Young Parents Team
If you are hot and bothered by the weather, surely your little one is feeling the same way, too. Keep her cool and happy with our expert tips.
1. Take a dip in the pool
It’s fine for your healthy baby – even newborns from around six to eight weeks old – to go in the pool. But start with no longer than 10 minutes each session, advises Dr Natalie Epton, specialist paediatrician and neonatologist at International Paediatric Clinic.
Watch your baby for cues that she has had enough, like shivering or a bluish discolouration around the lips.
Try to avoid peak periods when the pool is likely to be crowded, as there will be a higher risk of your little one being shoved or splashed.
Also, avoid going during the hottest period of the day, between 11am and 3pm. Dr Epton shares that she likes to take her three kids to the pool in the late afternoon, when the sun has warmed the water a little.
Ensure Baby has adequate sun protection, as well. This may take the form of swimwear with intrinsic SPF, sunscreen for exposed skin, as well as a floppy hat.
She might manage only 10 minutes of swimming before she gets cold and bored. As soon as she is ready to get out of the pool, wrap her in a towel and head straight for the shower – you need to wash the chlorine off immediately.
2. Wear lightwear fabric (and skip the prickly heat powder!)
Keep your baby’s skin dry by dressing her in light, loose-fitting clothing, and avoid having wet cloth bibs around the neck for prolonged periods. These allow moisture to stay in close contact with skin, creating the perfect environment for a fungal infection, says Dr Epton.
And while you probably grew up using prickly heat powder or talcum powder to keep skin dry, most doctors now discourage the practice.
There are two main concerns, explains Dr Epton. The powder is made from grinding a soft stone called talc, which is mainly made up of magnesium salts. Babies risk inhaling the tiny particles into their lungs, which can lead to breathing problems. Excessive use on the face has led to severe breathing problems and even death in extreme cases.
Secondly, some studies have raised concerns about an increased risk of cancer in women who use talcum powder in the genital area to stay dry. However, further studies failed to prove a strong link. Still, the American Academy of Pediatrics continues to advise against the use of talcum powder on small babies.