When you are packing your bag for the hospital at the end of your pregnancy, you aren’t only packing for yourself – you are also packing for your baby, for the first time. There are many factors that can influence what your baby should wear home from the hospital, but the most important consideration is the current season. In the heat of summer, what should baby wear home?
How Should You Dress A Newborn To Go Home In The Summer?
Deciding on the outfit that your baby will come home in depends on many factors. You must consider the season, remember that comfort is important, and make sure the clothes are the right size. Additionally, you want the clothes to be easy to get on and off.
For almost all summer weather situations, the best outfit for your newborn to leave the hospital in is a short-sleeved cotton onesie with socks.
However, you should also have layering items available to add to your baby if you happen to walk into an area with cold air conditioning or the weather suddenly becomes cooler. Items like long-sleeved onesies, hats, blankets, shorts, pants, and even thin jackets can be great clothing items for layering.
What Material Should Clothing Be?
Since it’s summer, the best clothing material is cotton because it is very breathable.
Breathable fabrics that are suitable for what your baby should wear home from the hospital (and in the summer months, in general) are cotton, gauze, and jersey knit. Fabrics that you should avoid are wool, flannel, minky, and fleece; these fabrics are much less breathable and are known for being very warm.
Newborn Clothes Checklist
To sum up what you should bring in order to be able to properly dress your newborn to come home during the summer (and to provide a cheat sheet for an easy packing checklist), pack the following items for your baby:
- A cotton short-sleeved or long-sleeved onesie (depending on the summer month and the regional summer climate)
- Cotton socks
- Cotton beanie/hat, not too tight
- Headbands (usually gender optional, cannot be too tight)
- Longer cotton socks
- Loose-fitting shorts or pants
- Receiving blankets (pack 2 or 3 at least because these tend to get dirty quickly)
- Thin, cotton jacket or shirt in case of cooler temperature shifts
- Extra onesies for changes
- Extra socks because babies love to take them off and throw them!
Other suggestions for the clothes that you should pack for your infant include:
- Bring onesies (and other clothing items) in a few different sizes. Baby clothes are notorious for being very ill-fitting. Most newborns will fit into clothes that are sized Newborn, even if it’s just for the first couple of days. Most often, your baby will fit best in Newborn sizes to come home in. If you know that your baby is measuring at 9 or 10 pounds, you may want to bring a 0-3 Months sized onesie. If you are having multiple babies, Preemie size will most likely fit the best because they tend to be born earlier and smaller than single births.
- Leave the following items at home: shoes, thick or heavy jackets, bulky dresses or one-piece suits, and heavy blankets. They will definitely not be needed in the summer.
- Don’t worry about baby mittens. While mittens are necessary for newborns, they aren’t necessary for their trip home from the hospital. Your baby’s hands were free while in the womb, so having them free during their trip home can help keep them calm and comfortable.
- Make sure the clothing you choose doesn’t cover your newborn’s face. This helps your baby stay cooler and breathe more easily.
Why Should You Pack a Blanket?
When most people think of summer, they think of heat. However, summer is not always hot. To begin with, in most regions of the United States, the beginning and end of summer tend to exhibit spring and fall temperatures more often than summer temperatures, respectively. Daily weather events like rain can change the temperature as well.
Average summer temperatures for the regions of the United States are:
- Pacific Northwest – 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit
- West Coast – 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit
- South – 80 to 100+ Fahrenheit
- Midwest – 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit
- East Coast – 70 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- New England (Northeast) – 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit
As you can see, the temperatures can range from rather cool to extremely hot depending on the region of the United States you live in. Therefore, packing a blanket for your newborn is absolutely necessary.
Cotton is always a great choice for baby blankets, but bamboo rayon is another amazing choice for blanket fabric for your baby. Bamboo rayon is ultra-soft, durable, great for sensitive skin, and thermal-regulating. Both cotton and bamboo rayon blankets are perfect for summer layering.
How to Know if Your Baby is Too Hot or Too Cold?
Newborn babies cannot regulate their temperature as well as older children and adults. They only release heat from their heads in the very beginning of their lives. Because the head is where they release heat, it is the only place they sweat when they are hot, and it is the most important area to keep covered when it is cold.
If you are not sure if your infant is overheating, look for these signs:
- They feel very warm to the touch.
- Your baby’s skin has become red.
- You notice that they have a rapid heartrate.
- They are exhibiting a fever but are not sweating.
- They have become lethargic or unresponsive.
- Your infant has started vomiting.
- They seem confused or disoriented.
When you notice that your baby is overheating, you should first begin removing blankets and layers of clothing to cool them down. In addition, you can give them cool fluids, bring them into a cooler room, or sponge them with cool or lukewarm water. If they do not start cooling down, contact your baby’s pediatrician.
On the opposite end of the temperature spectrum, there are physical signs that will tell you when your baby is too told, as well.
- Your baby’s hands and feet are cold to the touch.
- Their chest or belly feels cold underneath their clothes.
- Your infant is fussy for no apparent reason.
- The most dangerous cold symptom is when they become very still and quiet.
To warm your newborn, wrap them in blankets and hold them close to you to absorb your body heat. Make sure that their room isn’t being kept too cold; the best temperature for a baby’s room is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit no matter what the temperature is outside. If they do not begin warming up, contact your infant’s pediatrician.
Other Tips for Keeping Your Newborn Cool in the Summer
While clothing is one of the easiest ways to manage your baby’s temperature, there are other ways to help ensure that your baby does not overheat during the summer.
1. Keep your newborn out of direct sunlight.
When your baby is having tummy time outside, keep them in the shade. If you are strolling your baby outside during a sunny day, keep the stroller covered – you can use a thin baby blanket or a car seat cover to do this. Moreover, apply baby sun guards to your car windows in order to prevent sunlight from beaming through the windows onto your baby.
2. Keep your baby hydrated
Overheating can quickly lead to dehydration, especially in young infants. Monitor how much fluid your baby is taking in. Check how many times your baby urinates in their diaper throughout the day to ensure they are staying hydrated. If you are breastfeeding, make sure you are staying hydrated in order to produce enough fluid for your baby.
3. Invest in a stroller fan
A stroller fan will ensure that your baby still gets a breeze while inside their stroller to combat any heat.
4. Carry a towel wet with cool water
You can use a cool, damp towel to help cool down your baby while outside on walks or in the car on long trips.
5. Make sure your baby-wearing cloth fabric is breathable
Wearing your baby is a wonderful way to bond with them and be able to continue to do chores and tasks while holding your baby, but if the fabric of your baby wearer is not breathable, it can quickly cause your baby to become too hot.
6. Close blinds and curtains and turn fans on at home
This is especially important for the hottest parts of the day in regions with very hot summers. This will help make sure the temperature in your home stays cool and stable.
A newborn baby summer may include lots of wardrobe changes and adjustments and plenty of temperature checking and heat-proofing, but, while the number of things you need to manage may seem overwhelming at times, maternal instinct makes them all second nature. Starting off your baby’s trip home with the proper cool, breathable clothing for summer is just the first of many, many things you will do to make sure your baby stays healthy and happy.
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