So the 4th might not be the most baby-friendly holiday (infants don’t really mix well with beer, sparklers, and sweltering temps) but it can still be lots of fun—so long as your bag is packed right. Check out what Payal Adhikari, MD, a pediatrician with Child & Adolescent Health Associates in Chicago, suggests for a safe and baby-happy celebration.
Battle Pesky Mosquitos
After two months of age, the CDC and APA say it’s safe to put mosquito repellant on your baby—and a really good idea if you’re in a place where they’re biting. (Mosquitos can transmit disease—eek, remember West Nile Virus?—but what’s more likely is that they’ll irritate your little’s skin and lead to scratching, which is uncomfortable and can trigger an infection.)
Look for a repellant with 10-30 percent Deet (the number really just indicates how many hours it’s effective for, says Adhikari.) Better yet—do your best to keep baby out of areas where there’s standing water or lots of flowering plants or gardens, where mosquitos tend to buzz around.
Cancel Out Noise
Noise-cancelling headphones make for an adorable pic—but when are they actually necessary? “There isn’t a lot of data around this, so use your best judgement—if it’s too loud for you to talk comfortably with your neighbor, go ahead and put them on,” says Adhikari. (No brainer—avoid sitting directly under fireworks, as it is, with all that flying ash and smoke.)
Beat the Heat
How hot is too hot for a baby? “90 degrees and above is when the risk of heat-related illnesses go up, so that’s the point when you don’t want to be without breeze or AC for too long—use extra caution,” says Adhikari. Even if your baby doesn’t look sweaty, they’re losing hydration through their skin in an attempt to cool their body, so be sure to push fluids and pay close attention to wet diapers in the heat.
Avoid the Sun
Your best move is to keep baby in the shade wearing a wide brim hat and sun protective clothing (M+A swimwear is SPF 50!), but babes on the move need SPF. Look for a SPF 30+ mineral-based sunscreen (safer than chemical sunscreens for baby’s skin—read more about when to start applying sunscreen here) and reapply regularly, especially if they’re in and out of the pool. (Heading to the beach? An easy-to-assemble beach tent is a new-mom must—perfect for shady naps and diaper changes.)