Summer months could mean hot humid days, and this may pose a conundrum, especially for parents, on how to dress their newborn. Remember that infants cannot regulate their own body temperature until they reach about six months of age, so dangers of overheating are just around the corner if the baby is dressed too much. Furthermore, overheating is one of the factors of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). With these in mind, you should take note of the following when dressing your newborn in the summer months.
Newborns need to be kept warm, but we must make sure that they do not overheat. Strictly speaking, the temperature of your newborn should be somewhere between 36 degrees Celsius up to 37 degrees Celsius. We don’t always have a thermometer with us, so as a general rule of thumb, we should dress our baby in the same layers that we are wearing plus an extra layer. You will want to swaddle your newborn using a receiving blanket to keep him/her warm while leaving his head uncovered, and lightweight muslin and cotton wraps will work perfectly for this, as they are less likely to overheat your baby.
Ideally, you may dress your newborn in a cotton onesie. Cotton is the perfect fabric for summer months because they readily absorb perspiration. The onesie will serve as the base layer, which will allow you to add more layers as necessary, and you have the liberty to take them off and the onesie can stay to provide coverage. Over the onesie, you can add a pair of shorts or lightweight pants or a sundress for girls when going outdoors; this will allow your newborn’s legs to stay cooler. Ditch the socks and hats when outdoors as much as possible, and preferable keep the baby in shade. When indoors and in an air-conditioned room, you may dress your newborns in additional layers such as a long-sleeved shirt and socks for the feet if necessary. In addition, you may want to dress your newborn in pajamas that are appropriate to the room’s temperature when he/she goes to sleep. Choose also the right swaddling blanket depending on whether your home is cool from the air conditioning or not.
Having air conditioning in the nursery room can help in alleviating the heat during the summer months, but you should be careful to maintain the temperature in a comfortable one to prevent your newborn from overheating and from being too cold as well. Chances are, if you are feeling hot, then your newborn must feel hot, too. Similarly, if you feel cold, then your baby feels the same way as well.
If your baby starts to become fussy and begins to cry, then it could be a sign that he is uncomfortable. If this is the case, then you may start to remove some layer of clothes until he becomes comfortable. To prevent your newborn from overheating, frequently check on him for signs such as hot skin, agitation, rapid breathing, a flushed face and lethargy, and then you can adjust his covers as necessary.
Deciding on what your newborn should wear can be a bit tricky especially in their delicate state, but with patience and practice, you will have the ability to determine if your baby is too hot or too cold. After a few times, and as soon as you can feel that your baby is comfortable and happy dressing your baby and feeling his situation will become second nature.
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