Ice cream, beaches, sun hats and swimming pools… Of all the joys that summer can bring, the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine with your family can create lasting memories. But when the sun is shining and the temperatures start to rise, keeping refreshed in a heatwave is sometimes hard enough for the adults. Ensuring that your baby stays cool in hot weather too is imperative not only for their comfort, but for their safety too. We’ve compiled a list of expert ways to keep your baby’s temperature down during the sizzling summer days so that you and your family can fully enjoy the summer sun.
1. A hydrated baby is a happy baby
As for all of us during the summer, your baby needs to stay well hydrated. Just like adults, they need to be drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Fully breastfed babies who are not yet eating solid food will not need any extra water, but may want to breastfeed more than usual. Bottle fed babies can be given a little cooled boiled water as an addition to their usual feeds. Once your baby has started on solid foods, offer them sips of water from a cup with their meals, and additional water in between if needed.
2. Take playtime to the paddling pool
The heat of the summer sun brings with it the desire to take playtime outside. In doing so, you must ensure that your baby is out of direct sunlight, especially between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. Even when out of direct sunlight, apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to your baby’s skin and have them wear a sunhat to protect them even further.
Unlike a swimming pool, a shallow paddling pool can be positioned in the shade, making it an excellent location for playtime in the summer. Not only will the water keep your baby cool, but, if they are a bathtime lover, they will have a lot of fun splashing around in here too. Just make sure that they are supervised at all times.
3. Properly plan your outings
The holidays bring opportunity to travel further afield for a fun day out. If you are planning a trip by car, traveling in the coolest part of the day will prevent you from having to endure a hot, uncomfortable journey - the best time is usually in the early morning. Keep your baby under shade inside your car and have the air conditioner blowing to maintain a fresh temperature throughout. And remember to never leave your baby alone in a parked car - even in mild weather, cars can quickly become too hot for them.
4. Let air flow around their pram
A common mistake that some parents can make is to cover the front of their baby’s pram in a bid to protect them from the sun. This can, unfortunately, be very dangerous, preventing air from flowing around your baby and causing their temperature to rise quickly. Instead, keep them partly covered and make sure to check on them regularly. A parasol attached to the pram can be a great way to provide shade for the baby, whilst keeping them open to the fresh air that they need.
5. Keep cool at bedtime
Keeping your baby’s bedroom cool throughout the day will help them to have a more comfortable environment to sleep in at night time. Do this by closing the curtains or blinds during the day and use a fan to circulate air around the room. Before bedtime, run a cool bath to help your baby lower their temperature as they get ready to be tucked in for the night. And speaking of tucking them in, if your little one is particularly wriggly and pushes the covers off during the night, consider letting them sleep in just a nappy with a single sheet that is well secured and won’t come loose from the fidgeting. Your baby will sleep most comfortably between 16C and 20C, so having a nursery thermometer to keep track of the temperature will ensure they sleep soundly without getting too hot.
However you are spending your summer days, keeping aware of your baby's comfort and taking steps to ensure they stay cool is imperative for their safety. So keep taking the necessary steps to ensure that your baby is hydrated and comfortable so that you can continue making happy memories as a family this summer.