How to Keep Babies and Toddlers Cool in Hot Weather
Whether you are planning a trip to a sunny holiday destination this summer or whether the sun finally decides to show its face at home, it is important to keep your baby cool in hot weather. Whilst the heat is welcomed by many it can be a real worry for parents with small children. But never fear, we have some top tips for keeping your child cool this summer!
- Keep your child’s room cool with good ventilation as well and consider using a fan (keeping it both out of reach and away from your baby’s head). You can even put bottles of ice in his/her room as it may help to cool the air as they melt overnight. It is a good idea to keep a thermometer in your baby’s room so that you can constantly monitor the temperature and make sure it does not rise too high. Your baby will sleep most happily in a room with a temperature of between 16 and 20°C.
- Playing in a paddling pool is a good way of keeping babies and children cool. Make sure that you always keep the pool in the shade and supervise the children carefully.
- If your baby falls sleep in his/her pram keep an extra eye on them as they can become incredibly hot. It is a good idea to use a proper sunshade on your pushchair to avoid trapping the heat in with muslin squares and blankets. When out and about, seek out shady pathways rather than walking in direct sun.
- Make sure that your child stays hydrated throughout the day. Babies and young children need to drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated. If you're breastfeeding your baby, you don’t need to give them water as well as breast milk. However, they may want to breastfeed more than usual. On the other hand, if you’re bottle feeding you can give your baby cooled boiled water, as well as their usual milk feeds. If they're over six months old and they get bored of water, you can try giving them very diluted fruit juice, ice cubes or homemade fruit juice lollies.
- Give your child a quick bath to cool them down. You could make the bath water lukewarm or even slightly cooler but make sure you don’t leave your child in the water for too long to get cold.
- When you put your baby to bed make sure that you use only cotton bed sheets and ensure that they are sleeping on a breathable mattress cover to avoid unnecessary sweating.
- It is also important to remember that throughout the night the temperature of your child’s room will decrease as the night gets cooler. If you do decide to put them to bed in just a nappy or vest, have cotton sheets ready to layer over them as the room gets cooler.
Remember to apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to your baby's skin with a product that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Many brands produce sunscreen especially for young children that are less likely to contain additives that might irritate the skin. Make sure you apply the sun cream regularly, particularly if your child is in and out of the sea or paddling pool. Also it is important that your child wears a sunhat with a wide brim or a long flap at the back, to protect their head and neck from the sun.
Whether home or away this summer, we hope that everybody has a good one!