With the summer approaching, I would like to share some top tips on keeping your baby cool in hot weather. Keeping your baby cool in the hot weather is not the only thing to look out for, it is also important to keep them safe at the same time.
Sleeping/Bedtime/Naps in hot weather
- Give them a cool bath before bedtime.
- To keep your baby’s bedroom cool, keep windows, curtains or blinds closed during the day.
- You may wish to use a fan to circulate the air in the room. If you have a fan, a bottle of frozen water or bowl of ice in front of it cools the air as it moves.
- Your baby will sleep most comfortably when the room is between 16C and 20C. You may wish to monitor the temperature with a room thermometer. Sometimes it is not possible to get the room to a comfortable temperature. When that is the case, think about letting your baby sleep in just a nappy.
- Keep nightwear and bedclothes to a minimum. Maybe let them sleep in just a nappy on very hot days. For safer sleep recommendations for babies, please see the Lullaby Trust website.
Travelling/Out and about/Outdoor play in hot weather
- Keep your buggy, pram, car seat etc uncovered to allow the air to flow. Use a parasol or similar to provide shade instead. The temperature inside a covered buggy (or similar) rises very quickly and can become very dangerous, very quickly!
- When travelling long distances in the car, allow for extra breaks and take your baby out of their car seat!
- Babies under 6 months should be kept in the shade, or should wear a sun hat to keep them cool. Factor 50 or higher sun cream is recommended for babies over the age of 6 months.
- For toddlers and older children, playing in a paddling pool is a good way of keeping cool. Find a place in the shade or create some shade for the pool during very hot weather and supervise children at all times.
Hydration & Feeding
- 0-6 months:
- Fully breastfed babies do not need any water. They may feed more frequently on hot days to up their fluid intake.
- If you’re bottle feeding, you can give your baby a little cooled boiled water in addition to their usual milk feeds.
- from 6 months:
- Offer your baby sips of water from a cup or beaker with their meals, once you have started to introduce solid foods. Their breastmilk or infant formula is still their main drink during the first year. When it is really hot, you may need to offer some additional water outside of mealtimes.
- from 12 months:
- Your baby’s main drinks should be water, breastmilk or whole (full fat) cows’ milk or plant-based milk. On really hot days, you can try giving them frozen lollies made from plain water or from very diluted fruit juice to help keep them hydrated. Any lollies containing fruit juice or other sources of sugar, can cause tooth decay and should be kept to a minimum and given at mealtimes.
Have a look at the Lullaby Trust’s video below, if you prefer visual information!
Further reading and references: