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Dos & Don’ts: How to keep baby cool in the sun

The summer is here (finally!). If you’re jetting off to sunnier climes or making the most of the British summertime, we’ve got you covered on how to cope with looking after a newborn when the temperature starts to rise. Here are our top ten dos and don’ts for staying cool when you’ve got a tiny human radiator strapped to you…

1. Do check on baby’s body temperature regularly

A baby’s hands and feet aren’t good indicators of their core body temperature. It’s better to place your hand on their chest or back and feel their body temperature. Do this regularly so you get to know what a normal body temperature is like and you will then be quicker at spotting when your baby is getting too warm.

2. Don’t put a blanket over the pram

This is a big no-no. Putting a blanket over the pram is more likely to trap the air in and make it even hotter for your baby. There is a real risk that using a blanket in the sun could cause your baby to overheat or suffocate. Try using a pram umbrella as an alternative and consider investing in a little pram fan too.

3. Do run a cool bath before bed

Putting your baby in a cool bath before bedtime may help them to feel more comfortable and sleep better. Remember not to let them stay in for too long and make sure you’re always watching.

4. Don’t go out if it’s really sunny & hot

We know this one is a bit limiting but really try to avoid being in the sunshine when it’s really hot (particularly between 11am – 3pm). Babies can’t regulate their body temperature so being outdoors when it’s super hot means there is a greater chance of them overheating and becoming unwell.

5. Do dress baby in loose, light & comfy clothes

We get it, you’ve been waiting months to dress your beautiful baby in all those tiny, cute little clothes. You’ve washed them all (maybe two or three times in the nesting stage) and the outfits are just waiting to be cooed over. But now is not that time. Instead keep it as minimal as possible and stick to the basics of any clothing being light, loose and comfortable.

6. Don’t leave baby in the car

Never ever leave babies or small children in the car – no matter the weather. It takes less than 10 minutes (and even less on hot days) for a car to became dangerously hot. Some mums recommend putting a phone or baby bag on the backseat as a memory cue. Another tip is to put a teddy in the car seat when your baby isn’t there and then move it to the front seat when baby is in the car as a reminder.

7. Do freeze your bed sheets & muslin cloths

Spray your baby’s bed sheets and muslin cloths with a small amount of water and then pop them in the freezer for around 5 to 10 minute to help baby keep cool throughout the days and nights.

8. Don’t worry if baby is just in a nappy

If it’s really hot, just let your baby hang loose in their nappy. This is especially so if it’s above 24 degrees. If you find they struggle to sleep in just a nappy, you could pop a very light muslin cloth over the top. Also avoid swaddling when it’s really hot.

9. Do open the windows & close the curtains

Create some air flow in the house by opening the windows to allow the air to circulate. Keeping the curtains and/or blinds partially closed during the day will also help keep living spaces cool. This is especially so in the room where baby is sleeping.

10. Don’t forget about you

It’s so easy when you’re looking after tiny humans to forget about your needs but you need to be well too. Remember to drink lots of water throughout the day, always pack your sunscreen and wear a hat. Save any non-essential tasks for a cooler day and just do whatever you need to do to get through the long, hot summer days.

Sources:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00140139.2023.2172212

Birthbabe does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The resources on our website are provided for informational purposes only. You should always consult with a healthcare professional regarding any medical diagnoses or treatment options.

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