Summer can be a very delicate season which requires you to keep your baby safe and comfortable at same time. Putting on too many pieces of clothing could lead to heat rash, and under dressing the baby exposes its delicate skin to hot conditions, making it susceptible to either a painful sunburn or to heatstroke. Neither offers positive outcomes for your baby.
It is important to state that overheating has been associated with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), due to the fact that babies tend to sleep deeply when they feel hot, making it difficult for them to wake up.
Overheating can be caused by over dressing and swathing your newborn to keep it from cold. However, because babies possess very limited ability to regulate their own temperature, it’s just as crucial in ensuring that it is kept cool in the warm months as it is to keep it warm in the cool months.
What is the Ideal Body Temperature for Babies?
To be able to determine whether you are overdressing, under dressing, or simply clothing your baby adequately, you have to know its ideal body temperature.
The temperature of the baby in the womb is about 37.7°C and outside the womb, it’s ideal temperature should be somewhere between 36°C to 37°C. In a case where the body temperature of your baby is between 37°C to 37.5°C, it might not likely be a fever.
Rather, this little rise in temperature is usually as a result of overdressing, over-wrapping, or keeping the baby in a hot environment. What is required when you experience such a condition is to simply peel some layers of clothing off your baby and take it to a cooler environment. This should bring down the temperature of the baby.
Is it Essential to Clothe Your Baby in Socks and Hats During Summer?
One avenue used by the human body to cool itself is by sweating. This could be a problem as babies have very limited ability to sweat. They only sweat from their neck, hands, feet and head, which is 30% of their overall body surface.
Based on this, they have a quick tendency to overheat. Therefore, clothing babies with socks and hats on babies during hot weather will limit their ability to cool themselves down again. So, get rid of the socks and hats in summer.
What is the Most Suitable Clothing for Your Baby During the Summer Season?
During the hot season, dressing your baby in a cotton short-sleeved onesie is totally appropriate for your baby. If you feel comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts, then your baby will be comfortable in similar clothing. In the same vein, if the weather is so hot that you feel like peeling off all your clothes, dressing your baby in just a nappy is ideal.
Summarily, in summer, the best type of clothes for your baby is soft breathable cotton.
Is Wrapping Your Baby Okay During Summer?
On extremely sunny days, strip your baby to the nappy and wrap him either in a light muslin or cotton wrap, as most babies like to be wrapped for sleep, even when it’s hot. Ensure that the head of the baby is not covered and its hands poke out of the wrap to allow him some ability for self-cooling.
How to Know if Your Baby is Overheating
Your baby may be overheating if you notice one or more of these signs: reddened face, rapid breathing, skin that is unusually warm to the touch. Generally, babies cry and become cranky when they are hot. Follow the steps below to monitor your baby and know when it is overheating:
Press the back of your hand to the back of your baby’s neck, to check its temperature. The optimum body temperature should be comfortably warm to the touch. You can also feel your baby’s head and collar area to check for dampness, as a damp neck or head shows that your child is sweaty.
Again, if your baby’s face appears redder than usual or has a rash, it may be signs of overheating.
Rapid breathing is another symptom of overheating. You can track this by either listening to your baby’s breathing or watching the rise and fall of its chest.
Restlessness can be a sign that your baby is overheating. Look out for signs that your newborn is finding it difficult to fall asleep, and that it does not stay asleep as long as usual. However, restlessness is also a sign of several other problems, including an intense feeling of cold.
Here are some safety tips to ensure that your baby maintains the normal body temperature:
Ensure that the baby’s head is not covered during sleep, after the first few days of birth. The only exception to this rule is if the environment is cold. Due to the fact that babies lose most of their body heat through their heads, covering a baby’s head will trap a large quantity of heat inside its body.
Overdressing your newborn is not advisable. Rather, dress your baby in as much clothing as you would find comfortable, plus an additional light layer, such as a thin sleeper.