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The Summer Breastfeeding Checklist for New Moms

Summer is quickly approaching! While breastfeeding can (and should!) be done year-round, there are a few adaptations you might want to consider as we approach a warmer time of year.

This can be such a fun time with a new baby, especially when you can spend time outdoors. As a lactation consultant (IBCLC), I’ve put together a checklist to help you navigate breastfeeding during the warmer months and ensure both you and your little one stay comfortable and happy. These tips are based on my personal and clinical experience.

1. Stay Hydrated:

Hydration is critical in the summer heat. As a breastfeeding mom, your body needs extra fluids to produce milk. Keep a water bottle handy during feedings and throughout the day to stay hydrated. The Owala water bottle is my favorite because it’s so hard to spill and easy to drink from!

With that said – make sure YOU stay plenty hydrated – not just with water but with electrolytes. I recommend a high-quality source of electrolytes, such as Redmond Relyte. They have convenient electrolyte packs you can throw in your diaper bag.

2. Choose Breastfeeding-friendly Clothing:

Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics to keep you and your baby cool. Clothes with easy nursing access, such as nursing tops or dresses with discreet openings, can make breastfeeding a breeze, even on the go.

You should also consider investing in some breastfeeding-friendly swimwear to make it even easier to breastfeed on the go (yes, you can breastfeed while swimming!).

3. Protect Your Skin:

Remember sun protection! Use sunscreen that’s safe for both you and your baby, and consider a wide-brimmed hat for extra shade. When nursing outdoors, stay in a shaded area to keep your baby out of direct sunlight.

Here are a few good options for having some extra shade:

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ALPHA CAMP Heavy Duty Canopy Lounge Chair Sunshade Hiking Travel Chair with Cup Holder Enamel Blue
  • 🌞Sun Protection: Use the canopy in the up position for 50+ UPF sun protection. Providing you with cool shade in a hot summer day. Enjoy the shade and breeze outdoors!
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TOBTOS UPF 50+ Pop Up Beach Tent, Beach Umbrella, Automatic Sun Shelter 2-3 People UV Protection Portable Sunshade, Easy Set Up Baby Canopy Cabana, Lightweight with Carry Bag
  • 【UV Protection】All around covered with special 190T silver rubber polyester silk fabric to ensure the best sun protection effect. It can effectively block up to 98% of the sun's harmful UV rays, providing all-day protection for your family on the beach.
  • 【No Assembly Required】Our pop up sun shelter has an automatic pop-up design, it will pop up in 1 second. It is also easy to fold up and put into a carry bag, making it a great companion for your fun time at the beach.
  • 【Large Space】The pop up beach tent open size is 63"L x 49.6"W x 50"H with a 38.2" front porch,provides spacious interior space for activities and can comfortably accommodate 2-3 people. It folds to 19.7 x 19.7 x 1.6 inches and fits in a carry bag, weighing only 3.3 lbs.
  • 【Windproof and Ventilated】 The easy beach tent has 2 sandbags on each side, and the attached windproof rope and ground pegs make it stable enough. A door and three mesh windows can provide good ventilation and give you a wider view.
  • 【Widely Used】Perfect for beaches, parks, lakes, hiking and weekend trips or just some small activities in the backyard, at home, etc. Highly recommended to give it as a holiday gift to your family and friends.
Versa-Brella UPF 50+ Personal Sun Shade - Portable Umbrella for Sports & Outdoors - Secure Clamp, 360-Degree Swivel Adjustable Position for Maximum Sun Protection - Compact with Carry Case
  • STAY SHADED ANYWHERE: The Versa-Brella features a heavy-duty clamp that opens up to 1.5 inches, allowing it to securely attach to various tubular and squared surfaces on chairs, wagons, strollers, golf carts, and more
  • SUPERIOR SUN PROTECTION: Made with UPF 50+ material, this personal compact sports umbrella shields your skin from 99.5% of UV rays during outdoor activities
  • MAXIMUM SHADE: When open, the Versa-Brella spans 38 x 39 inches, providing a generous 10 square feet of shade to keep you comfortable and protected
  • ADJUSTABLE SUN BLOCKING: The Versa-Brella portable umbrella features a 4-way, 360-degree swivel and two push-button hinges that enable you to adjust the angle and position of the sun shade to block the sun from any angle for tailored solar protection
  • COMPACT & PORTABLE: Weighing only 1.8 pounds and folding down to 35.04 x 3.35 inches, this outdoor umbrella comes in its own carrying case with built in sling handle, making it easy to take with you anywhere and store when not in use

4. Keep Cool:

Nursing can sometimes feel extra warm in the summer. To stay comfortable, consider using cooling gel pads or a cool, damp cloth on your neck or forehead during feedings. A portable neck fan might also be worth the investment.

Also, make sure you prioritize your infant’s comfort and allow them to be as cool as possible while nursing. You can prop up this mini stroller fan nearby to help with airflow.

If you choose to use a cover while nursing, this innovative nursing cover might be a good option, as it has a built-in cooling system!

5. Portable Feeding Spots:

If you plan to be out and about, you can easily learn to nurse using the two-shirt method. This is a great way to nurse modestly if you’d like and keep baby feeling less hot.

You can also bring a lightweight nursing cover or scarf if you prefer. Just make sure you choose an option made of breathable, lightweight material so your baby doesn’t get too warm.

6. Safe Breast Milk Storage:

If you’re expressing milk, ensure you have a plan for safe storage. An insulated cooler bag with ice packs can keep your breast milk cool until you can put it in a fridge or freezer.

The Ceres Chill is also an excellent option for storing and bringing milk on the go and keeping it nice and cold. Use the code TBM15 for 15% off anything on their website.

7. Pumping on the Go:

For moms who pump, a portable breast pump can be a game-changer during the summer—especially if you have older kids in extracurricular activities like sports, where it might not be as easy to pump. Look for one that’s easy to carry and doesn’t require an electrical outlet, so you can pump wherever your summer adventures take you.

I am generally a fan of the MomCozy M5 or the MomCozy V1 for on-the-go pumping, but even a good-quality manual breast pump would be a good investment.

8. Maintain Good Hygiene:

With the heat and increased sweating, it’s essential to keep your nipples clean and dry to prevent infections. Consider using breathable nursing pads to absorb any excess moisture.

9. Choose Baby-safe Insect Repellent:

If you’re spending time outdoors, protect yourself and your baby from bug bites with an insect repellent that’s safe for both of you. If you want to risk any type of spray or cream, insect-repellent bracelets or stickers can also be a good option.

10. Use a Lightweight Baby Carrier:

A breathable baby carrier, like a wrap, can be a lifesaver for summer outings. It keeps your baby close while allowing air to circulate, keeping both of you cooler. I love the Moby Baby wrap, but you could also consider making your own wrap so you can control the weight of the material even more.

11. No Need for Extra Water for Baby:

It’s a common misconception that babies need additional water in the summer. Breast milk provides all the hydration your baby needs, even in hot weather. Be sure to breastfeed more frequently to keep your little one hydrated and content.

12. Eat a Balanced Diet:

Remember nutrition! A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and plenty of fluids can help keep your energy levels up and support healthy milk production. Be sure to grab some breastfeeding-friendly snacks to have ready to go and to throw into your diaper bag.

Breastfeeding in the summer can be a wonderful experience with some preparation and self-care. Follow these tips, and enjoy the sunny days ahead with your little one!

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