For those of us who didn’t have to experience the daunting trial of being pregnant in the hot summer months, we’re likely dealing with a different challenge now: dressing a newborn in the hot summer months. While we know we have to bundle them up when the weather turns cold in the winter, summer is a different story. Parents have to consider the higher temps and sun exposure that can both be harmful to babies. And I know I can’t be the only one who sees cute summer pajamas for babies and can’t help but buy far too many.
Of course, we want to take advantage of the summer months while we have them. We want to attend the fun summer events, make memories outside, and soak up the sun while it’s still around with our little ones. The good news is that we can do just that while we beat the summer heat. All it takes is knowing how to keep our babies safe from things like UV exposure and sunburn, and how to dress a newborn in summer. We’re covering all of the how-to’s today, including the best products to have on hand during the hottest months of the year. With these tips, parents of newborns can feel confident that their little ones will be safe enjoying summertime.
How To Dress a Newborn in Summer
Watch the Forecast
Knowing how to dress a newborn in summer will start by knowing the temperatures and conditions we’re dealing with. Get acquainted with the weather app on your phone as it will be your new best friend. Look out for things like the temperature, humidity level, and UV index. The higher these are, the higher chance of sunburn or overheating. These levels will also help with determining the proper way to dress baby for the day ahead.
Incorporate Hats Into Baby’s Wardrobe
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping babies under 6 months out of direct sunlight. This is because younger babies don’t yet sweat as adults do, and they are more prone to overheating and heat stroke. In this case, sunscreen also doesn’t work well for little ones. Instead, we can use clothing items like hats to keep them out of direct sunlight. As a bonus, hats look adorable on babies! And they’re readily available everywhere from sites like Amazon to boutique baby clothing brands.
Avoid Clothing That Can Cause Overheating
While a natural instinct is to bundle babies up in the summer months, we’ll want to make sure to keep baby cool. To do so, avoid clothing like sweatshirts and sweatpants, jackets, or the blanket for an extra layer. This doesn’t mean we should avoid long sleeves and pants altogether though. We’ll want to keep baby’s skin out of direct sunlight, so light, breathable, full-coverage clothing items are a great option.
Avoid Too Many Layers
On the same note, while layers can be a great option if the temperatures will be changing throughout the day, we don’t want to go overboard. All of those layers will hold heat in hot weather and run the risk of overheating. Instead, pack a light extra layer if the temperature unexpectedly drops or you go into somewhere with air conditioning. Then we can take it off again when baby is too hot.
Pick the Right Fabrics for Summertime
While certain fabrics are better for insulating and keeping babies warm in the cold months like flannel and fleece, there are also fabrics much better for summer. Dress your baby in items made from organic cotton, linen, or bamboo. These items will be more breathable and allow babies to stay cool.
Pay Attention to the TOG Rating of Baby’s Sleepwear and Bedding
We don’t just have to think about keeping baby safe when out and about in the sun. During the summer months, we’ll also want to consider baby’s sleeping situation. Baby bedding and sleepwear items have what’s known as a ‘thermal overall grade’ rating which acts as a unit of measurement for insulation and warmth. The higher the rating, the more insulated for warmth. During the summer months, we’ll want to use bedding and sleep sacks made of fabric with lower TOG ratings, like cotton and muslin. Also, many experts suggest keeping the temperature of baby’s room between 68 and 72 degrees.
Summer Newborn Essentials
Just like how hats are helpful for us in the summer, they’ll become our new best friend when determining how to dress a newborn for summer. Protect your baby from sunburn in the cutest way possible.
Short Sleeve Onesies
Short sleeve options will be essential for baby during the summer months. These will be great when we can keep babies out of the sun but they will still be in a warm environment. Keep a light layer on hand during every outing to have all of the bases covered.
Organic Cotton Long Sleeve Onesies
Having some long sleeve options for the summer months is a must as they offer UV protection. If you know you’ll be out in the sun, put a newborn baby in a lightweight outfit that completely covers their sensitive skin.
Organic Cotton Pants
To make a whole summer-friendly outfit, pair the onesies with some breathable pants that baby will be comfortable in all day.
Muslin or Cotton Sleep Sacks and Swaddles
Specific sleep sacks and summer pajamas for baby will be essential. Opt for the breathable fabrics like muslin or cotton so that baby can stay both comfortable and safe all night long. One summer safety note: avoid using these same swaddle blankets—even breathable ones—as shade for a stroller or carseat, as they can limit airflow and cause the temperatures inside the seat to rise to dangerous levels.