Tuesday, 20 June 2017

10 Reasons Why Babies & Heatwaves Don't Mix




I want to enjoy the hot weather, honestly, I do. Back in my youth, I would have set up station in my garden wearing just a bikini until the very last rays of sunshine disappeared beyond the horizon. Things are different now though. If I thought last summer was hard work because of the pregnancy (take a look - 10 worst things about being pregnant on hot days), it had nothing on this year. Turns out, having a baby is pretty damn hard when there’s a heatwave, too. Here’s why:

1. You Have To Keep Babies In The Shade
Yep, that’s NHS advice. Keep babies in the shade. Well, fine, that might be doable when you have a newborn who can’t even roll over and lies happy beside you on the sunlounger, but I have a mobile baby. Not only can she move, she can move fast. And guess what? She doesn’t give a crap about the NHS guidelines. She is heading straight for the sun. I can spend fifteen minutes setting up a patch of shade with each and every toy imaginable in it, she won’t even notice it as she’s crawling full speed to the sun.

2. You Spend All Day Playing Sunhat Buckaroo
I spend pretty much all of my time outside just creeping up on my baby from behind so I can stick a sunhat on her head. She keeps it on for a millionth of a second then rips it off and throws it onto the ground. Once she threw it in the road. She doesn’t care about getting a burnt head, she just wants to be free from the burden of headgear.

3. The Baby Monitor Beeps Endlessly
Some helpful person over at baby monitor HQ thought it would be a good idea to fit thermometers into their products. I can see the reasoning, babies shouldn’t overheat so it helps you keep track of the temperature in the nursery. Yeah, well that’s great in the winter when you can just turn the heating down a notch if the alarm goes off. But what about when it’s 23 degrees at night and about eight billion degrees in your baby’s room and you can’t hear what Kimmy Schmidt is saying because the baby monitor alarm won’t stop going off. I know it’s hot, I am literally dripping in sweat, you don’t need to keep reminding me.

4. Breastfeeding Becomes Way More Flashy
It took me a few months of experimenting with various overpriced breastfeeding tops before I discovered the simplicity of wearing a vest top under my clothes. On top up, one top down and I can breastfeed discretely without flashing too much nipple. But I can’t wear two tops in this heat. Trust me, I tried, it was sweaty. So now I’ve had to wear just a single vest top (this is as dangerous as life gets these days) which means I have to whack my whole boob out when I want to feed the baby who screams blue murder with hunger only to turn away from my exposed breast as soon as I get it out. I’m pretty sure the whole village has seen my boob now.

5. Babywearing Is Grim
I love babywearing. It’s so lovely and snuggly and easy. And, in the winter, I got to be super smug about how warm I was because I had a tiny human radiator attached to my front. Well, I’m not so smug now. By the time I got to school for pick up today, I had an actual moustache made of sweat, my baby was covered in sweat and my fringe was greasy. It is way too hot to have a human strapped to my already sweating chest.

6. It’s Impossible To Dress Them Right
How are you meant to dress babies for a heatwave? I have no idea. I have a whole collection of adorable rompers and playsuits but they’re either too hot or there’s not enough fabric to cover her skin (yes, I might be slightly paranoid about sunburn). Her vests feel too thick to wear. Today I took her out in just a nappy. And I was jealous of her. I would love to be wandering around in just my underwear in this heat.

7. Babies Are Too Slippy
One of the greatest challenges in my life is holding onto my daughter when she wants to go down (this is all the time). I grab onto her and try to keep her up whilst she squirms and flails and battles her way to the floor. This is annoying at the best of times but it’s a million times more stressful when she’s slippy as a ell thanks to all the damn suncream. Putting suntan lotion on her is akin to covering her in oil and then trying desperately not to drop her.

8. Babies Eat Nature
Oh great, it’s sunny, let’s spend time outdoors. Oh no, that’s a flower, don’t eat that. Ooops, don’t eat that twig. Ha, that’s a snail, put him down. Oh, where did you get that stone from? Spit it out please. Oh great, an abandoned cigarette butt, please can I have that. That’s a leaf, don’t eat that. It’s so relaxing spending time outdoors with a baby.

9. Bedtime Is Hard
Bedtime is always hard because babies don’t believe in bedtime. My baby likes to pull books off the side, throw the baby monitor on the floor and crawl terrifyingly close to the edge of the bed. But she doesn’t like to go to bed. It takes ages to get her to sleep. Once she’s finally drifted into a dream, I have to gently pull my arm from under her and climb out of the bed to freedom. That’s not easy when she’s glued to my arm with a thick layer of sweat. I have to peel her skin from my skin just to get away. Obviously, this wakes her up.

10. The Stupid Sun Is Always There
Remember winter? When everything was dark and everybody stayed asleep until morning? Those days are gone. Now the stupid sun shines through my window directly into the eyes of my baby until she wakes up which takes approximately half a second and then she is Awake Forever. Thanks a lot, summer.

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