, so you will need to keep an eye on them to make sure what they are wearing is appropriate. Here are a few tips you can follow to make sure that this is the case:
When you are dressing for the cold, it is always recommended that layers are used to maximize the insulative nature of the outfit. The exact opposite thing can be done in the summer – try to minimize layers and stick to items that will help your baby cool down. A bodysuit with no sleeves is a great choice, as is a pair of shorts or dress which you can combine with sandals to let those little toes breathe.
Seek the Shade
As well as minimizing layers, trying to avoid direct sunlight is one of the key things that you should be thinking about to protect your baby from the heat. As a first step, if your baby is above six months old, then never leave the house without applying a layer of sunscreen with UV protection, which will help avoid the chance of sunburn. Remember that you can burn even on overcast days and that a child’s skin has very little protection on its own. If your baby is younger than this, then sunscreen is not recommended, and shade will be your main form of protection. Ensure that your stroller has a roof or umbrella and then make sure to use hats and anything else you can to avoid the direct sun.
Don’t Go Out in the Middle of the Day
Mid-day is when the sun at its peak and when it is at its strongest. If you want to take your baby outside, then try to go either in the early morning or the afternoon when the sun is not as high and, the temperature has fallen a few degrees. With a bit of planning, you can still enjoy the nice weather and be outside while minimizing any issues you may get from being in the midday heat.
Pick High-quality Clothes
Covering your baby in light clothing is a great way to keep them both protected and cool in the warm summer months, but you may find that if you choose cheap clothing that it will irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. Where possible, try to pick cotton as your fabric of choice, which will be gentle on the skin. The best way to test this is with your own skin, and by feeling the fabric yourself, you should get a good idea if it will be comfortable or not.
As mentioned, making sure that your baby’s skin can breathe and that they are not restricted is one of the best things you can do to keep them cool. Tight-fitting clothes will act as an insulator to keep the heat trapped in that you want to escape.
Ditch the Accessories
Dressing your baby is one of the little joys we get, and the more accessories, the better when we’re going for a cute outfit! Unfortunately, things like headbands and fancy shoes go against the rule of ‘getting loose’ and will heat your little one up. Keep the accessories for when it cools down and try to stay practical when the weather is hot.
How to Dress Your New-born for Bed in the Summer
This is sometimes difficult as the temperature in your baby’s room at night is going to be much different from what it is in the day.
Once the sun goes down, the temperature will drop in most countries, so unless you are in a very warm and humid area, you’ll want to add at least a few layers.
Roughly, if the weather is above 80 degrees, then a vest and diaper will be enough if the temperature drops to 75-80, then a very light cover will be appropriate.
As the temperature lowers, you can add a light onesie and a slightly thicker cover. This guide is a good place to start, and if you aren’t sure, then choose a few layers that can be removed through the night if your baby is getting too warm.