Special care needs to be taken to keep babies cool in the summer as they lack the ability to regulate their body temperature properly, and cannot tell you when they are feeling too hot. Below are some tips for keeping your baby cool this summer.
Ensure you keep both yourself and your baby well hydrated, and breastfeed more often if possible. Many babies like to feed for shorter times, and latch on more frequently in hot weather. Don’t worry about giving a breastfed baby water – breast milk contains all the liquid baby needs, so just make sure you drink enough water to ensure milk production stays steady.
During hot weather, babies may fuss and refuse to suckle. Try putting a cool or damp cloth between your body and baby, as this will reduce the heat being transferred. Keep yourself and baby as cool as possible – sponging with lukewarm water can really help in really hot weather. If they really won’t latch on, consider expressing milk to make sure baby gets enough nourishment.
Using a shallow paddling pool (supervised at all times) – in the shade – can be a great way for baby to cool down, perhaps with some waterproof toys to play with. If they are very young, frequent baths in cool water have the same effect, and baby will love it.
Dress baby in light, loose clothing, preferably in natural fibres and light colours to reflect heat.
If you take baby out, consider attaching a sun parasol to the pram, put a light, broad rimmed sun hat on your infant, and use age appropriate sun cream to prevent burning. Enclosed prams can heat up very quickly – it’s better to use a woven Moses basket or open, portable cot instead. Avoid going out at all during the hottest parts of the day.
Remove any unnecessary clothing – especially at home. Remove any waterproof sheets, and try replacing synthetic fabrics with breathable alternatives like cotton or bamboo. Remove any unnecessary bedding, such as thick blankets, and use either a light sheet or a lightweight baby sleeping bag, as this prevents the head being covered, and keeps the baby cooler.
Prepare the room by keeping the curtains closed during the day and setting up a fan or air conditioning unit (facing away from baby) to circulate air throughout the room. Use a thermometer to measure heat in the room and check your child’s body temperature by checking their throat – hands and feet are not a good indicator of core temperatures.
This is a Guest Post by Helen Ridley, for Carrier Rental Xpress, who lease portable air conditioning units and fans from their Surrey base. We plant a tree for every unit hired, to offset our carbon footprint.