Keeping Babies Cool During the Summer
Newborns and infants don’t regulate their body temperature as optimally as kids and adults, so it’s important for caregivers to take extra steps to keep babies cool on warm days!
The weather is changing, and summer is just around the corner! As we approach the hot summer months, many parents become concerned about keeping their baby cool during the heat. Newborns and infants don’t regulate their body temperature as optimally as kids and adults, so it’s important for caregivers to take extra steps to keep babies cool on warm days!
The summer months are a wonderful time to create beautiful family memories together, from pool parties, to family barbecues, to park dates, to vacations - but spending more time outside often leads to more heat exposure for your baby. Infants are more prone to heat exhaustion and heat rash during warm weather, and overheating even increases an infant’s risk of SIDS. Parents should always monitor their baby’s body temperature and keep an eye out for signs of overheating.
One simple way to monitor your baby’s temperature is to be mindful of your own! If the weather feels warm to you, chances are it feels even warmer for your little one. Even if you don’t have air conditioning in your home or you need to attend outdoor activities during warm summer days, you can still follow these tips to keep your baby safe and cool during the hot days ahead!
7 Tips To Keep Your Baby Cool
1. Switch to a lightweight sleep sack.
Babies should always sleep in an empty crib (no loose blankets, stuffed animals, or pillows), so using a sleep sack can be a great way to keep babies safe at night during warm weather.
During the warmer months, it's important to keep your baby cool to prevent overheating at night. If your baby uses a sleep sack, be sure to switch to a lightweight one during the summer, or skip using one altogether!
Sleepsacks have TOG ratings based on what temperature they are appropriate for, and a 0.5 TOG sleep sack is ideal for the summer. When the baby's nursery is between 74 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit, a lightweight sleep sack can be used to keep your baby comfortable at night.
The KeaBabies Soothe Sleep Sacks are soft, breathable, and ideal for warm nights! Adjustable snaps give it flexibility as your baby grows, and the durable zipper makes it easy to put on and remove. Its TOG rating is 0.5, making it ideal for year-round use, even very warm evenings during the summer months. Its soft fabric makes it comfortable on your baby's skin, helping your little one sleep soundly through the night. Babies can stay safe and snug with the KeaBabies Soothe Sleep Sacks.
2. Use sunscreen and sun protection.
It is best to keep babies and infants out of direct sunlight as much as possible, but if your baby is over 6 months old, she can wear baby-safe sunscreen and other sun protection such as UV-resistant clothing and bathing suits.
Practice sun safety by making sure your baby's skin is covered in soft, lightweight clothing on hot days. Make sure she drinks her usual milk and has plenty of fluids when playing in the sun. Protect your baby from the heat by using a wide brimmed sun hat, long sleeved bathing suits or rash guards, and using a stroller with a shade.
3. Switch to bamboo sheets or clothing.
Your baby's clothing can make a big difference in their temperature regulation. Opt for breathable fabrics that absorb moisture and sweat and allow your baby's skin to cool down naturally. Avoid thick materials and look for lightweight cotton, muslin, or bamboo fabrics.
Bamboo sheets and clothing are luxuriously soft, light, and breathable, making it a perfect choice for warm weather! It's also beneficial for babies and young children with sensitive skin.
Heat rash and eczema tend to flare up during hot weather, so choosing soft fabric like bamboo can help keep your baby comfortable and gently protect her sensitive skin. Bamboo fabric also stays several degrees cooler than other fabrics, which can help keep sweat from irritating your baby's skin and causing breakouts.
4. Never leave an infant in a hot car.
Never, under any circumstances, leave your baby buckled into the car seat in the car. Even if you're just running into a store for a few things, your vehicle can quickly become a dangerous spot for young children.
Babies and children cannot regulate their body temperature as maturely as adults, making them more susceptible to overheating, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Even if the day only feels mildly warm, a car sitting in direct sunlight can very quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures for a baby.
Protect your baby by bringing her with you whenever you leave your vehicle. If you don't like lugging around a bulky stroller, use a wrap carrier like the KeaBabies Baby Wrap Carrier to transport your baby with ease! The KeaBabies wrap carrier is soft, breathable, and fits a variety of shapes and sizes, making it the perfect accessory for warm days.
5. Invest in a quality room fan and portable fan.
Dry heat tis miserable for babies and parents alike! If you need some extra air flow during hot weather, invest in a quality fan for the nursery and a portable fan for the car seat or stroller.
A portable fan can be attached to the stroller when you're out in public and can help keep babies cool when a breeze is necessary. Some portable fans have clips and others have flexible arms like a tripod that can be wrapped around stroller handles or a car seat handle.
A tower fan or ceiling fan can be a great addition to your baby's nursery. Air flow from fans has actually been shown to reduce your baby's risk of SIDS. If your baby's nursery feels too stuffy or warm, invest in a good fan to keep the air moving in your baby's sleep environment.
A baby's room should ideally be between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, but this isn't always possible during hot weather when your house doesn't cool down much at night. When your baby's sleep environment is too hot, she might not sleep as soundly or might wake frequently.
Avoid overdressing your baby at night as well. If the room is really warm, your baby might be comfortable in just a diaper, or a diaper and a short sleeved onesie. If you notice that your baby seems uncomfortably warm at night, try removing a few layers of clothing, opening a window, or turning on a room fan.
6. Buy a water table.
Water tables come in all shapes, sizes, and designs, but you can even create your own with a simple plastic basin or bin! Water activities are fun for babies and kids, but be sure to always supervise children around water to prevent accidents and drowning.
Water tables are a great addition to any backyard play area. Babies can enjoy splashing around, exploring sensory objects, and letting the water cool their bodies. Invest in a quality water table with an umbrella, or buy a patio cover to keep your baby cooler in the shade. If you have an infant, do not overfill the water table. Only an inch or two of water can lead to hours of fun playtime!
If you don’t want to purchase a water table, you can easily create one of your own using a plastic tub. Fill the water table with different themed toys such as balls, foam letters, bubble bath, plastic cars, toy figurines, plastic boats, or scoops and funnels. Some water tables have a divider so kids can play with both sand and water. For infants, it is safest to just use water and babies should only play with water under adult supervision.
Empty the water table and clean it frequently to avoid bacteria growth and bugs. Never let your baby drink standing water from the water table, and clean water toys frequently to avoid mold.
7. Keep your little ones hydrated.
During hot weather, it is important for babies to stay hydrated. If you're out and about with an infant under 6 months of age, make a point to feed him more often than usual with breast milk or formula. If your baby is older than 6 months, he can have some sips of water in a cup in addition to breast milk or formula.
You can monitor your little one's fluid intake by tracking how many wet diapers they produce. If your baby isn't having as many wet diapers as usual, their urine appears dark in color, or their urine has a strong smell, it might be time to call the pediatrician. On average, a baby should have a wet diaper every 3 hours, so be sure to monitor your baby's dirty diapers on hot days.
Other signs of dehydration in babies and young children include excessive sleepiness, lack of tears when crying, dry or cracked lips, or unusually cold and clammy hands and feet.
Having fun in the sun is a wonderful way for families to enjoy warmer weather, but be sure to give your baby the extra measure of sun protection that she needs!
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.