With temperatures across the country soaring, here’s what you can do to make sure that baby isn’t suffering in the hot weather
Babies don’t have the ability to let us know when they’re too hot or too cold, which means they’re at risk of overheating. In extreme temperatures, it’s important to keep an eye on them to ensure they’re comfortable and content.
Keep baby hydrated
Like adults, babies need to stay hydrated in the hot weather. If you’re breastfeeding, there’s no need to give them water, but you may want to feed more than usual but for shorter periods. However, if bottle feeding, you can give them cooled boiled water throughout the day. And, if over six months, then you can be a little more creative – very diluted fruit juice, ice cubes and homemade fruit ice lollies should all do the trick.
Stay out of the sun
Babies less than six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight; seek shade where possible, especially between 11am and 3pm where the sun is strongest. Many pushchairs have SPF-protected canopies or fittings for a sun parasol, so you can still stay protected when on the move. Also, if you’re parking your car, try to leave it in a shady spot – cars can heat up very quickly, which is never pleasant to return to once you’re ready to leave.
Keep the nursery cool
It may seem like reverse logic, but you’ll keep nurseries cooler by closing blinds or curtains during the day. Blackout blinds are particularly effective at cooling the room through their thermal insulation. The nursery thermometer should read somewhere between 16c and 20c, and feel free to remove unnecessary bedding if you’re worried baby will be too hot – just a bedsheet is fine. The same goes for pyjamas – sleeping without in hot weather might be more comfortable for them. Another great treat for instant cooling is to place a bottle of frozen water or a bowl of ice in front of a fan; this will cool the air around the room until the ice has melted.
Prevent and protect
It goes without saying that if baby is going to be in the sun, they need to be wearing an SPF. Many brands produce sunscreen specifically for babies, which are less likely to contain irritating additives often found in regular sun protection. Granted, it won’t keep them cool, but it will protect them from sun damage, which infants are even more susceptible to. Light fabrics – such as cotton – help baby to stay cool as natural fibres let skin breathe. Synthetic fabrics tend to increase the likelihood of sweating. And if in the sun, it’s important for baby to wear a sunhat to protect their head and neck.
Playing in a paddling pool is a great way to cool down on a hot day – just make sure it’s in the shade. Additionally, a cooling bath will help to freshen up baby before bedtime. Dabbing them down with a wet cloth at any time of day can help cool them down too.