Out in a street festival, concert or party, moms and babies just can’t avoid the summer heat at times. Your baby starts to fuss or cry and your heart starts to race, as you know it’s time to nurse.

Your eyes dart all around; Where to sit? Is there shade? Any creepers watching? Cover or no cover? Inside or outside? Alone or with company?

Many moms deal with this scenario and it’s often times challenging and isolating. Who wants to miss out on all of the summer happenings and fun while breastfeeding can take anywhere from 10-45 minutes?

This makes breastfeeding publicly and anywhere while you’re out an about, a valuable skill.

Breastfeeding a baby in the summer can be stressful or easy depending on your comfort level, outlook, and preparedness. 

Don’t feel like you’re left with no choice but to lock yourself indoors. Occasionally it’s a well-needed and desired break from the summer chaos.  But don’t feel trapped with no other options.

You may spot many moms choosing to bottle feed in these situations. Don’t lose hope; it can be done! Stay strong and nurse on!

If you want to enjoy the company of others and participate in life as it happens, this means you will need to practice and find a way to make yourself comfortable breastfeeding wherever you are.

Here are our tips for keeping you and baby cool this summer while you breastfeed in the heat.

1. Hydration: drink lots of water

That ravenous thirst you have while breastfeeding is very important to maintaining a great milk supply. You will find that this thirst ramps up in the summertime.  Your body is using more water as you perspire and as your baby demands more milk because they are sweating as well. Nursing in the summer simply requires more water.

Buy a cute (and large) water bottle that you love and keep it with you at all times. Dehydration is a real threat so make this a healthy habit.

 2. Wear light and comfortable clothing

To stay cool your body needs to regulate its temperature well. This is why choosing light, airy and breathable clothing is a must.  Reach for airy tops that button down, nursing tanks, sundresses, flowy skirts, cotton shorts, etc.

Try to avoid very constricting outfits like heavy layers and jeans.  Another great wardrobe tip is to always keep extra hair ties or clips in your diaper bags. This way you can pull back long hair to keep cool while you breastfeed.

3. Choose breastfeeding-friendly shirts

 This may seem obvious but in the craziness of summer and any sleep deprivation, you may forget! You need easy access to your breasts; this is key to reducing stressful situations while you’re out and about.

Every mom wants to look cute and sometimes this drives us to choose the less convenient dress or shirt.  Try to think proactively and choose wisely.

If you choose the right top you will benefit two-fold. First, you will simplify the ability to nurse in public. Second, you will optimize your comfort and be able to stay cool– avoiding a nursing cover. This ultimately improves the experience for you and baby.

It’s very hard to letdown milk when you’re stressed out trying to soothe a crying baby; trying to fandangle a nursing cover, all while dripping sweat. When it’s fast and easy the stress is reduced and mom and baby are just happier! Baby doesn’t have to suffer the heat and danger of a nursing cover in hot summer temperatures as well!

4. Dress your baby for comfort

Just as you need to feel cool and comfortable, so does your baby. Cute outfits that don’t breath are not worth the potential for heat stroke or rash in your little one.

Light cotton onesies are a great go-to summer staple. Choose the simple and easy option when the temps are soaring.

5. Find some shade

In the summer we tend to spend many hours outdoors with family and friends.  This means baby comes along for the ride.  While sunlight has its health benefits, your baby needs protection from the sun and from the heat.

Wherever you are, always try to choose a “home base” spot, where you set all of your things, in the shade. You will become very good at spotting the perfect shaded spot for your family to enjoy.

When there may not be shade available, like at a concert or festival, think about umbrellas, hats, fans and air circulation, to provide relief and protection.

6. Refresh yourself with water!

Who doesn’t want to swim when the heat is intense? When that’s just not possible, think about using a water spritzer bottle or portable water fan. These items are cool and refreshing for you and baby, both.

7. Take frequent breaks from the heat and sun. 

At the end of the day, breastfeeding can be demanding and exhausting. Pair that with the summer heat and you’re spent.

With high temperatures and the pounding sun, it’s critical to take breaks frequently. Don’t pressure yourself to be in the summer fun and action at all times. You’re doing something very important for your baby by breastfeeding. You’re setting them up for health and emotional balance. Find a way to give yourself more time to rest. Take that mid-day nap with your little one. Say no sometimes to the summer outing. Give yourself grace, mama!

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