Home » The Experts Say » Babys first summer

Babys first summer

By Sister Lilian for use by Baby City – ©Sister Lilian 2017

Summer days should be filled with family happiness, fresh air and sunshine. Sister Lilian gives you pointers to make the most of the holidays if you have a new baby to consider.

Of course, you might want to stay at home and continue settling in as a new family – not a bad idea if your baby is still a newborn or you feel you still need to find your feet. After all, home is where the heart is and for your baby, it’s all new, and you don’t necessarily need to go away to make the most of the South African summer. However, one can travel with a small baby and these five points will get your holiday off to a good start:
1. Buy inexpensive, special dangling or puppet toys that you only bring out in the car or on the plane to entertain your baby if she becomes restless.
2. Music will help soothe little ones (and parents) when on a long road trip, so update your playlist.
3. A bunch of keys and a magnet will fascinate a baby who has mastered the art of grasping items, endlessly.
4. Plan to take mini-breaks often if you’re in the car, because that will refresh the adults as well as your baby – make the trip as important as the destination.
5. Once you’re at your destination, take it easy for the first day or two so that you don’t disturb Baby’s developing routine too much. Locate the closest pharmacy and hospital too, just in case of medical emergencies.

Fun and games
The simplest family times are often the most fun, while ensuring that your summer holiday, whether at home or on the move, is a success and not fraught with more tension than at other times – because, believe it or not, when the absence of work and home stress should leave you feeling happy and relaxed, parents often find that they don’t really know how to spend 24/7 time with their new baby. It seems to be a skill that is fast disappearing in today’s busy, busy world. Here are a few ideas to help you to enjoyable times:

1. Go for extended walks. Whether your baby is in a buggy or in a kangaroo-type carrier, walks are guaranteed to soothe them if they are unsettled and waken their curiosity to everything around them, happily taking care of an hour or more.
2. Always have a variety of balls on hand to roll to your baby from a bout six months of age.
3. Stacking toys and beach buckets and spades are firm favourites from six or nine, and encourage dexterity.

Not too much sunshine or heat…
Because sunburn can spoil a holiday instantly (not to mention it’s bad effects on the skin), and exposure to long periods of unrelenting heat can make a baby very irritable, ensure that you take care of your new baby’s skin and her environment in these ways:
• Put on a hat and clothes that cover as much as possible, but are still light and cool
• Remember that sunburn also happens on overcast days
• Stick to midday shade as much as possible
• Slather on an age-appropriate, water-resistant sun cream, reapplying frequently – and don’t forget to put sun cream on ears, backs of necks, faces, the tops of feet, and partings in hair
• Keep Baby hydrated with breast milk and from six months on, additional fluid too
• Run a fan in the room where Baby takes a nap so that the ambient temperature is cooler and that there is some motion to the air, though not a direct fraught on your little one
• Dress Baby appropriately – it might only require a vest and nappy, or sometimes even just a nappy – feel in Baby’s nape and if clammy, Baby might be dressed too warmly
• Give Baby a refreshing tepid bath at odd times during the day, just to cool her down

TIP: A baby of three months and older can be introduced to a swimming pool but remember that they feel the cold sooner than you would; that you need to be sure that the water is hygienic, that Baby can burn while swimming, and that an adult should always hold them securely. Limit the time spent in the pool while Baby is less than six months of age.

Most of all, don’t forget that the art of spending summer fun and holidays together as a family is just that – an art! One has to practice what is best for your family, ensure that each parent gets some time to re-charge their personal batteries (maybe calling in a few favours from friends and family), and not to over-think it. These are tomorrow’s memories and it’s truly in your hands whether they are good ones or not. Babies take their cues from their close caregivers, so the more relaxed and happy you are, the more your baby will be – a recipe for success!

November 27, 2017

Wondering what to expect and when?

Many find it easy to work out how the weeks, months and trimesters relate to each other. Click a week, a month or trimester below to see what your little one will be doing in your 'bump' at that stage.

1st Trimester 2nd Trimester 3rd Trimester
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9
 *This is just a guideline and the exact weekly breakdown may differ from source to source.