With temperatures across the country on the rise, here’s how to make sure you keep baby cool in the hot weather this summer.
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 warmer temperatures, it’s important to keep an eye on them to ensure they’re comfortable and content. Here are some top tips to keep baby cool in the warm weather this summer.
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 to keep baby cool. Very diluted fruit juice in a free-flow cup, 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.
Read more about how to help your baby sleep in warm weather this summer.
Prevent and Protect in the Sun
It goes without saying that if your 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.
Read more about the best sun creams and sunscreens for your baby.
Look After Baby’s Skin
As well as protecting your baby’s skin with SPF, locking in moisture is also super important for keeping your little one cool. Not to mention, when children and babies actively play outdoors, it can present various environmental stressors to the skin such as the irritating effect of chlorinated pool water, sweating and frequent washing of messy hands.
Washing you baby’s skin with gentle and dermatologically-approved products can help in hot weather. To prevent the skin from becoming damaged and dry, it is crucial to use a wash that gently cleanses skin, as well as the regular application of an emollient.
Dermatologist and AVEENO ambassador, Dr Stefanie Williams explains, “After playing outside, rinse baby skin with clean, lukewarm water and use a moisturising wash that is gentle enough for everyday use, such as the AVEENO® Baby Daily Care Baby Gentle Wash.
“After rinsing and pat drying the skin, apply a moisturiser such as the AVEENO® Baby Daily Care Moisturising Lotion to damp skin to maintain the skin’s natural moisture level and protect it from dryness, without being too heavy and uncomfortable in the heat.
The AVEENO Baby Daily Care range contains colloidal oatmeal and oat extract, both of which are known to prevent water loss; to protect the natural skin barrier and soothe sensitive skin.
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.
If all else fails, head to one of the baby-friendly swimming pools in your area for a good ol’ splash about.