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Newborn Care for Summer Babies

Soaring temperatures and the scorching heat can make the summer seem relentless. This can make it a tough time for you and your baby. Following a few simple precautions can help get you and your baby through the summer healthily.

Common illnesses during the summer

Babies are susceptible to illness, particularly during the summer. The following are the most common dangers for babies during hot weather.

  • dehydration
  • fever
  • overheating
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • gastroenteritis
  • mosquito borne diseases: dengue, malaria and chikungunya
  • sunburn
  • heat stroke
  • prickly heat
  • skin allergiesand rashes
  • insect bites

Hygiene and cleanliness

The summer heat increases perspiration, which can lead to skin infections and rashes. When bathing your baby, take special care to wash her neck, underarms and other visible folds in her body. Increasing the number of proper baths or sponge baths will keep her clean and cool. You could add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or neem oil to the bath to naturally disinfect her body. You could also wash your baby’s laundry in hot water with a mild disinfectant to get rid of germs. Regularly clean your baby’s hands, especially if she keeps touching her face.


Keep your baby cool and comfortable in loose fitting cotton clothing that lets her skin breathe. When it gets extremely hot some mothers leave their little ones in nothing but a vest or singlet the whole day. Use a summer hat to protect her face when you step out.

If there are mosquitoes in your area then keep your baby’s arms and legs covered with clothes made from light, breathable materials, like cotton. Read more on summer essentials for your baby.

Food and drink

As long as you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby, you will not need to give her water. But your baby may feed more frequently and for shorter periods in the heat. This is because she will feel thirsty. But the body is well made because the first milk that comes out is the watery foremilk which will give your baby all the fluids she needs.

If you are formula feeding your baby, you might need to give her water in the heat. You will need to be extremely careful about sterilising the bottle or bowl and spoon you use to feed your baby with and making sure the water is safe. Do speak to your doctor before introducing the water though.

You will also need to take care when preparing your food. What you eat may affect your breastmilk, which in turn can affect your baby’s health. Some studies show that a baby’s tummy can get upset by changes in her mother’s diet. Read more about your diet while breastfeeding.

Home and surroundings

Ventilate your home by keeping windows open, unless the hot dry wind (loo) is blowing. Throw away stagnant water that has collected in open vessels, like flower pots or coolers.

Pest control can also protect your home against all kinds of disease-causing insects, like cockroaches, ants and flies. Use good quality disinfectant to clean your home and keep it hygienic.

Pre-summer check

Carry out a pre-summer check in your home. Check that it is clean and safe. Get rid of any potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Look for gaps under the door and in the windows where hot air and insects can come in and get them repaired. You might like to call an electrician to check your fans and fridge are in good working condition for the summer. Your cooler or air conditioner will also need servicing.


Most summer diseases can be avoided by staying indoors in a cool clean environment. When you go out with your baby take the following precautions to keep her cool and healthy:

  • Keep her away from crowded places, where the chances of catching an infection are high.
  • Keep her away from direct sunlight and hot temperatures, especially the hot dry winds.
  • Use a mosquito net to protect your baby from harmful insect bites.
  • Keep her clean. Regularly wash her hands and trim her nails.
  • Use sunscreen to protect her from the sun’s harmful rays.

Despite your best efforts to keep your baby healthy, babies do fall sick. If this happens then contact your doctor.

In case you don’t have it already, consider getting health insurance. Health insurance can help to minimise any unforeseen expenses due to medical emergencies. Several health care packages are available nowadays to suit different budgets and medical requirements.


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