How To Keep Babies Cool In The Heat

03/06/2010 11:24 | Updated 22 May 2015

Having a summer baby is lovely in many ways but it can be quite fraught if the weather hots up and you're left with a newborn who's uncomfortable and hot.

Tiny babies can't regulate their own temperature which is why we have to be extra cautious to make sure they don't overheat, whether that's in bed or out and about.

The recent story of the sunburnt baby who was hospitalised while visiting Brighton beach also highlights how careful we have to be with them.

But there are things we can do to help our little ones have a comfortable and safe summer.

  • Keep babies out of direct sunlight: Hard to do when you have other children but try to avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm although young babies should always avoid direct sunlight. Houses can be cooler than gardens in the middle of the day so retreat inside when it gets really hot
  • Sunshades: These are vital when out and about and there are some great ones on the market and those that fit on car windows are essential too. UV sun tents are also handy for days out, although make sure there is good air flow if your baby takes a nap in one
  • Close the curtains: If baby's room heats up during the day keep the curtains closed but windows open so air can circulate. An electric fan can also help
  • Strip them down: If you're at home a nappy is sometimes all they need. If they get too hot heat rashes can develop but if you're worried at all about a rash contact NHS Direct or your GP. Monitor how hot they are, they can't regulate their own temperature so sometimes it's a case of putting a vest or short babygro back on
  • Hats: A hat is essential, good ones are wide brim hats or ones that protect the back of the neck. Get them into the habit of wearing them early so hopefully you won't have battles when they're older
  • Never leave your child in a car alone, not even for a short time, even with the windows open
  • Keep your baby hydrated: If you breastfeed you may find your baby is feeding more. Offer bottlefed babies more drinks too. To keep an eye on their hydration levels by monitoring how many wet nappies they're producing
  • Sun cream: If you're out and about in the sun apply sunscreen specially formulated for babies and reapply it regularly, even on cloudy days
  • Clothes: Dress your baby in cool cotton clothes and, if they are out in the sun, put them in a long sleeved t-shirt to protect their skin (but don't forget the sunscreen too)
  • Use a buggy: I loved carrying around my babies in a sling but it can make them too hot in the summer so use your buggy instead with an effective sunshade.

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