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Sleep Matters by Deb Herdman


Summer sun and your baby

Summer will soon be upon us in Australia and already early Spring a taste of warm days, t-shirts and hot cars reminds us of what is to come.

I’m not particularly fond of the heat and take precautions with my fair and freckled skin and insist my youngest child sunscreens and avoids hot sun.

What about your baby and summer sun?

On many occasions I have observed parents with tiny and not so tiny baby’s out and about in really hot weather with no covering or hat on their baby’s sensitive skin.

Young babies can become easily dehydrated and any sunburn needs medical assessment…sunburn adds to dehydration!

Babies under 12 months should not be exposed to direct sun when the UV index is 3 or above.

If you need to be out and about on sunny summer days have a few cotton hats that provide good head shading.

Put your baby into cool and natural fabrics like pure cotton and linen ensuring arms legs and little baby feet are covered.

Remember to shade the pram but make sure the internal environment is well ventilated. Black or dark coloured prams absorb heat and could become a ‘hothouse’ for your precious little one!

To sunscreen or not?

Professional bodies like and recommend NO sunscreen on babies under 6 months of age.

Sunscreen ingredients can be too strong for baby’s sensitive skin as chemical and even non chemical products are more absorbed and may cause potential reactions.

How will I know if my baby is dehydrated?

Your baby may initially become flushed, irritable and sweaty when they feel hot. Dark yellow or brown urine instead of pale yellow and a dry mouth.

Later signs include dry or fewer wet nappies. A sunken fontanelle, few or no tears when crying, sunken and pale eyes, irritable or drowsy, pale dry skin and cold feet and hands.

If you are concerned your baby has any signs of dehydration or has been sunburnt head straight to your GP or local Emergency centre.

Picture of About the Author

About the Author

Deb Herdman is a certified sleep practitioner specializing in infant, child, teen, and adult insomnia and sleep rhythm disorders.


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