I am the mother of three summer babies and live by the ocean, so my babies went to the beach. It is usually cooler at the beach, especially at low tide, so it was a great place to spend part of the day amongst the soothing sounds of the sea. Here are my tips to keeping your babies safe at the seaside!
- Invest in a good quality beach tent with SPF protection. I like the three-sided ones with pouches along bottom that you fill with sand or rocks to hold it down, in addition to stakes that come with it. Make certain there are vents for air flow because it makes a big difference! Aim the solid side towards the sun to provide the most shade, and you may need to adjust the angle of the tent during the day. My tent was big enough for me to sit under while I nursed, room to change baby, for their seat or to spread a towel out for tummy time. Make certain to keep babies out of direct sunlight, and remember, babies under six months can’t wear sunscreen.
- Dress the baby in lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing. Don’t forget a sun hat, preferably one that ties and covers the backs of their neck.
- A mosquito net is also a good investment to use in your yard, on the beach, or out on walks. Very fine netting with elastic around the edges can go around a seat or the stroller.
- Concerned about AC or a lack thereof? Generally, your baby needs one more layer of clothing than you do. When in doubt, check their temperature with an axillary thermometer, and it should register in the 98 degree range.
- Snuggling or nursing babies can get pretty sweaty in the summer. You may want to consider giving the baby a bath as part of your daily routine. Sprinkle a little corn starch on your palm, and then rub it on baby. Avoid talc, and spraying the cornstarch in the air which can get into your baby’s lungs.
- Consider wearing your baby and both of you can enjoy a walk in the fresh air.
- If possible, try to head to the beach earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon when the sun is less strong.
Moms, do not forget yourselves! You do need to wear sunscreen, and make certain to pack lots of cold drinks and food for you. It is easy to get caught up in what the baby needs and forget about yourself!
- Relax and enjoy the summer with your little one!
Looking for more information? Check out our Boston-area newborn care classes!
There are many reasons to choose cloth diapers, and today’s options are incredibly easy-to-use. Here is a guide on how to use cloth diapers.
They save money. The savings will depend on what type of cloth diapers you choose, but whichever style you go with , there will be a savings with your first child and a huge savings with subsequent children as you can reuse the same diapers.
The environment. By not contributing to the enormous amount of disposable diapers that end up in land fills each year, you are ensuring your little pumpkin will live in a cleaner world.
Having natural products against your baby’s skin. Protecting my baby’s tender bum from the chemicals in disposable diapers was my reason for choosing cloth.
There are also a multitude of options for cloth diapers. Chose the one that fits your lifestyle the best!
The most economical is to use a diaper-service-quality Chinese or Indian cotton prefold. You can use the newborn size for roughly three months then switch to the regular size until your child is out of diapers. These need to be used with a diaper cover. It may be helpful, but not necessary, to use snappi’s or pins to secure the diaper to help prevent blowouts. These diapers need to be washed three times before their first use. Word to the wise: wash diaper covers in the regular washing machine but hang them to dry, and they will last much longer. Also, covers do not need to be changed at every diaper change. Good sources of Chinese or Indian cotton prefolds are thegreennursery.com, and amazon.com.
Pre-fitted, all-in-one and pocket diapers are a more expensive option, but are as easy to use as disposables. Some need covers and others do not. They come in many sizes, fabrics and colors. It is wise to stick to gender-neutral colors/patterns so they can be used again. Turn all-in-one and pre-fitted diapers inside-out before drying. The one-size-fits-all diapers really do not work well until your baby reaches at least 12 lbs., but then work wonderfuly until baby reaches 35 lbs.
To wash cloth diapers, follow these easy steps:
- Rinse poop from diaper with a sprayer attachment. Leave it wet until washing – it reduces stains.
- Wash 12-18 diapers in your machine on the highest water level with a cold pre-rinse with no detergent.
- Then run the hot cycle with Tide or special diaper detergent. (Don’t use Tide Free.) Do not use fabric softeners, and use bleach sparingly as it breaks down the fibers.
- Dry diapers by line (preferable) or machine.
- Still on the fence? Try a company that rents starter packages so you can see if cloth diapering is for you. Modernclothdiapers.com, kissedbythemoon.com and earthycrunchymom.com all offer this service. Some companies offer packages which can be more economical or customized. Check out Greenmountaindiapers.com, clothdiapers.com, cottonbabies.com and borntolove.com.
Want to learn more about cloth diapering and see your options first hand? Sign up for a class at The Diaper Lab in Somerville, MA. Go to their website for class dates and to register.
For more information on caring for your little baby and their bum, check out one of our newborn care classes or join a new mom’s group! We hope to see you soon!
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When most people hear the term “hands free,” they think of phones. Unless they are a parent.
Like most babies, mine liked to be held – all the time. But, it made getting things done a challenge. Behold, an infant carrier, the device for hands-free baby-wearing that got me through my children’s early years!
Housework? No problem, with a child strapped to my chest. Grocery shopping? A breeze. Walking the dog? I could stroll the neighborhood with the leash in one hand, a coffee in the other, and the baby snuggled content and close in the carrier.
They keep unwanted strangers from touching your newborns, too. The strangers who feel comfortable approaching a carriage in the mall to tickle a baby’s cheek would never dream of touching them in a carrier.
For nursing mothers of newborns, they can be a lifesaver. Babies who comfort nurse for hours on end can get all the snuggly warmth, mommy smells and rocking that they crave in a carrier, while giving their mothers a rest.
My first two children are two years apart to the week, though they actually weighed the same when the older was 2 ½ and the younger 6 months. I would strap the younger one to my front and put the older one in a backpack and head out for walks on the beach where a stroller was too hard to push.
(A word of caution: when grocery shopping, keep one hand on baby’s back to prevent banging their head on cart while unloading items.)
I highly recommend using a carrier, whatever style you feel comfortable with. Try a few different ones at the store to a friend’s house and then decide. I preferred the soft fabric ones for around the house and liked the more structured ones for outdoors. My husband would only use the structured style. Give hands free a try!