Sweating Through Summer with a Baby

It’s that time of year again: swarms of tourists landing on scorching hot islands for their fair share of Vitamin D and islanders scurrying for shelter on prime survival mode. And then there are the mothers; glistening brows and everywhere else, clutching kids, and handling bags taking deep breaths akin to the second stage of labour.

Oh bummer dear Summer. You used to be actually fun.

Last year, I was a vocal proponent (with whoever would listen) of winter pregnancies. I spent the last trimester huffing through a heatwave, nursing sciatica and blood pressure that rode waves, dropping more than a bungee-jumping addict. What got me through were romantic daydreams of the following summer, of long days at the beach with a calm sleeping baby enjoying the lovely salty breeze. Well, it’s that longed for summer now, and reality is a tad different from those dreams.

Heat Rash

When the heat really hit, so did the rash. In the majority of cases a heat rash is harmless but it can generate quite a scare if never experienced. For the uninitiated, the rash is characterised by tiny red bumps surrounded with redness on the skin. Nonetheless, it’s wise to get it properly diagnosed by a paediatrician who can rule out other not-so-harmless reasons for the appearance of those angry spots. Keep the baby cool at all times, and remember that a short trip outside can further irritate the skin. There might be air-conditioning in cars but car seats tend to remain quite warm.

Beaching it

Long gone are the days swathed in tanning oil, dozing at the beach and returning home to the longest and deepest of sleeps on a cool bed. The 10-minute process of putting on a swimsuit, grabbing a towel and driving to the beach has now become an hour long procedure of packing half the house and chasing a fast-crawling ten month old with a swimming pull up and frilly swimsuit. Oh, and did I mention? Apparently swimming diapers don’t hold pee.

Sand for dinner

I love sandy beaches. I really do. Well, maybe not so much anymore. You get the gist. Babies’ idea of fun at the beach is by going on a tasting spree of their surroundings. Apart from the umbrella, swimming aides, half the house (as mentioned above) and a tonne of towels, we pack in a cute little bucket and spade for the baby to ignore. And eat sand instead. You may think, ‘well, this is where baby wipes come in’. True, many of us hold wipes in high regard; the sky’s the limit in the surfaces that can be effectively cleaned. Sand off skin is not one of them though, sorry.

Errands suck

Running errands and visiting the dentist are now afforded the same joyful anticipation. Embarking on outside-the-house-chores or school runs in the killer time of 11 to 3, is pure sweat glands’ torture. What can wait will have to wait some more, and if errands can be managed when the sun hasn’t yet reached its coffee or when on the brink of retiring, then this would be a most favourable option. No amount of zen can calm a hot fussy baby whilst trying to get a million and one things done.

Ever the optimist, I think I am still in the running-in of this summer with a baby thing. Hold on there mummies, it must get better by time, no?

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