Last updated: October 3rd 2019
While hot summers make outdoor family days more adventurous and fun, it is also a challenge to make sure our little ones stay comfortable and cool.
More than that, it can actually be dangerous for babies in hot weather.
According to NSW Health, babies are unable to regulate their body temperatures in extreme weather conditions as much as adults. Babies sweat less, reducing their body's ability to cool itself down, and therefore they are more at risk of overheating and developing a heat-related illness. Heat also has the ability to make existing illnesses worse.
But before you start stressing out, we're here to help you be prepared. We’ve put together our top tips to ensure your baby is comfortable and content in the summer heat, so you can still enjoy the long days and balmy nights.
Don't have air-conditioning at home? Fear not, we're focusing on how to keep baby cool without AC. So, whether you want to know how to cool down baby's room or generally just how to keep newborn cool, we've got you covered.
A moisture-wicking singlet is ideal to keep sweat off baby's skin during naps.
1. Choose adapted clothing
According to The Royal Children's Dermatology Unit, the infant skin barrier does not fully mature until at least one year of age and is thinner, more fragile and more sensitive than adults' skin. It is also less resistant to bacteria and harmful substances in the environment so can be easily irritated.
It is important to check what fabrics your baby is wearing because this can directly affect overheating of the skin. Completely avoid synthetics as it stops the skin from breathing. Thermoregulating clothing with natural fibres such as bamboo naturally regulates baby’s body temperature. Boody’s moisture-wicking and highly breathable baby clothing will ensure bub is kept nice and cool at all times.
Also ensure you remove any unnecessary layers off bub, including what is in the cot and pram and avoiding too many blankets or pillows that will block airflow.
Our muslin bamboo wraps also make for a great pram shade protection for babes in hot weather and provide plenty of airflow and breathability.
A breathy bamboo tee and assorted shorts keep baby cool during the hot days.
2. Maintain room temperature
According to the Women and Children’s Health Network, babies and young children may not show early signs and symptoms of being affected by the heat even when they are affected.
To avoid your baby getting stressed by the heat and high temperatures, use air-conditioning or a fan where possible. If you are using a fan, make sure you never position it towards your baby and then ensure your windows are open to get fresh air circulating through the house.
Another quick and easy idea is to hang some wet towels between open windows and close the blinds during the hotter hours of the day. Choose the coolest place in your home for naptime, making sure air can circulate around your baby's bassinette or cot.
3. Check your baby’s temperature
Keep a thermometer handy at all times and check for sweat or red, hot and dry skin.
Your first thought might be to reach for cold water to cool your baby’s skin down but this can do more harm than good. Cold water can lead to babies shivering and crying which causes their temperature to rise. To cool them down instead, sponge them with lukewarm water or give them a bath around 32-35 degrees.
Also, be mindful that babies may need extra feeds in hot weather. Cooled down boiled water may be considered between bottle or breastfeeds, particularly for babies over six months old or those already receiving other fluids between feeds.
4. Notice any signs of overheating
Become familiar with all signs of overheating and basic first aid. Some of the signs of heat-related illness in infants include looking unwell, being floppy or more irritable than usual, dry skin, refusing to drink, dehydration, having fewer wet nappies than usual or the soft spot on baby’s head may be lower than usual. For a more detailed rundown on symptoms and first-aid practises head over to the NSW Government Health page.
Most importantly, don’t wait to take your baby to a doctor or a hospital if you ever are unsure and in case of emergency. Babies don’t always show symptoms straight away so stay alert and take precaution.
5. Keep bub hydrated
Just like us adults, babies need to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. A clear sign that bub is hydrated is there are six to eight pale wet nappies a day.
During the first six months when your baby is being fed breast milk or formula, you shouldn't be giving them any water. That said, during hot weather, your baby might want to feed more than usual but in shorter bursts.
Summer can still be very enjoyable despite the heat. Plan your outdoor adventures wisely in the early morning and late afternoon. Be aware of heat symptoms and take action straight away. If you want more specific details on your local state or territory, you can contact your health department. Shop our range of breathable baby clothing that’s the perfect fit for summer.