As you are probably aware, New Zealand has the world’s highest melanoma incidence rate, which is scary for you as an adult, let alone the thought of exposing your brand new baby to the suns harsh rays. But rest assured, there are ways to enjoy the sun this summer while keeping your baby safe.
- Ideally, keep baby (and yourself) out of the hot sun between 10am and 4pm. Even on cloudy days as baby’s skin is so delicate, it can still burn
- Use SPF30+ broad spectrum sunscreen that meets safety standard AS/NZS 2604. Your pharmacist may be able to guide you on the best sunscreen for you and your baby
- Apply sunscreen thickly and reapply every 2 hours
- Use pram covers – the UPF50+ covers are perfect for keeping baby cool and out of the sun
- Wear a hat and sunglasses for yourself and baby (you’re also setting an example for when your baby grows into a toddler!)
- Keep in mind that the sun can burn by reflecting off water, sand or the inside of sun umbrellas
You’re also probably thinking, what on earth do you dress your baby in over the summer months? There is so much information about keeping baby warm as he/she is used to 37.5 degrees in the womb, so here are some helpful ideas to help:
Outside of your womb, baby’s temperature is generally around 36 – 37 degrees Celsius, so if you find that his/her temperature is slightly more, it may not indicate a fever, more so overdressed or over wrapped. Take a layer of clothing off or move him/her into a cooler room. Their temperature should come down.
A good guide for dressing your baby over summer is how hot/cold are you feeling? Are you comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts? If so, your baby is likely to be comfortable in similar. Then add layers if it cools down. On those super-hot days, just a nappy might be all they need! Oh to be a baby!
Take note of the fabric you’re dressing your baby in. Soft breathable cotton is a good option.
Most babies still like the feeling of being wrapped for sleep. You can still do this during the summer and you may find on the very hot days, just a nappy and a light muslin cloth will be perfect.
Some signs that your baby is too hot are, flushed face, quick breathing or skin that is unusually hot to touch. A great way to check your baby’s temperature is to use two fingers down the back of their neck. It should feel a comfortable temperature.