Summer is here and we want to ensure that our little ones are safe and healthy. A heatwave can be a frightening experience for both children and adults alike, but by following these simple steps, you can keep your baby cool and happy during this time.
Babies are extra vulnerable in warm weather, so take extra care to keep them cool and safe
Babies are more vulnerable to heat than adults. They don't have the same capacity to regulate their internal body temperature, so they'll feel the effects of the heat much earlier than you will.
Not only is it important to keep your baby cool and safe, but it's also important that you take extra care in hot weather because certain situations can put them at risk:
Babies can't tell you when they're hot or uncomfortable—they won’t be able to ask for help when they need it! The only way for them to communicate how anxious or uncomfortable they are is through crying (and crying babies in 95 degree weather is no fun). If your baby is crying uncontrollably, take note of what could be causing this (like being too hot) and try making changes immediately.
Shade and sun cream
To keep your baby cool and protected from the sun:
Use a shade umbrella. If you're out in the heat, it's important to keep an eye on your baby and make sure they stay out of direct sunlight. A good way to do this is with an umbrella that blocks UV rays but allows airflow.
Don't cover your baby's pram / car seat with a blanket. The heat will trap under it and make them too hot, so avoid this at all costs, Use a snoozeshade instead. Snoozeshade's are mesh covers that fit over the top of a pram or car seat, allowing air to circulate and reducing the temperature inside of it.
Use sunscreen on their skin. Babies under 6 months old should be kept away from direct sunlight, so if you've got a trip planned outside during peak temperatures (between midday and 3 p.m.), be sure to apply sunscreen before heading outdoors! Reapply every two hours at least—and make sure it's water-resistant.
Increase fluid intake
The best way to keep your baby cool is to increase their fluid intake. A baby’s body loses more water than an adults, so they need more fluids to replace it.
You can do this by giving them more breastmilk or formula feeds, if you are breastfeeding and your baby is not weaning it is not recommended to give top up water drink (read our Breastfeeding in a heatwave blog). Even if your baby only takes a few mouthfuls each time, this will help keep them hydrated and cool down their body temperature.
Paddling pool fun
One sure way to keep your newborn cool is by placing them in a paddling pool. Place the paddling pool in the shade, if they cannot sit up put a baby bath seat in the pool and use a wet muslin over them. If you have an older child who needs cooling down, let them splash around in water but ensure that the water is not too deep, small children have more fun in 2inches of water than 2ft.
Use a fan to circulate air and keep them cool.
Use a fan to circulate air and keep them cool. Fans are an inexpensive way to keep cool by circulating the air around you and your baby. For cooler air place a bowl of cold water in front of the fan and you have a home made A/C unit. Just ensure it is out of reach for little hands.
Dress your baby in clothes to keep them cool.
If you're worried about keeping your baby cool, cotton clothing is a great choice. Cotton is breathable and lightweight—it allows the skin to breathe and sweat evaporate. It's also soft to the touch, which can be a comfort for a fussy or cranky baby.
Muslins are perfect for hot weather as they are light and breathable but can be used for a variety of things including as a cold compress, a layer between you and baby when to avoid the skin to skin sweat fest and in the water as an aid for splashing about
Staying cool at night
To keep your baby cool, you don't need to dress them in anything more than a nappy above the waist. However, if you want to help them stay cool when they're sleeping, use a hot water bottle but use cold water to cool the mattress before they get in the bed (remove it before you put them in it).
Throughout the day use blinds or curtains to block out the sunshine. If it's too hot for you in the house then it will be just as bad for your baby!
We hope you found this article helpful! Remember our top tips
1: Make sure they drink plenty and stay hydrated.
2: Dress them in lightweight clothing and don't forget sunscreen.
3: Avoid overheating by keeping them out of direct sunlight between noon to 3pm.