There are few countries in the world that can rival Canada's harsh elements..and when I say harsh I mean, so hot you can barely step outside in the Summers..and so cold, your nose hairs freeze when you breathe in the Winter. I would have to say however, that Summer is such a fun time to have a Baby! Although it has been a summer of heat warnings and temperatures that are breaking records, getting outside for walks, hanging out in parks, looking up at the leaves on trees twinkling in the sunshine...it's so much fun, but is it safe?
A big worry of mine this summer has been "is Piper too hot?" Mind you..I'm sure parents of little bebes in the winter probably wonder, is he/she too cold? We're parents...it's our job to worry! With that said, I've teamed up with an amazing group of Ontario mommy bloggers to share our favourite ways to beat the summer heat with our little families, and make the most out of what's left of everyone's favourite season (without the worry!).
In this post you will get a summary of the information I discovered while scouring the internet for reputable journal posts and advice blogs for beating the summer heat with a newborn. I also went through all of my baby books to provide some safety precautions to consider while enjoying my top 4 ways to enjoy the sunshine! Make sure to check out each of the Mommy Blogger's posts about beating the summer heat with their fam at the bottom of this post xo
1. Find A Shadey Park
Piper is still a wee babe, and options such as splash pads or airy bike rides just aren't in the books yet, so we have spent a lot of time this summer at local parks! Finding the right park for us usually includes a list of criteria...this is what we look for:
-Large trees that provide lots of shade
-Close proximity to water (if possible)
Now that's not a lot to ask for right? I find that the large trees are the best because they tend to be more full/let in less sunlight. We are also very lucky to live close to Lake Ontario, and there is always a noticeable drop in temperature as we get closer to the water. Also, Piper gets restless just sitting on a blanket all day, so we play and listen to music under a tree, and then we hit a path that loops around the Park. This keeps her entertained and joyful. Finally, having a cool bathroom is great for bringing Piper inside to change and to get a break from the heat intermittently.
2. Check Out A Local Farmers or Antique Market
So as I mentioned, it's a struggle to find fun things to do with such a small baby, but it's important to get out when you can to avoid the feeling of being "trapped". Breastfeeding every couple of hours indoors without seeing the light of day can be very isolating (trust me there are also plenty of these days). So another fun outing I like to take P on is to the local Farmers or Antique Markets! We love to hunt for treasures and to pick up some locally grown veggies while getting outside. There are a few things that I always keep in mind however, because unlike a shaded park, these markets aren't heavily covered and the crowds of people often give off a ton of heat. So here are a few items on our checklist before we head out the door to the market:
3. Nature Walks
The best time of the day to venture out into the woods with your little one is during those non "peak sun" hours, which would be in the morning before 10am or else after 4pm (but we usually wait until the sun is even lower in the evening).
We do most of our nature walks during the weekends, and we usually head out first thing in the morning as soon as Piper is up and fed. We rarely go a weekend without a hike through the woods, and if we do we are usually out during the week to make up for it! I just love this picture of Piper because she is always looking up at the trees moving around, and she listens to the birds chirping and responds with lots of yips and yaps.
As we walk we chat with Piper and tell her about the different types of trees, the sounds we hear and when we stop for a listen we talk to her about what we see. Although Piper can't fully understand what we are saying, the chatter helps to develop her vocabulary and teaches her how to communicate/converse. This time in the woods is so valuable to us, and exposing P to the atmosphere and sounds of nature is building the foundation for a deep love of our earth.
A few things to remember before heading out into the woods:
4. Try a Dip!
It is recommended that parents wait until babies are able to hold their heads up before going into a swimming pool (usually 4-5 months), however a small dip is OK within a shaded (avoid heavy reflections off of the water), shallow area. If you're taking your babe to a larger body of water with more hazards such as undertoe or waves that could be unpredictable, it is recommended that they wear a personal flotation device (PFD) that fits properly for their size and weight.
If you are looking for a public pool, be sure to check their website for family swim times to avoid excited teenagers and heavy splashing. Since Piper is still so young, we are very cautious when it comes to water safety, especially since she is still unable to hold her head up. A pool is such a great way to beat the heat, and dipping your babes toes in the water can be very exciting and refreshing for them!
A Few Words of Caution
To conclude my top 4 ways to have fun in the sun, I want to emphasize the safety aspect of this post. Especially with a baby (because they are unable to communicate with you), being extra aware of some of the warning signs related to Overheating or Dehydration is super important. As I was reading through my medical books I came across various signs and symptoms, as well as some preventative measures to take that I found really helpful. A lot of the signs and symptoms require communication, and for newborns that isn't always possible..so Here is a condensed version of what I learned about overheating/dehydration in newborns:
Identifying Overheating or Dehydration in Newborns:
Check for the following signs or symptoms:
-Fewer wet Diapers
-A Sunken Fontanelle (your babies soft spot on the top of her/his head)
-Lethargy and Drowsiness
-Cool and Clammy Skin
-Blotchiness on hands or feet
-Rapid Breathing or Heart Rate
If you notice any of those symptoms:
-Bring your baby into a cool atmosphere immediately
-Offer your baby plenty of fluids (breast milk, formula)
-Bring down his or her body temperature with a cold wet cloth
-Take off clothing or reduce layers
**Should the conditions become more severe or if they are not improving, contact your local health care provider or head to a clinic immediately. Always air on the side of caution and never be afraid to take your little one to your nearest Hospital or call 911 if conditions become life threatening**
For More Safe Fun in The Sun....
This post is apart of a great collaboration with Erica Schott of Anna Georgianna, Mar of To and Fro Blog and Kate of Emmett's ABCs. Each of these amazing mommy bloggers have come up with great ideas for their little ones of varying ages! So for more ways to Beat the summer heat with some safe fun in the sun, check out their posts below!
Hi! My name is Amber, I am a wife and mother to Piper June. Welcome to my blog. You will find my path towards natural health and wellness as well as my honest discoveries as a new mother. In all aspects of life, I strive to cultivate Balance through a mindful existence. I share my experiences as a mother, helpful product reviews and companies that I am passionate about for our family. I am so grateful for your visit xo