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Surviving Brisbane's Sizzling Summers: A New Parent's Guide to Keeping Their Cool!

Picture this: you're sitting outside on a hot summer day, sipping a cold drink and feeling the sun on your skin. It feels great, right? But now imagine that you're a tiny little newborn, completely dependent on your parents to keep you safe and comfortable.

Suddenly, that hot sun and stifling heat don't seem so fun anymore, do they?

That's why it's so important to take steps to keep your newborn safe during hot summers in Brisbane (or anywhere, for that matter). Not only can high temperatures and humidity be uncomfortable for babies, but they can also be dangerous. Newborns are at a higher risk for heat exhaustion and dehydration, and their delicate skin can easily become sunburned.

But don't worry - with a little bit of preparation and know-how, you can help your baby beat the heat and enjoy all that summer has to offer. From staying indoors during the hottest parts of the day to using the right kind of sunscreen, there are lots of simple ways to keep your little one safe and comfortable. So let's dive in and learn how to make this summer a safe and happy one for your family!

(By the way, I have included some "hot" and "cool" themed newborn photos in this blog to keep the cuteness-score up for you as you read through it. Bring on the sweet baby photos!)



The information in this blog is intended as a guide only. Some tips may be more suitable for slightly older newborn babies and may not be applicable for newborns under 8 weeks of age. If you ever have ANY concerns about your babies heath or welfare, please contact your family doctor or free-call 1300 Health immediately for specific medical advice.


How to Recognise if Your Baby is Overheating

Newborns are more susceptible to the risk of overheating because their tiny bodies have not yet fully developed the ability to regulate their temperature. Unlike adults who can sweat to cool down, newborns are more likely to retain heat, which can lead to overheating.

If your baby is overheating, they may show a variety of signs such as:

  • rapid breathing

  • have a flushed face

  • extra fussy

  • feel hot to the touch

  • sweat more than usual

It's important to note that overheating can be dangerous, and in extreme cases, can lead to heat stroke, which can be life-threatening.

It's also important to keep an eye on your baby's body temperature and look for signs of overheating, such as sweating, , and fussiness. If your baby seems too warm, move them to a cooler spot, remove some layers of clothing, and offer some cool water or breast milk.

Dehydration can occur when a baby loses too much water and electrolytes and can result in a range of symptoms, including dry mouth, lethargy, and irritability.

Heat exhaustion is a more serious condition that can occur when a baby is exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time and can lead to symptoms such as excessive sweating, nausea, and dizziness.

Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that can occur when a baby's body temperature rises to dangerous levels and can result in symptoms such as confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness.

To avoid overheating, make sure to dress your baby appropriately and keep them cool. If you're out and about, try to stay in the shade and avoid direct sunlight.

If you're inside, make sure the temperature is comfortable, and use fans or air conditioning if necessary. And if your baby is showing signs of overheating, don't hesitate to take action - try moving them to a cooler spot, removing some of their clothing, or giving them a cool bath.

Remember, keeping your baby cool and comfortable is key to keeping them safe and healthy during hot summers in Brisbane.

Dress Your Baby Appropriately

When it comes to dressing your baby, it's not just about looking cute - it's also about keeping them comfortable and safe. During hot summers in Brisbane, it's especially important to choose clothing that is appropriate for the weather. Babies can't regulate their body temperature like adults can, so it's up to you to make sure they're not too hot or too cold.

Firstly, choosing breathable fabrics is key to keeping your baby comfortable. Cotton is a great option as it's lightweight, absorbent and allows air to circulate. Light colors are also a good choice as they reflect the sun's rays and don't absorb as much heat as darker colors.

It's also important to consider appropriate sleepwear for different temperatures. A lightweight cotton onesie or sleeping bag may be all your baby needs on a warm night, while on particularly hot nights, they might do better with just a nappy or a light sheet.

Remember, it's important to regularly check your baby's temperature, and if they feel sweaty or clammy, it may be a sign they're too hot. By dressing your baby appropriately, you can help them stay cool and comfortable, even during the hottest summer days.

Staying Hydrated

Hydration is crucial for newborns because they are more vulnerable to the effects of dehydration than adults. Because they have a higher proportion of body water, they lose fluids more quickly and are more likely to become dehydrated. Additionally, babies are not able to tell you when they're thirsty, so it's up to you to ensure they are getting enough fluids.

To keep your newborn hydrated, make sure to breastfeed or bottle-feed frequently. As young babies are not able to consume water just yet, milk-feeds are their only form of nutrition and hydration. Breast milk or formula should be the main source of fluids for babies, and water should not be given to babies under six months old.

If your baby takes a bottle, you can offer them the milk cold, and if your baby is not fussy - they will likely take it happily!

If your baby is exclusively breast-fed, try feeding skin-to-skin. Your own body temperature and your breastmilk temperature will work together to help regulate your baby's body temperature.

If your baby is showing signs of dehydration, such as having a dry mouth, sunken fontanelle (the soft spot on top of the head), fewer wet diapers than usual, or lethargy, it's important to act quickly. Try giving your baby small amounts of fluids, such as breast milk or formula, and contact your doctor if you're concerned.

Remember, keeping your baby hydrated is key to their health and well-being. By breastfeeding or bottle-feeding frequently, and offering water when appropriate, you can help ensure your baby is getting the fluids they need. If you're ever in doubt, don't hesitate to reach out to your midwife, doctor, paediatrician, clinic nurse or other medical advisor.

Keep Your Home Cool

Theres more to this than just air-conditioners so stick with me! Our home had no air-con when my girls were babies.

Keeping your home cool is important for newborns, as they are more sensitive to changes in temperature and are at higher risk of overheating. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help keep your home cool during hot summers in Brisbane.

An obvious starting point for Brisbanites is air conditioning (yes I went the obvious one first - still stick with me!) The important trick is to set it for around 24 degrees, so that you don't accidentally go the other end of the temperature gauge and make the environment too cold. If you don't have ducted or a wall unit, there are also options of small portable units from Bunnings and other similar retailers that can help make your home environment more comfortable for your baby - and yourself!

If you don't have aircon or don't want it, you can use fans or open windows to circulate air, so long as the outside temp isn't remarkable higher than your indoor temperature. It's a good idea to keep blinds or curtains closed during the hottest parts of the day to block out direct sunlight, this can make a huge difference.

For nap times, you can use lightweight blankets or muslin wraps to cover your baby, rather than heavier materials. It's also a good idea to dress your baby in light, breathable clothing, and keep their sleeping area cool and well-ventilated.

I remember many afternoon naps for my girls were taken just in a nappy with the ceiling fan on low.

By using air conditioning, fans, and shades, and taking steps to keep your baby cool, you can help ensure they stay safe and healthy during our sticky Brisbane summer.

Plan Outdoor Activities Carefully

From a walk with the pram to a picnic at the beach, we all need to get out of the house sooner or later - and it is really lovely to head out as a family! While the days are hot and muggy one of the easiest ways to do this in comfort is to plan your outings during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon.

When you do go out, take a stroller or carrier that provides shade and try to avoid excessive exposure to the sun. Your newborn has the most precious brand-new skin that has never been exposed to the sun (or maybe a few minutes here and there) so shade and sunscreens are really important. Its also easy to keep your baby hydrated by offering frequent feeds. Even if they don't take the offer every time, giving them the option of a feed regularly will keep your peace of mind that they are not thirsty or hungry. Spoiler Alert: I've never seen a baby say no to a bit of milky feed!

With a little planning and preparation, you can safely enjoy outdoor activities with your newborn during hot summers in Brisbane. By choosing cooler parts of the day, using shade, staying hydrated, and keeping an eye on your baby's body temperature, you can help ensure that your baby stays safe and comfortable while having fun in summer.

Embrace the Sizzle and Chill Out

Thats all I've got - you now know my top tips for keeping your cool during our sizzling summers!

Remember, keeping your baby cool and hydrated is essential for their health and wellbeing. Taking precautions, like staying indoors during the hottest parts of the day, dressing your baby in lightweight clothing, and using a fan or air conditioner to create a cool sleeping environment will make the summer months breeze by!

With a little bit of thought and a lot of love, you and your baby can stay cool and comfortable all summer long. So go ahead and enjoy those long days and warm nights, and make some unforgettable memories with your little one. After all, summer in Brisbane only comes around once a year!

Bonus Tip:

As soon as they are big enough - give them a cold milk bottle to hug! Awww my baby!!!

Family Photographer Brisbane | Newborn Photographer Brisbane


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