Tips to keep your baby comfortable in the summer heat

Summer might have meant carefree days laying out by the pool when you’re all by yourselves. But as a parent, you should be more concerned about your baby’s comfort in the summer rather than your own. Overdress a baby and he/she could develop a heat rash. Expose his/her fragile body to hot conditions and your baby might become vulnerable to a painful sunburn. So it is essential for every parent especially the new ones to take utmost care of their babies. Here are a few tips telling you how to keep your baby comfortable in the summer heat.

Keep your baby hydrated

Even if you don’t see the sweat dripping from your baby’s forehead, he/she can be losing precious fluids due to hot weather. A flushed face, skin that is warm to touch, rapid breathing, and restlessness are warning signs of dehydration that you should watch for in your baby. Make sure that your baby drinks more water than usual in the summer and is well hydrated at all times.

Be cautious with sunscreen

Try to keep your baby out of direct sunlight. But for times when that is impractical, make sure he/she is wearing sunscreen. Apply a minimal amount of sunscreen to your baby’s exposed skin, including the face. If your baby is older than 6 months, use sunscreen often or whenever he/she gets sweaty. Go for a sunscreen that is designed for babies, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.

Pick the right clothes

While staying indoors, dress your baby in loose-fitting, lightweight garments, preferably the ones that are made from cotton. For outdoors, dress your baby in light-coloured long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and a hat to shield his/her face. Don’t leave him/her exposed, since harmful rays can affect your baby’s skin.

Plan your outdoors wisely and seek out shade

Plan your outdoor activities before or after the sun crosses the peak hour. When you go to the beach or the park, look for a protected spot, such as a tree or an umbrella. Choose sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of ultraviolet radiation to protect your baby’s eyes and to reduce glare.

Use a summer-friendly baby carrier

The combination of your body heat and the carrier’s confining space can make your baby hot and uncomfortable within a matter of minutes. Choose a baby carrier made from lightweight nylon rather than a heavy fabric. If your child’s face starts to look flushed, remove him/her from the carrier. Also, wipe your baby with a wet cloth occasionally to keep him/her cool.

Focus on bedding

During summer, use cotton sheets for your baby’s bedding. Avoid using synthetic material or waterproof mattresses as those things hold the heat in, causing discomfort to your baby. Hang wet towels over chairs or windows in the bedroom of your baby. The evaporating water might keep the air cool, reducing the temperature of the room.

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a skin problem that causes dry, itchy, scaly and red skin in children. It usually starts during infancy or early childhood. In infants and toddlers, atopic dermatitis generally starts on the face or on the elbows and knees i.e. places that are easy to scratch and rub as they crawl. In older children, atopic dermatitis appears in the skin folds of the elbows, hands and/or knees. Rashes or redness behind a child’s ear, on their feet or scalp, may also be a sign of atopic dermatitis.

There is no specific treatment to control atopic dermatitis. Keeping the moisture intact in your child’s skin is one of the most important things that can help in controlling atopic dermatitis.

Children with atopic dermatitis have a damaged skin barrier (outermost layer of skin), which makes their skin more sensitive to irritants, allergens, bacteria, and other invaders. A damaged skin barrier also makes it harder for the skin to retain water, leading to chronic dry, itchy skin, which can cause atopic dermatitis to flare or get worse. Moisturizer helps to keep skin hydrated and protects the skin barrier, thus preventing dryness and keeping out irritants and allergens.

Using a moisturizer in children with atopic dermatitis can:

  • Help the skin to heal
  • Reduce itching by relieving dry skin
  • Decrease the need for atopic dermatitis medicine
  • Prevent atopic dermatitis from getting worse

The “Soak and Seal” method:

The “Soak and Seal” method of treating atopic dermatitis is recommended to treat dry skin and to reduce flare.

Instructions to Soak and Seal:

  • Put the child in a bathtub using lukewarm water for five to 10 minutes
  • Use a gentle cleanser (no soaps) and avoid scrubbing the affected skin
  • After bathing, pat the skin lightly with a towel leaving it slightly damp
  • Apply the prescription topical medication to the affected areas of skin as directed
  • Soften moisturizer by rubbing it between the hands
  • Apply a thick layer of moisturizer all over the  skin within three minutes of bathing or showering to “lock in” moisture and protect the skin barrier
  • Wait a few minutes to let the moisturizer absorb into the skin before dressing or applying wet wraps.

Don’t limit moisturizing to just bath time. Apply it throughout the day whenever child skin starts to itch or feels dry. Also remember, when looking for a moisturizer, it should be fragrance-free, dye-free and greasy or more oily (ointments and creams instead of lotions).

Everyone wants to keep their baby clean, especially we spend a lot of time and money on our baby’s skin care products to keep it healthy and soft. But the chemicals in the baby shampoos, soaps, and lotions never stop to worry us.

Though we hope that products designed for babies are risk-free, that’s not necessarily the case. Many baby care products contain additives that can be potential irritants. Some babies can develop skin irritation, like eczema, due to the exposure to ingredients in these products.

Children have thin and delicate skin than adults, thus making it more sensitive to irritation. Here are a few tips to help parents care for their child’s sensitive skin:

  • Many products contain dyes and perfumes that irritate your child’s sensitive skin. So before buying a baby care product, make sure it is free from dyes and perfumes, and are specially designed for sensitive skin.
  • Protect your baby’s skin from the exposure of the sun. It can irritate your baby’s delicate skin. Cover your baby with protective clothing.
  • Limit your baby’s exposure to other household irritants. Avoid using aerosol products, vacuum weekly, keep your pets out of the bedroom, and choose mainly cotton or cotton blend clothing for your baby. Before your child wears new clothing, wash all of it new clothing with a skin-friendly laundry detergent that is free of dyes and perfumes.
  • Keep your baby’s skin well moisturized. Choose a moisturizer that is made for babies and is dermatologist tested. Proper moisturizing help in protecting your baby’s sensitive skin from irritation.
  • Consult a doctor if your baby’s skin is very irritated and itchy, or if they have frequent rashes. Some babies have skin conditions such as eczema that require special treatment.

There are noticeable changes when a baby has a dry skin:

White scales that peel at the edge of the skin.
Roughness and scaly like texture on the skin.
Flakiness when the skin is rubbed.
Obvious dry red patches.

How To Prevent Dry Skin In Babies?

Prevention of dry skin is easy, and all you need to do is to follow some simple steps.

Limit bath time: Spending too much time for a bath, especially in hot water, can wash away natural skin oils, leading the skin to dryness. If the baby loves playing in the tub, then let him in the tub with minimal water and top the tub with water just before bath.

Avoid harsh soaps: Avoid soaps as they contain alcohol and artificial fragrance, drying the baby skin quickly. Instead, choose syndets over soaps that are specially designed for the baby skin. They have a skin-friendly pH, gently cleansing without harming the protective layer of the baby skin.

Use moisturizing lotions after bathing: Moisturize the baby’s entire body immediately after the bath. The nourishing agents in the moisturizer form a thin layer on the skin. Using moisturizers is the safest remedy for baby’s dry skin.

Select clothes made of natural fabrics: Natural fabrics such as cotton are gentle on the skin. If the baby has dry skin, then it is important to make him/her wear cotton clothes.

Use baby laundry detergent: Laundry care does protect your baby’s skin. You must wash them in baby laundry detergents. Look for a detergent that is only for the laundries of a baby.

Keep the baby hydrated in summer: Hot weather also causes low humidity. In such conditions, give the baby lots of fluids such as water and breast milk.

Winter weather can be tough on baby’s tender skin. Here are a few tips you can remember and put into action to keep your baby’s skin soft and healthy.

Use comfortable clothing: Dress your baby in breathable layers. Clothe your baby depending on the room temperature, and opt for clothes that fully cover the body of the baby. But make sure, the clothes are not constricting the movement of the baby. Gloves and socks are also recommended.

Massage your baby well: Massaging your baby is highly recommended by doctors. The act of massaging stimulates the blood flow within the body of the baby and increases the sense of well-being, which indirectly boosts the immunity within your baby. It is important to maintain a warm atmosphere when massaging your baby.

Don’t use a lot of products: Applying lotions and creams is fine. But don’t overdo it. In the attempt to keep your baby clean and safe from infection, you might give him/her numerous baths, which further exposes him/her to soaps and shampoos. These rob your little one’s skin from the existing moisture and make it dry. Water baths during winters are fine but opt for using bathing bars only once or twice a week.

Soup in the diet plan: If your baby has reached the age where he/she can start going for solids, winter is the perfect time to introduce him/her to soups. If possible, try including some garlic with the soup, as it is known to be a natural remedy for treating many winter ailments.

Taking care while stepping outdoors: Unless it is freezing outdoors, it is fine to step out of the house once in a while to get some fresh air. Protect your baby from head to toe before taking him/her out. Make sure that your baby’s toes are on the cooler side and the tummy is on the warmer side. This is the ideal way to maintain your baby’s body at the right temperature.

Maintaining personal hygiene: Since parents are the first point of contact for a child it is necessary for you to maintain your personal hygiene as a step towards protecting your baby. Washing your hands and disinfecting them with a sanitizer is recommended before attending to your baby. Inform the visitors and guests to do the same as well.