Essential Summer Baby Kit

I actually started drafting this post when Baby Lighty was 13 months old. And of course, the minute you start to prepare for the summer in Britain,  you can pretty much guarantee tha The Great British Summertime will allude us. This post has therefore lay redundant, tucked into a drafts cupboard somewhere on All Things Spliced, eagerly awaiting the return of warmer weather (or at least a break in the rain).

Fortunately that weather now seems to be upon us, hurrah! Of course, now that I’ve committed this to writing, it’s likely to pour down for the next few months (sorry about that!). And this warmer weather will always throw me back to being the Mum of the Newborn. When Baby Lighty was tiny, the UK was in the throes of a heatwave, and this did nothing to set a very anxious new mummy’s mind at rest. I remember being consumed with worry about my tiny baby overheating, and worried every day – and night – about every aspect of the heat.

What should he be wearing? Should I be supplementing my breastmilk with water (FYI, I was given what I can now see as  bad advice on this; if you’re able to breastfeed sucessfully, you don’t need to supplement with water as breastmilk thins to hydrate more)? Then later, should I be supplementing Baby Lighty’s formula feeds with boiled water? I was always on the look out as to whether he’d had he had enough wet nappies that day, checking how warm he was and worrying whether we were on the verge of dehydration..

As with most things, however, there are usually certain pieces of kit that can help. They probably won’t rid you entirely of worry, but they may at least soothe your anxious mummy mind during the summer months. So, if you’re expecting a summer bundle of joy, and in the hope that warmer weather is here to stay, here is the Lighty guide to essential summer baby kit:

  1. Rooms feeling Hot, Hot, Hot…

I love, love, loved my GroEgg when Baby Lighty was tiny. There are many room thermometers available – our monitor even measures the temperature of the room – but I found the at-a-glance ability to see just how hot the room was from the GroEgg so reassuring. When it finally went back to yellow after weeks and weeks of glowing a bright, brazen orange, I allowed myself to relax a little!

2. Vests, Vests and more Vests!

These will be on the shopping list of most parents-to-be. However, it was so hot when Baby Lighty was born that he spent the majority of his time in a vest and little, if nothing, else! We were given a lot of really cute vests when he was born, as well as hand-me-down vests from friends with older children. You may wish to invest in some patterned vests so that your child can spend the summer months looking a little bit fancy if this is all they end up wearing for a while. Nowadays our vests have reverted to just boring white or blue! We’re so clichéd!

Essential Summer Baby Kit

A teeny, teeny, tiny Baby Lighty in one of his many, many vests!

3. Sleep Light, Don’t let the Overheating Bite

Nighttime was when I worried the most about Baby Lighty overheating. Even with all of the windows wide open, and once a truly epic thunderstorm, he often slept in just a vest and nothing else (see point three above!). When the weather did cool slightly, I invested in some light 1 tog sleeping bags. We never went down to a 0.5 tog, but it’s something you may want to investigate if you have a particularly warm house.

Essential Summer Baby Kit

Baby Lighty in a 1 tog GroBag once the nights started to cool down, and with a monkey apparently.

I opted for GroBags from The Gro Company, just because I like the reassurance of having the underarm poppers, as Baby Lighty was a tiny newborn. Indeed, he couldn’t use a sleeping bag for about 8 weeks after he was born as he was only 6lbs 8.5oz at birth. The minimum recommended weight for a newborn is 8lbs. He didn’t hit the minimum weight recommendation for the 6 – 18 month bags until he was almost 13 months!! With this in mind, you may have to invest in some breathable swaddle muslins if you have a small born summer baby.

4. Ice Ice (Cold Water) Baby!

A slightly odd addition to the list, perhaps, but if you’ve ever used the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine in hot climes, you may know why I’ve included this! It was so hot when Baby Lighty was tiny that often the water in the machine was too hot to use! To combat this, Tommee Tippee advised to keep a jug of water in the fridge to fill the machine up from, and this definitely helped Mr and Mrs Lighty to keep their cool!

Essential Summer Baby Kit

This is not a good sight on your Perfect Prep machine…

If you’re able to, it’s also wise to keep some ready-made bottles of formula available, just in case you can’t cool your bottle water for any reason. Similarly, if there’s a powercut due to thunderstorms, you wouldn’t be able to use your Prep machine or kettle. Unfortunately, due to Baby Lighty’s reflux, this wasn’t an option for us but would have made life a lot less stressful when he was tiny if it had been!

And obviously, if you’re breastfeeding, then you hopefully wouldn’t have these worries at all!!

5. In the Hood

This is actually something which I wish I’d bought with hindsight, but unfortunately didn’t: a buggy with a big hood. I often looked on with envy at my friends who had buggies with hoods that came right down over the top of baby. And there I was, having to stop every few steps as I struggled to reposition the sun parasol. Yet again.

Essential Summer Baby Kit

We’re going to need a considerably bigger hood…

So there we have it, all set for our summer babies. And it’s not all doom and gloom if your little one is summer born. Just think, summer birthday parties in the garden, washing on the line outside, walks in the park…enjoy, summer mamas!!

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