How To Keep Baby Safe in the Summer

8 tips to avoid overheating, bug bites and other summer-related ailments.

How To Keep Baby Safe in the Summer

Having a baby in the summer is awesome! You can be out and about and enjoy being outside. At the same time, it is important to understand that young babies aren’t always compatible with the season. They have different needs than adults and older children, and so understanding proper newborn care during the summer months, from sun and heat protection to preventing rashes and bug bites, is of utmost importance. So if you gave birth recently, here are 8 tips to keep your newborn safe all season long.

1. Avoid overheating. Infants are not able to regulate their temperature as well as older children and adults, so it is important to avoid overdressing your little one. Use light fitting clothing and know that your infant will typically need one light layer more than you have on. When in the house, avoid over-bundling as well. During heat waves, stay in a cool air conditioned space. This will help avoid overheating and will keep your baby cool and comfortable.

2. Sun Safety. It is important to avoid direct sun exposure for your infant. When hanging out outdoors on hot days, find a shady place. When you are outside, dress them in sun protective clothing and a hat. In babies over six months old, apply sunscreen and reapply frequently. For infants younger than six months, it is okay to apply small amounts of sunscreen to exposed areas such as the face but staying out of the sun really is your best option. If you are hanging out at the beach or in the park, consider getting a tent with UVA and UVB protection for your little one to hang out in.

3. Stay hydrated. It is very important to make sure babies are drinking enough, especially on hot days. Children under 6 months should not drink water, so make sure to breastfeed them or give them formula frequently. Keep in mind if you are a nursing mom, you will want to stay hydrated yourself and make sure you are drinking extra water.

4. Consider timing. Go for walks or outings early in the morning or later in the day to avoid being outside during the hottest periods of the day, which usually falls between 10 am and 4 pm.

5. Prevent rashes. Avoid tight fitting clothing to avoid your little one getting heat rash. To prevent diaper rash, use a chlorine-free diaper like Earth’s Best and apply diaper cream with diaper changes to create a barrier. Change your little one’s diaper frequently to avoid her sitting a wet diaper, which can lead to diaper rash.

6. Avoid insect bites. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children over 2 months of age use an insect repellent with DEET. Children under 2 months should not use DEET. If you are not keen on using DEET, try putting it on clothing or on the stroller and using a natural insect repellent on your little one’s skin. Alternatively, you can use mosquito nets. Check your children nightly from head to toe for any ticks and if you see one, remove it as soon as possible. Avoid hanging out in areas with stagnant water, where mosquitoes are more likely to gather, and remember to wash off repellents once you and your little one are back indoors.

7. Stay safe on road trips. Never leave an infant or child in a car unattended, even for one minute! The inside of a car can reach dangerous temperatures very quickly. When traveling with children, always check the back seat to make sure that your little one is out of the car seat. If you want to be cautious, you can put your cell phone or wallet in the back seat as a reminder.

8. Prevent infection. Infants who have not had their two month vaccines should avoid going to crowded or enclosed spaces. That's said, as long as you keep them away from direct sunlight and feed them frequently, that is no reason to stay indoors. You can hang out in the park, go on walks, or sit outside at a café -- just make sure you you follow the aforementioned recommendations to avoid overheating and dehydration.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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