Summer sniffle solutions
- Raise the head area of your baby’s cot to help him breathe more easily.
- Try saline nose drops or sprays, as salt water helps clear a snotty nose.
- Keep him away from flowers and plants if the sniffles seem to worsen when you’re outside.
- Pop a few drops of baby decongestant on a tissue and waft near him.
- Offer sips of water often, as babies can get dry mouths when they’ve got a runny nose in the heat.
Keeping your baby safe in the sun
- Follow the six-month rule. Babies less than 6 months old should be kept out of direct sunlight.
- Dodge it. Between 11am and 3pm the sun is at its strongest, so try to stay in the shade during these hours.
- Up the factor. Even on cloudy days you need to cover your little one’s skin in sunscreen. A minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 is recommended.
- Put a hat on. Always use a sun hat with a wide brim for your tot. Try to find one with neck cover, too.
- Cover up with cotton. Loose, cool, cotton clothing on arms and legs gives an extra layer of protection without overheating worries.
Your baby’s temperature
- In between is best. Don’t go over the top with thick clothes. Your baby needs to be warm, not hot.
- The nape of the neck is the best place to test his temperature with your hand. He should be warm, the same as you feel when you are comfortable.
- Thin layers are better than thick. This way, you can add or take away cardigans, blankets, hats and gloves if you need to.
- Follow your lead. If you need to wrap up in a coat, hat and gloves, then so will your baby.
- Layer down when you go indoors, so your little one can cool off.
Ease your baby’s fever
- Give your baby liquid paracetemol or liquid ibuprofen (not aspirin), following the recommended dosage carefully.
- Remove some layers of clothing to help cool him down.
- A little one suffering from a fever can become easily dehydrated. Make sure you offer him plenty of fluids, including milk.
- Gently sponging him down with water may be helpful. Make sure it’s lukewarm rather than cold.
- Regularly monitor his temperature and contact your GP if it goes above 39ºC.
How to get the most out of baby clinic
- Always bring your baby’s health book so the health team have up-to-date records.
- Jot down any worries you have before you go and make a note of any tips or advice during your appointment.
- Ask if you can have more time at the end of clinic or at home if you need it.
- Be prepared to have a long wait. Always bring a nappy change, feeds for your baby and something for you to do.
- If you’re planning on weighing your baby, dress her in easy-to-remove clothing so you can listen to any advice at the same time.
Baby immunisation tips
- Read up beforehand on what immunisations are recommended and possible side effects so you can make informed choices for your tot.
- Take your child’s health records with you. It’s vital you have a record of any treatment your child receives.
- Say how your baby has been recently, especially if she’s had a fever or been ill. You may have to postpone until your tot is feeling better.
- Be aware your baby may feel ill afterwards. He may have a fever or be irritable and there may be redness or swelling at the injection site.
- Monitor your tot for a couple of days after her vaccination. For side effects, give children’s paracetamol or ibuprofen in the correct dose.
- Bringing someone with you helps relieve your worries and is another pair of arms to offer a cuddle.
- Try feeding while the jab’s happening. It can calm babies as it produces oxytocin, the pleasure hormone.
- Be prepared for side effects. To help, have a thermometer and some baby paracetamol ready at home.
- Don’t plan anything afterwards. Your baby could feel a bit ropey for 48 hours following his injections.
Nappy rash – symptoms
- Increased salivation. Can lead to concentrated urine, and a sore bottom.
- Illness. Sick babies are susceptible to nappy rash, as they often change their feeding and drinking patterns.
- Antibiotics may upset your baby’s digestive system causing diahorrea that can lead to nappy rash.
- Changes from breast to formula milk may alter your baby’s bowel habits, leading to skin irritation.
- The introduction of solids can sometimes trigger nappy rashes.
Nappy rash – what to do
- Change nappies frequently. The mix of wee and poo produces ammonia, which quickly damages skin.
- Keep skin creases clean. Just use water as it won’t irritate sensitive skin.
- Give your baby nappy-off time. After a change fresh air will help dry the skin.
- Look out for thrush If your baby’s being treated for oral thrush, check for small red-crusted spots in the nappy area.
- If your tot’s on antibiotics there’s a chance of more frequent or looser stools, making nappy rash a greater risk.