Preparing your Newborn for the Great Outdoors
Tips for Warm Weather
While you love your time at home with your newborn, cabin fever can quickly kick in. Thankfully, a change of scenery and fresh air can benefit both you and your baby. Even brief periods outdoors can ease your cooped-up restlessness.
If you’re hesitant to take your infant outside yet, ask your pediatrician when it’s safe for your baby. You can start with a brief outing, such as securing your baby in a carrier or stroller and walking. Another option is to pick a shaded area in your yard or on your porch.
Staying near your home allows you to easily go inside if your baby is overly fussy, hungry, or needs a diaper change. When you’re confident with a brief outing, plan a longer excursion to a park or meet a friend for coffee or frozen yogurt.
Use the following tips to help make this a positive experience for you and your new baby.
Check the Weather
Choose a day your baby can’t overheat or chill quickly. Infants can’t regulate their body temperatures well yet. If the outdoor temperature is too hot or too cold, wait for a better day to go out. Plan to go outdoors before 10 am or after 4 pm when UV rays aren’t as harsh. If you venture out during dawn or dusk hours, use a mesh covering to shield your newborn from biting and stinging insects.
Prepare your Infant
For the best experience, plan to go out following a feeding and a fresh diaper change. Conversely, if your baby is still fussy after these preparations, you can still try a stroll to see if the movement soothes your little one. If you’re lucky, maybe you can both enjoy a nap when you return home!
Watch for Overheating
If the weather is moderately warm, a stroller will keep your baby cooler than using a carrier. You and your baby will both feel hot quickly and get dehydrated using a carrier. If you start perspiring while outdoors, your baby may be overheating as well. It may be time to cool off inside when your infant becomes overly fussy or cries.
Avoid Direct Sun
The sun can burn and damage your baby’s tender skin fast. That’s partly because your infant’s skin hasn’t fully developed melanin, the pigment that adds color and some sun protection. Keep your baby in sight at all times, even if you initially placed them in full shade. The sun’s position continuously shifts, and may eventually cause sunburn to your child. A sunburn has skin damage risks, including skin cancer later in life.
Use Multi-Leveled Sun Protection
Shield your child when it’s sunny or cloudy since UV rays still penetrate through overcast skies. Keeping your baby fully shaded is a great way to prevent sun exposure and painful sunburn. Find shade under a roof, UPF 50+ umbrella, or extend the stroller canopy.
In addition to full shade, opt for clothing that covers your baby’s arms and legs. Protect their head, ears, and face with a sun hat and baby sunglasses rated with 100% UV protection. Another choice is a lightweight, breathable blanket or cover that drapes over your infant’s stroller, car seat, or carrier. A drape can also be a gentle way of keeping curious strangers from sharing germs with your infant. UV Skinz offers an assortment of cute and comfortable UPF 50+ clothing and accessories for your little one.
Although sunscreen is a mainstay to help protect your skin from harmful UV rays, it usually isn’t encouraged for young babies. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), sunscreen isn’t recommended for infants under six months of age. The chemicals in sunscreen may cause a rash or skin irritation. If you are still considering applying sunscreen to your baby’s skin, be sure to check with your pediatrician first.
Now you can feel more confident taking your newborn out for this exciting milestone. Your outing is a great time to introduce your newborn to the wonders of the outdoors – and serious sun protection. Be sure to talk to your baby and point out the sights and sounds of nature. Be sure to snap a few cute selfies for this special day too!