Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Keeping Baby Safe on July 4

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Keeping Baby Safe on July 4With the 4th of July just around the corner, many of us are heading to celebrations and parades with our little ones. This is such a fun holiday, filled with family, friends and fun that sharing it with our babies comes naturally. But, before you head out to participate in the fun, read these few simple tips to keep baby safe and happy during the festivities.

When getting baby dressed for the day, think layers and sun protective clothing. I like to give my older babies a good dose of sunscreen before dressing for a summer day to make sure any gaps in clothing are covered. Items such as leggings or long sleeve shirts can help cover and protect skin both from sun and bugs. Clothing with a tighter weave does a better job at protecting from UV rays than looser, mesh-style fabric. Don’t forget the sunhat, glasses and lightweight blankets.

When the sun begins to set and you’re heading to the fireworks shows, remember to bring ear protection. There are many products on the market for baby ear protection. Baby banz provide excellent ear protection for fireworks, sporting events and other loud events. If you’re looking for something a bit less bulky, I’ve used silicone ear plugs as ear protection. They mold to the outer ear and babies cannot pull them off as easily. They do a great job in protecting the noise levels and helps keep the little guys from startling.

During a fireworks display or parade, babywearing can be a lifesaver. By wearing your baby you can tell when they have had too much, make sure they are not overwhelmed or in the line of fire for flying items, and baby is comforted by having mom nearby. Sometimes just being near mom or dad is enough to comfort baby during the busy and craziness of the day.

If baby is still upset over the noise and overstimulation, sometimes it’s best to hedge your bets and head indoors to watch the fun from the safety and quiet of inside. Remember to listen to your baby’s needs and cues as they let you know what they need to make it through the day.

Pia Watzig is a stay at home to three crazy boys in Portland, Oregon. She enjoys knitting, gardening, camping and chasing her kids. 

Summer Play Dates for Baby

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

IMG_0202There’s something about summer. The sunshine, warm air, and beauty of nature seem to make everything better. For me, motherhood becomes even more enjoyable. I love to be outside. Sunshine just makes me happy, and it seems to have the same effect on my little ones. Here are some great ideas for summer play dates for you and baby.

Imaginative Play at Home

Invite a friend and her little ones over and enjoy imaginative play. Take an outdoor blanket and sit outside with your babies and have a play picnic. Bring out the play food and have a tea party. Cozy coupe cars are fun for older babies, too. Pretend your little one is going to the store or ice cream shop and integrate more toys. If you are still playing with a younger baby, break out some balls and let them experience different sizes and textures. Bubbles are also a fun thing to play with in the summer. My 8-month-old son loves bubbles already, and they are inexpensive at any local store.

Water Fun

Depending on where you live, there are several different ways you can have fun in the water with your little one. In my area, splash pads are at most parks. These fun water attractions are an easy way to beat the heat. Even before my daughter could walk, sitting on the sidewalk by the sprinklers was a hit for us.

Local pools are also a great way to enjoy the water with babies. Mommy-and-me swim lessons are offered at most community pools and YMCA centers. The bonus is you can learn about water safety and get your baby used to being in the water. Plus, you get to enjoy the time together.

Water tables are a fun toy to play with at home, as well, as baby gets older and can walk. Older siblings would enjoy the hours of entertainment a water table can bring. You can always be simple and just invest in a small sprinkler or baby pool that you can enjoy at home. Then, you have a go-to for fun play dates at home all summer long.

Fun Around Town

Get together with other moms and decide on a local place to meet up. Here in my area, we have a children’s zoo. Bring the stroller or wagon or babywear in your favorite carrier. (I would be using my Tula!) Zoos usually have season memberships where you can stay as long or little as you want and then head home for the day. No worries about tantrums or cranky babies that way.

Many cities have aquatic centers or intriguing parks for little ones. Babies are not too small to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature and outdoor activities.

One of my favorite things to do on summer play dates with my baby is just meet up with a few friends at a local coffee shop, grab a drink, and head out on a stroller walk. We walk to a playground where the baby swings are or simply just walk around town. Babies love the interaction and fresh air. The bonus is the fresh air usually wears them out, so you can expect a good nap later!

Whatever you do this summer, get outside! Make new friends and invite the ones you have on fun play dates. Don’t stress about making them fancy, just enjoy your baby and the beautiful weather.

Karyn Meyerhoff lives, writes, and goes on play dates in Northeast Indiana. She can’t wait to break in her new double jogging stroller this summer.

Summer Essentials for Baby

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Summer essentials for babyOh, glorious sun! The joys of warm weather seem almost believable now after inches of snow and ice. I’m so excited, I don’t even want to waste my time with words about it. I put away sweaters and pulled out summer clothes this week. I also made a few purchases. Technically, you don’t need anything to get through summer except a few good tunes, sunscreen, and sunglasses, and maybe even those aren’t “needs.” That said, there are a number of things that excite and inspire me to make it through these last few cool nights.

I think our sons would live outside day and night if we allowed them. Sunscreen is a must and your kids will thank you later! We have a cream for the body and a stick for their faces and the diaper bag. Also consider things like a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) shirt, shorts, or tankini! That’s less sunscreen you have to rub on the kiddos before they head out. We have two swim diapers that we rotate for our youngest instead of disposable swim diapers. They save us money, save diapers from the landfill, and are absolutely adorable.

Don’t forget to protect sweet little eyes (and your own!) with sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection too! For any who dread the challenge of pool hair, also consider California Baby’s Swimmer Defense shampoo, body wash, and conditioner. Aside from smelling delicious, the unique blend of emollients, herbs, and natural sunscreens protect your hair and will keep you shining long past when summer rays make way for the fall.

Don’t forget to protect skin from bugs with a low-hazard spray as well. The Environmental Working Group provides a database of common skin products and their hazard level. Episencial and Balm! Baby are two reputable brands that pack a punch against bugs. Clothing that provides extra coverage, like UPF shirts or tankinis, also help as they cover more skin.

I found no-slip sandals have proven a worthy investment for our kids as they often play in a water table on the patio many summer days. The slippery patio (or pool area) is the last thing I want to worry with when we’re basking in the warmth. You can purchase water sandals or a hybrid sandal that is suitable for public pools and also find use for them at the lake, beach, and general time out and about.

A water friendly baby carrier is a total treat for mom and babe. I’m not interested in taking a soft-shell carrier or most any wrap into the sandy beach or chlorine-filled water of the pool. The Wrap DuO offers a light, water-friendly support for keeping your baby near you with cool ease these summer months.

Lynette Moran shares her life with her husband and two sons, ages 1 and 3 years. She has cloth diapered both since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Three Summer Must-Haves for Baby

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Three Summer Must-Haves for BabySummer presents some new baby-equipment dilemmas: swimming, water, sand, changing clothes on the go. If you’re a first-time mom, figuring it out can take some time. Wet babies are so slippery–wet toddlers are slippery and fast! And don’t get me started on changing diapers at the pool–or pool poop. So let’s make the learning curve a little gentler with this summer primer for all things baby.

Cloth Swim Diapers: Disposable swim diapers are awful. For one, they do not hold in solid waste–not even remotely.  Second, if you do happen to catch #2 in time, disposable swim diapers only come off one way—straight down. Let that process for a moment so you can really take in that visual. Third, disposable swim diapers are seriously expensive. They are OK in a pinch, but I hated them for regular use.

You can buy swim diapers specifically for swimming, and the benefit to these diapers is tight legs and a mesh liner. The tight legs keep anything from escaping, and the liner makes it easy to shake out. They work so well, some pools actually require them to help prevent accidents. These diapers also don’t retain water as much, so you don’t get the “hammer pants” effect when baby is out of the water, and they will dry faster. Another option is using a plain cloth diaper like an All In One with the liner removed. You will have to make sure it’s a tight fit, so older diapers with loose elastic won’t cut it.  The benefit here is that you already have them and it’s one less thing to remember. Velcro does not work very well when wet, so make sure you use one with snaps.

Swim Hat: All my kids are blonde, so hats were a must for us. I also like that you can buy them in UV-blocking materials, which means not having to use sunscreen on little faces and shoulders. I quickly learned with my first child that a regular sun hat does not cut it in the pool. UV and swim hats are made with materials that don’t hold water. When they get wet, the brim stays perky so your child can see. Get a regular hat wet and it’s all floppy and you have one sad baby who can’t see.

Wet Bag: Even if you’ve never used a cloth diaper in your life, you need a wet bag for the summer. The thing about a wet bag is that it keeps wetness and smells trapped in the bag, That’s useful for swimming, potty training, diaper changing, you name it. When we go to the pool or lake, I bring a wet bag and a change of clothes for every kid. When it’s time to go, each kid gets changed into dry clothes before they get in the car, which means no wet seats and no corralling kids into the bathroom first thing when we get home.  I always keep a wet bag in my trunk—you just never know when it will come in handy.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mother of three girls who love the water. She lives and writes in Queensbury, New York.

Five Summer Hydration Tips for Nursing or Pregnant Moms

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Five Tips for SUmmer HydrationStaying hydrated in the summer is tough when you are pregnant or nursing. Dehydration can lead to problems for nursing moms, and dehydration when you are pregnant can lead to crazy Braxton-Hicks and cramping elsewhere in your body.

I nursed two babies through the heat of summer and was pregnant during the summer with all three kids. Here is how I coped.

  1. Get a BIG insulated cup. Eight 8-ounce glasses of water? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Many times hospitals will give you a nearly spill-proof 32-ounce insulated mug with a lid and straw during your stay, and if you are still pregnant, you can get 32 and 64-ounce insulated mugs at many convenience stores and grocery stores. Two of those bad boys and you are hydrated for the day.
  2. Take that sucker with you EVERYWHERE. Don’t count on water being available anywhere you go. Most restaurants will serve you tap water that tastes like it’s right out of a water hose, and quick casual or fast food places may only serve sodas. Plus, being in a hot car will dehydrate you all by itself. So anytime you leave the house, make sure you have your own water.

    Five Summer Hydration Tips

    Camelbak thrown on over my baby carrier for hydration on a hike.

  3. Hydrate overnight. If you’re nursing in the summer, fill your insulated mug and stick it within reach of your favorite nursing spot before you go to bed. My favorite strategy was to fill my 32-ounce Camelbak with ice water before bedtime and then hang it over the rocking chair in my baby’s room. When I got up to nurse her, I could drink all the water I wanted hands-free while I nursed.
  4. Monitor your pee. Yep, I said it. The best way to gauge if you are hydrated is by noting the color of your pee. It should always be clear.
  5. Make water appealing to you. I only like super cold water. Some people like to make infusions with cucumbers, mint, or berries. You might keep lemons on hand to throw in there, or add a little fresh juice to it. Some people only like filtered water. Whatever you have to do, make staying hydrated easy so that it’s not just one more thing for you to keep track of, because you probably have enough already.

Remember that drinking other fluids, like soda or coffee, is not the same as drinking water. Your daily cup of coffee won’t leave you dehydrated especially if you are a regular consumer, but it shouldn’t count toward your 64-ounce goal for the day. Nursing moms may want to examine their caffeine habits if their baby is overly fussy. Caffeine affects babies under 3 months much more than older nurslings.

How do you stay hydrated in the summer?

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mother of three girls who lives and writes in Queensbury, New York.