There’s no denying there’ll be some differences to parenting depending on the season. These are the things I have noticed so far with my own children and how they are affected by the ever changing days.
The thought of going into labour when it’s snowing or icy was a worry for me living out in the sticks, wondering if we would make it to the hospital in time. But we’ve been really lucky with all of my winter babies. It’s always worthwhile for your birth partner to refresh their knowledge of the drive to the hospital and making sure the car is in fully working order, for example the wipers, washers and tyres. At the other end of the spectrum, parents preparing for summer births should bear in mind that hospitals can be very warm but do provide fans in some rooms. I remember bring over hot with Hamish’s birth in July, I like to be naked anyways in labour but I needed even more layers off (skin!) for that birth. Definitely pack in your hospital bag, things to keep you cool, such as water spray and loose clothes and lots of fluids for drinking to stay hydrated.
It’s never great to be woken at 4.30am, but it’s much easier to get up for a feed (or let’s face it, for the day) when the sun is shining outside. The summer sun certainly makes me feel more energetic after a sleepless night. The flip side is the early morning rays potentially can wake a baby without using a blackout blind or curtains. 3 of my babies have been born in either late autumn through to winter and I love it as you can enjoy getting cosy with your new baby in those newborn months. But trying to get outside for some fresh air in the daylight hours can be tricky when weather conditions are also to be considered!
The Lullaby Trust (2019) recommends a room temperature between 16°C to 20°C for your baby, which can be tricky in hot weather. To help the room cool down, open the windows and doors, I also use a fan, making sure that it’s not pointing directly at baby. I also only let Jonas sleep in his nappy with a sleeping bag on as you can always add blankets if the night comes in cooler. On the other side of the coin babies shouldn’t wear a hat to sleep in even if it is in the thick of those chilly winter months, this,is because they maintain their temperature through their heads.
Weaning al fresco on a blanket in the summer can be fun and is easier to clean up afterward). If you’re making your own baby food from seasonal produce, the time of year they are ready to wean in might mean you can offer them an abundance of ripe summer fruit or comforting root vegetables. Their first tastes won’t dictate their preferences for life, so just offer your baby a variety of tasty seasonal fruit and veg alongside starch and protein.
You might think potty training in warmer weather sounds preferable, compared to wet legs and tears in November and it probably is, to be honest!
Summer birthday parties with paddling pools and outside entertainment are certainly easier to manage than a bunch of crazy children inside your house in the winter, I’ve also found that most places to visit for a little ones birthday in the winter months proves difficult as most places close down for the off season. Regardless, you can’t predict the British weather.
Some people may not agree with me here but from my experience summer-born babies (Hamish) may need some extra support at school, as children born in July or August tend to perform less well than their autumn and winter-born peers. This is not because they’re less intelligent, simply because they are nearly a whole year younger. I E been reassured not to worry too much though, as the gap shrinks in secondary school and has shortened even further by the time they are 16.
Whatever season your baby is born in; there are many joys and challenges. Some parents love the long lazy days and buzz of the summer. Others will tell you that hibernating with a winter baby is the best thing ever. Either way, enjoy it. And remember, you can still have summer strolls and winter cuddles with a six-month old.
Much love Rebecca
This was so refreshing to read for me, a 65 year old, retired Kindergarten teacher, mother of 2. My sons were both born in spring, as I got my fertility wish to get pregnant in late summer and avoid being pregnant then. So I don’t have all these other perspectives! Your voice is a breath of fresh air every time, thanks!
Ute Heggen, author, In the Curated Woods