July 25, 2016

Keeping Baby Cool in the Summer Heat

Whether you spend it inside or in the great outdoors, summer is a tricky season for keeping cool. Excessive heat can be very dangerous, especially for infants and young children. 

In my neck of the woods, temperatures have soared above 30 degrees C (mid 90s F) this summer, which means the babe and I have had to postpone our daily nature walks and entertain ourselves indoors until the temperature is in our favour.  Not always an easy task when you have a babe that always needs to keep moving and live in a tiny one bedroom apartment, but we make do. 

Keeping Baby Cool in the Summer Heat

To make sure your little one stays safe during the long, hot and humid days of summer, check out these 5 tips for keeping baby cool in the summer heat.

5 Tips for Keeping Baby Cool in the Summer Heat

Dress appropriately.

A good rule of thumb is to dress baby the way you’re dressed. If you must go outside, put baby in light-coloured long pants, a loose-fitting, lightweight long-sleeved shirt and a wide-brimmed hat. Removable layers are great so that you can adjust as the temperature fluctuates, such as from moving outside to inside. Remember that baby shouldn’t wear sunscreen before 6 months of age because of their sensitive skin. Sunglasses are also a good idea to protect their eyes and reduce glare. 

Keep hydrated. 

Like adults, babies need to drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated. However, they tend to get dehydrated a lot more easily due to the lack of fluid reserves in their tiny bodies. Since infants under 6 months of age shouldn’t yet drink water, replace lost fluids by giving them extra formula or nursing more frequently. According to What to Expect, there are no health benefits to heating up a bottle, so, if the baby takes it cold, it may help cool them down. Dehydration signs to look for include fewer wet diapers, dry mouth, restlessness and rapid breathing.

Moms should also remember to keep hydrated. Keeping hydrated will help maintain your milk supply so that you can in turn keep the little one happy and hydrated. 

Stay indoors.

While summer is a time to be outside, for baby’s sake, sometimes its best to stay indoors. Take advantage of fans and the air conditioning during these months. If you do not have air conditioning, find some place that does such as a mall, museum, library, etc.

In Toronto, some great indoor spaces to visit with your kiddos include Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Science Centre and Art Gallery of Ontario.

Keeping Baby Cool in the Summer Heat

Limit activity.

Baby’s temperature-regulating systems aren't yet fully developed, so they are not able to sweat as efficiently as adults to keep cool, meaning they can become overheated far more quickly. If you are outside, or even playing in a space without air conditioning, limit physical activity, such as playing in jumpers, so baby doesn't overheat. 

Plan your time outdoors.

If you must go outside, make sure you avoid certain times of the day. The worst time to be outdoors is between 10 am and 5 pm, when it is hottest and UV radiation is at its highest. Also be sure to make shade your friend. If you are at the park or beach, look for a protected spot, such as under a tree, umbrella or canopy. If baby is a fan of the water, briefly dip their feet in to cool off.

Keeping Baby Cool in the Summer Heat

And remember, NEVER EVER leave a child unattended in a parked car. Even with the windows cracked open in moderate temperatures, cars can rapidly heat up to dangerous levels in just a few short minutes.

For those lacking air conditioning (something I know all about), I highly recommend the Seville Classics UltraSlimline 40" Tower Fan. We recently purchased this fan from Costco ($59.99 Canadian APR) for our living room and it is pure magic. The tower fan is equipped with four ultra-quiet speed settings (high, medium, low and “eco”) that will leave you feeling cool and comfortable on those hot and humid days, and can be operated by the LCD remote equipped with a timer feature so you don't have to waste the energy getting up to switch setting or turn it on and off. 

To see how I'm spending my summer with my little family, check out my Instagram (@toandfro21).

How do you beat the summer heat and humidity?

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