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June 27, 2024

Keeping Cool: Tips for Beating the Summer Heat With Baby

Summer can be a wonderful time filled with outdoor adventures and family bonding. But keeping a baby cool and comfortable in the sweltering heat needs some preparation. Overheating is not only uncomfortable for babies, but it can also be dangerous. That’s why it’s crucial to know how to keep your little one safe and cool during the hottest months of the year.

Baby grabbing his toes and lying down on a play mat

Dressing Strategies

Choose Lightweight, Breathable Clothing

The key to keeping your baby cool is dressing them in lightweight, breathable clothing. Natural fabrics like cotton and bamboo are excellent choices as they allow for better air circulation and wick moisture away from the skin. Avoid synthetic materials that can trap heat and cause your baby to sweat more.

Keep It Simple

Less is more when it comes to summer baby clothing. A simple onesie or a light sleeper is often enough. In very hot conditions, allowing your baby to wear just a diaper can help keep them cool.

Baby asleep wrapped up in a swaddle blanket

Maintaining Comfort at Home

Use Fans and Air Conditioning

Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature is essential. Use fans and air conditioning to maintain a cool environment. Make sure the fan is not blowing directly on your baby, as this can cause discomfort or even respiratory issues. Instead, aim to circulate the air in the room.

Create a Cool Sleep Environment

Ensure your baby’s sleeping area is cool and comfortable. Remove heavy bedding and consider using a light, breathable wearable blanket or swaddle. Keep blackout curtains closed during the day to block out the sun and reduce indoor temperatures. Make sure to use a fitted, breathable crib sheet for them to sleep on.

Hydration and Feeding

Offer Frequent Feeds

Keeping your baby well-hydrated is crucial in the summer heat. For breastfed infants, offer the breast more frequently. For formula-fed babies, consider offering smaller, more frequent feeds. For older babies, you can offer small amounts of water in between feeds, but always consult your pediatrician first.

Monitor Hydration Levels

Watch for signs of dehydration, such as fewer wet diapers, dark urine, or a dry mouth. If you notice any of these signs, increase fluid intake and consult your healthcare provider if necessary.

Baby girl sitting and smiling on a blanket on the grass outside

Timing Outdoor Activities

Avoid Peak Heat

Plan outdoor activities for the early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cooler. Avoid taking your baby outside during the peak heat of midday. Keeping your baby in the shade can also help protect them from the sun’s harmful rays.

Use Sun Protection

When you do go outside, make sure your baby is protected from the sun. Use a broad-brimmed hat and lightweight clothing that covers the skin. Apply baby-safe sunscreen to exposed areas, but always check with your pediatrician before using any new products.

On the Go

Use a Stroller Fan

A stroller fan can be a lifesaver on hot days. These portable fans can be clipped onto the stroller to keep the air circulating and your baby cool. Make sure the fan is securely attached and out of your baby’s reach.

Keep Hydrated Snacks Handy

For older babies, keep hydrating snacks like cucumber slices or watermelon handy. These snacks can provide both nutrition and hydration when you’re out and about.

Baby doing tummy time on a play mat indoors

Creating Shaded Spaces

At Home

Create shaded areas in your yard using umbrellas, tents, or canopies. This provides a safe space for your baby to play outside without being exposed to direct sunlight.

On the Go

When visiting the beach or park, bring along portable shade options like pop-up tents or beach umbrellas. These can provide instant relief from the sun and keep your baby cool.

Signs of Overheating

Recognize the Signs

Be mindful of your baby’s body temperature and watch for signs of overheating, such as:

  • Red, flushed skin
  • Rapid breathing
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Lethargy
  • A temperature above 100.4°F (38°C)

If you notice any of these signs, move your baby to a cooler environment, offer fluids, and use cool (not cold) compresses to help lower their temperature. Seek medical attention if your baby’s temperature doesn’t come down or if they appear unwell.

Summer is a time for fun and relaxation, and with these tips, you can ensure that your baby stays cool and safe. By dressing your baby in lightweight clothing, maintaining a comfortable home environment, keeping them hydrated, and planning outdoor activities wisely, you can enjoy the season with peace of mind.