Now that the lovely warm summer weather is finally with us, it is a great chance to get out and about, especially if you have been cooped up with a new baby for months on end. However, babies are very sensitive to heat, because their bodies are less able to regulate temperature, and they have no way of telling us if they are too hot.
It’s very important to make sure your baby doesn’t overheat, and stays at a nice comfortable temperature. Here are some top tips to bear in mind.
Stay out of direct sun
If the sun is beaming down without a cloud in the sky, it is important to keep your baby in the shade, Baby Magazine advises. If they are less than six months old, ideally keep them indoors between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. When outdoors, always protect your baby from bright sun by fitting a canopy or parasol to the pram or pushchair.
Babies have very delicate skin which is easily burned, so apply an SPF sun block to any exposed areas, and keep their heads covered with a hat or bonnet. Choose light clothing in natural fibres such as cotton to let their skin breathe. Remember never to leave your baby in a hot car, as they can overheat very quickly in car seats.
Babies love to splash about in paddling pools, and they are a great investment for your garden in hot weather. Place the pool in a shady spot by a hedge or under a tree. It goes without saying that youngsters should be supervised at all times in water. Once they have got wet, remember that any sun cream will have washed off, and will have to be reapplied.
Keep them hydrated
Babies who are bottle-fed can be given cooled boiled water, the article advises, as babies need to keep hydrated in hot weather just as adults do. Babies over six months old can also be given diluted fruit juice and fruit ice lollies.
Keep their bedroom cool
Keep the curtains in the room where your baby sleeps closed during a hot day to keep the sun out. Thicker curtains and blackout blinds are most effective for controlling temperature, which should be kept between 16c and 20c. At night time, leave the window open slightly to create a cool breeze.
If even the night time temperatures are too hot, it may be worth investing in a fan which can be set to run with a bowl of ice in front of it to distribute cool air. Hanging damp sheets and towels around the room will also help to cool it down.
Settle your baby for sleep with a cool bath directly before bed, and let them feed as much as they want to, in order to avoid dehydration. Use pure cotton bedding, and remove anything that is unnecessary. If the night is still very warm, they may prefer to sleep in just a nappy, with a cotton sheet to cover them.
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