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Friday, April 13, 2018

The Coddling Couple - A Guide to Safely Introducing Your New Baby to the Outdoors

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As soon as your baby is born they become the most important thing in your life. Being so tiny and fragile, you vow to do everything in your power to protect them. For this reason, many parents are hesitant to initially take their newborns into the outdoors. However, by taking a few simple safety precautions, you can all enjoy what nature has to offer.

Avoid busy city streets and crowds, your baby’s immune system will take a while to develop and you don’t want them getting sick from being around highly populated areas. Instead take them to parks, reserves, national parks, and on bushwalks. It’s not natural for a baby to be cooped up inside, so rug them up, take them out and let their senses enjoy all the beauty of the great outdoors. They may just teach you to appreciate it more as well.

Sunburn


Summer is all about fun in the sun, so don’t start thinking that the sun is evil. Sunburn is always going to be a concern, but we can all benefit from some vitamin D and time out in the warm sun. Just make sure you take the right precautions to protect your baby’s brand new, sensitive skin from sunburn. Depending how hot it is, keep them in a loose onesie to protect most of their skin that way.

If your baby is over 6 months old, put baby formula sensitive sunscreen on their faces and the rest of their body that is exposed. If they are under 6 months old, then just keep them in their pram, or under the shade of a tree or umbrella. There are plenty of great prams in Australia that provide collapsible protective hoods and aprons to guard against the sun but still allow your baby to see out and enjoy their time outside.

Hydration

Dehydration is a big health concern for newborns living in hot climates. A baby’s sweat glands don’t fully develop for some time, so don’t rely on an absence of, or excessive sweat as a marker for dehydration. Watch for a flushed, red face, rapid breathing and restlessness. Be sure to keep your baby drinking regularly when they are outside in the heat and bring along extra bottles of pumped milk or formula.

Blankets and Clothing

On the same note of overheating, think about your choice of material to line their pram or cover them with. If it’s a hot day, then remove all blankets and thick cushioning from the pram and use lightweight, breathable fabrics instead. Dress your baby in a light coloured, breathable onesie. Dark colours absorb heat, so if you’re taking them out in the winter, switch it around and dress them in thick, woolly dark colours.

Hats and beanies can be very cute fashion accessories but are also great for protecting your baby from the sun and keeping them warm in winter. In the summertime, ensure your baby wears a hat with a wide brim to protect their face. When in the pram or out lying on a rug, make sure their face is protected by a cover or umbrella so they aren’t copping direct sunlight in their face.

Finally, keep an eye on your baby and make sure they don’t eat plants while you are out and about. Babies are going to want to explore their world with all their senses and will try to put everything in their mouths, but the wrong leaf or plant matter can make them very ill. So, keep them on the milk or little snacks you’ve brought. Get them out, let them explore and get dirty and join in the fun with them. Remember how much fun the great outdoors is when you’re a child.

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