You wake up, the sun is shining, and it seems like a wonderful idea to go out in the sunshine for a fun day out with baby. Three hours later, when you have packed enough bags for a trip to the tropics, you have attempted to leave the house three times but have been thwarted each time by the arrival of a dirty nappy, or the need for a feed, you are finally ready to venture out, at which point you realise it is now raining... To help avoid these pitfalls, we here at Babyblooms have put together some top tips and practical advice to (hopefully) help you get out of the front door and enjoy a day trip with your baby.
First of all, as we all know, we need to be careful to keep tiny babies out of the sun entirely, but when baby is on the move, around six months, then they can venture out in the sunshine, though you should head for the shade between 12pm and 3pm. It is best to protect their delicate skin with loose, light fitting cotton clothing and use a sun cream especially formulated for babies with an SPF of at least 15, offering good UVA and UVB protection. You generally need more sun cream than you might first think, a plum sized dollop is a good guide and pat rather than rub to give the skin a good covering. Try and apply around 15 minutes before going outside and remember to reapply every couple of hours (more if they are splashing around in water). Sun protection can be very tricky with a baby with eczema or sensitive skin, try a patch test of a hypoallergenic formula before applying all over (SunSense Kids SPF 50+ was great when my little ones had eczema, well worth the slightly higher price tag). Make sure you apply their eczema emollients or treatments first, then apply the sunscreen half an hour later.
Going out and feeling the sun on your face is definitely good for the soul and the world feels like a better place in the sunshine. It really is worth the effort to get out with your baby and so we have put together a list of suggestions to try and make this process that little bit easier.
1) Take more nappies and wipes than you possibly think you could ever need, there is nothing worse than being miles away from a shop and realising you have run out.
2) Nappy bags are also very useful and have many, many uses beyond a dirty nappy including dirty clothes, the remains of the picnic and to carry those pebbles that your child just cannot live without...
3) Changing mats also have many uses including a place for baby to sit on at any time when you are out and about.
4) Muslins are also essential for wiping faces, acting as picnic blankets or for creating some shade.
5) Take an extra change of clothes for everyone, I am still scarred from the memory of a day trip where my little one's nappy leaked on my lap and I was a long way from home and a change of clothes!
6) Baby care cream is ideal for soothing heat rash and insect bites.
7) Snacks, snacks and snacks (including for you) and plenty of drinks.
8) Wooden Toys make great distractions for baby if they get bored.
9) Leather shoes are perfect for protecting little feet when baby is crawling round on the grass or sand.
10) Finally, a neat trick for a teething or messy baby, pop more than one bib on baby before you leave the house and then simply remove the top layer when soggy - genius!
Don't forget to take some photos of your day to share with friends or to add to a baby diary, after you have gone to all the effort of getting you and baby out of the house it is worth making sure you all remember what a lovely day you have had!
Getting baby to sleep on a hot day can be a challenge. If you are out and about make sure you don't leave baby to sleep in a hot car and, if baby is in a pushchair make sure you have a sun canopy or an umbrella to keep baby out of the sun. It can get surprisingly hot and airless in a pushchair so it is best not to put even a lightweight blanket or muslin over the hood to keep the sun off, maybe try putting the pushchair in some shade instead. At night, ideally their room should be between 16 and 20 degrees but of course this isn't always possible. You can open lots of doors and windows before bedtime to try and cool the room down and put a fan on in the room before they go to bed, although it is best to keep this well out of the reach of curious little fingers and they probably won't appreciate sleeping with the fan trained directly on them. A lovely cool bath just before bed will help and you could try putting their pillowcase in a plastic bag in the freezer, so it is lovely and cold when baby rests her head. As a rule of thumb, if baby is wearing a nappy, vest and sleepsuit, just a sheet is needed if the temperature is over 24 degrees, but be led by baby, if she is still hot it is fine for her to go to bed in just her nappy and you can always cover her with a sheet later in the evening if her room cools down.
Sometimes life is so busy with a small baby we forget to take the time to just stop and marvel at how amazingly beautiful they really are. Sunny days out are where special memories are made, they give us the chance to relax and relish this little person as they and we enjoy the sunshine - just don't forget the nappies and suncream!