A focus on baby safety is a good place to start in choosing summer baby products, such as skin care, diapering, clothing, and transportation. While your baby's needs won't change during the summer months, how you meet those needs will change. For example, your baby should be kept warm, but not too warm. During the summer months, you may need to pay special attention to overheating, not to mention to sun exposure since the sun is so damaging for baby skin.
Basic Summer Baby Products
The everyday care of your infant or older baby may change slightly during the summer months. Adding swim diapers, sunscreen, and some warm-weather clothing to your everyday gear is a good way to build your stock of summer baby products.
While your everyday diapers and wipes will not change during the summer, you'll probably want to add swim diapers to your baby's changing station. While this depends on your baby's age and the availability of nearby water, any baby with a swimsuit should also have swim diapers. If you live in a very hot climate, also take into consideration the frequency with which you change regular diapers on a daily basis. Extreme heat is a good reason to change your baby's diaper more often in order to prevent diaper rashes.
Babies should not be exposed to direct sunlight, but when they are exposed, they should be slathered in baby sunscreen and wear a very large sun hat. In addition, keep clothing considerations in mind; try to cover as much skin as possible without overheating your baby. You can do this by purchasing light colors in very thin knits.
Good baby swimwear is a must if you have a nearby pool, lake, or beach. For everyday clothing, shorts and tank tops can help your baby stay cool, but remember that when in the sun, white long sleeves and long pants are preferred over dark shorts and tank tops. If your baby is not walking yet, simply skip the shoes altogether. For babies starting to walk, aim for soft-soled slippers made of a breathable fabric.
When the weather is warm, bathing your baby frequently is not only a good idea from a hygiene standpoint, but your baby will probably also enjoy it immensely. Move the bathtub outside to double as a mini pool in the backyard and let your (older) baby play for as long as he likes. Just like with bathing inside the house, never leave your child in the tub alone; even babies who can sit on their own can drown in your absence.
If your baby's skin is dry from a local pool, add some bath oil to the bathwater, or use baby oil for a massage after she comes out of the tub. While bathing more frequently may be necessary, it is not necessary to wash your baby's hair more often than you normally do.
For the Nursery
If your home has air conditioning, make sure that your baby's room is not getting too cold during the night. Either set the AC to a particular temperature, or monitor the room temperature yourself. If you don't have air conditioning and your baby's room is warmer than usual, put a fan in the room, which can help keep the room cooler and provide nice soothing noise at the same time. Keep in mind that if the air temperature is warmer, your baby should go to bed with less clothing or fewer blankets. If your baby likes to be swaddled, be sure to use a very thin and breathable blanket, such as a cotton foldable diaper instead of a warm swaddling blanket. Overheating is one of the risk factors for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Babies cannot yet regulate their own temperature; they need your help in this department.
Playing in the Yard
For times when you will stay outside for extended periods of time, you might want to bring a play yard outside with you, which serves three functions: sleeping, playing safely during the day, and a changing table that sits on top of the playing/sleeping area. A special mosquito net is a great summer accessory for a playard, protecting your baby from bugs.
Enjoying the Summer
Daily life in the summer with a baby can be lots of fun, but it takes a little bit of extra preparation. If you have the right gear for your baby to enjoy the summer, you have the peace of mind that your child is safe and happy, which allows you all to enjoy the summer sun, time off and time spent together.