The sun sends its hot rays from the cloudless sky. Crowds of people move into the open air, the beach baths are like anthills. The television warns of the risk of forest fires. Summer heat!
Summer & heat for babiesMany mothers - often with the best of intentions - violate a simple principle that applies to infants - even in the first few months of life - as well as to adults. The clothing must be adapted to the weather, especially the temperature.
For many small children, a period of suffering begins in summer. We just have to look at the road. There is a young mother walking in a thin summer dress, low cut, with light sandals on her feet. She proudly pushes the stroller in front of her. The thick pillow is decorated by an equally thick blanket. Deep down in the car, you struggle to discover the baby, tired and indifferent. We see another woolen jacket and are just surprised that it doesn't have a woolen hat on its head. 25 degrees in the shade ...
Anyone who thinks we are exaggerating can quickly learn from their own observations. Many mothers - often with the best of intentions - violate a simple principle that applies to infants - even in the first few months of life - as well as to adults. The clothing must be adapted to the weather, especially the temperature.
The right clothes for babies
In the morning after hearing the weather report or looking out the window, everyone thinks about how to dress appropriately. With babies, however, they usually hold on to warm clothing for fear of catching a cold. Of course, it is true that a small child cools down faster than an adult because they have a relatively larger body surface and do not yet have a fully efficient temperature regulation. The special kind of baby clothing and the protective stroller take this into account.
How would you feel if you had to walk around in hot midsummer with a thick diaper and rubber insert, which is still sealed by thick pants. So away with the pillows, a pillow is only harmful in the first nine months anyway. Be careful with the impervious plastic pants, which in some babies lead to sweating, soreness and then purulent skin inflammation on the head, away with the thick woolen jacket, the woolen clothes - and if possible, away with the thick diaper. We will see, then the little child will kick their bare legs happily even in the summer heat and feel good.
For very small babies and infants, cotton jackets and short-legged rompers are sufficient on hot days; a light, covered blanket can be used. Of course, you have to make sure that the child doesn't get chilly. Your feet are most likely to get cold. We put socks on the child and when he gets tired we put a light blanket over him.
The best protection against colds lies in the practice of regulating the body's temperature, which on warm days is already done by the wind that blows over the naked body parts. It is in no way achieved by isolating the child in a damp, warm clothing cover. The skin must be free so that it can breathe, or it must only be covered by light, air-permeable fabrics.
How long should the baby stay in the sun?
But is there an unlimited amount of exposure to the sun's rays? The sun - especially its ultraviolet light - makes the body more resistant, promotes blood circulation in the skin and releases vitamin D. So it is valuable for the healthy development of our children. Of course, the head should be protected and, if possible, in the shade. The body also has to gradually get used to the air and the sun, because an initial long-term sunbathing can lead to serious damage and even death.
We start with air and sun baths of short duration, about one to two minutes, and increase them more and more every day, up to 15 minutes. Under no circumstances should the baby "roast" in the sun for several hours in a row, but sunbathing for 15 minutes can be repeated several times a day. It is important to ensure that the child lies on its stomach one time and on its back another time.
Correct behavior with illnesses in summer
The older baby takes great pleasure in splashing around in the warm water. We don't need a bathroom for this, a basin full of water on the sunlit balcony is enough. To sleep we put the child on the balcony or in the garden, not in the sun but in the shade, and cover them lightly. And at night we leave the window wide open, because cool air causes deep, even breathing that calms the child and supplies the blood with plenty of oxygen.
Sin is particularly common if a baby suddenly develops a cough or diarrhea with a fever in summer. The heating is turned on, the bed is placed next to it and the window is firmly closed. Then it goes to the doctor with the thickly wrapped child lying deep in the stroller behind the closed windshield. The poor sick baby can barely breathe, the fever is getting higher and higher, and sometimes all help comes too late.
Here, too, the top priority is to use the healing properties of the fresh air and to take into account that the cool room temperature and the incoming air make breathing easy. The windshield of the stroller also has almost only disadvantages. It keeps the baby shut off from the fresh air so that he has to breathe in his own vapors. In general, we only use them for a trip in rain and storm.
Bacteria & germs in summerThe sun - especially its ultraviolet light - makes the body more resistant, promotes blood circulation in the skin and releases vitamin D. So it is valuable for the healthy development of our children.
Just as the grain grows and ripens in the fields in summer, like the flowers and grasses are in full bloom, the big time has come for the small creatures, the bacteria, even with summer warmth and humidity. Therefore, the greatest care and cleanliness are required in the summer, otherwise there is a risk of diarrhea caused by coli bacteria.
Especially for the summer months, we recommend breastfeeding the baby at least up to the age of 4 months, because there is hardly any possibility of contamination and the breast milk also contains many antibodies for the young organism. Breastfeeding without breast milk during the hot season can be fatal for babies. If the baby is already being fed artificially, we recommend using the low-germ dry milk.
Store and boil milk correctly for breastfeeding
The following rules apply to them as well as to cow's milk:
- The milk must be kept as cool as possible (but not freeze). The bottle should always be prepared shortly before the meal.
- Under no circumstances should the baby be given unboiled, sour or bad milk.
- Always check the pots and milk bottles carefully. Every little bit of food left is poison for the child after just half a day.
- The bottle and teat must therefore be cleaned and boiled before each meal.
Finally, a piece of advice:
Children sweat profusely in summer. The metabolism does not need so many calories that the child cannot meet his fluid needs from milk and porridge alone. The result, even when saturated, the baby continues to cry. A bottle of fennel tea is quickly prepared and cooled again. A laughing face shows that the mother understood her child correctly.