Keeping babies and children cool in hot weather

With the hot weather forecast for the next few weeks, new mums often wonder how to keep their babies and little ones happy. Newborns can’t regulate their temperature, so keeping them cool and comfortable can be a tricky business for new parents. Here are a few tips which I hope will help.

twin baby photographer in Bath Bristol
A simple babygrow will keep your baby cool in summer months.

1- Dress your baby in light cotton clothing
When temperatures rise above 25 degrees, there is no need to layer baby’s clothing. Light cotton onesies are ideal for this weather. Stay away from dark colours. Unless your baby will be in direct sunlight, avoid sun hats which may cause overheating.

2- Stay away from direct sunlight
It goes without saying, but babies’s skin is very fragile and would burn easily. Newborns cannot regulate their temperature easily and should be kept away from sunlight as much as possible. If you need to head out, try and do so early morning or later in the day when the air has cooled down a bit and the sunlight isn’t so harsh.

3- Make sure you and your baby are hydrated
Newborns don’t need to drink water, even in hot weather. In a heatwave you may find that your baby drinks more milk so don’t worry about giving them extra feeds. It is also important for you to keep hydrated, especially if you are breastfeeding.

4- Keep your house cool
My second daughter was born in the midst of a heatwave. I used to open the windows very early in the morning, when the air was still fresh. As soon as the temperatures rose, I would close them and draw the curtains. Another useful trick is to place a frozen bottle of water in from of a fan to create a nice cool breeze in your house.

5- Choose the right sleepwear
It’s very hard to keep a newborn’s room at the recommended temperature of 16 to 20C in a heatwave. Choosing what your baby should wear will be guided by the room temperature, so I recommend buying a thermometer. The table below is a useful guide as to what to dress your baby in to bed in a heatwave.

6- In doubt, check your baby’s temperature
The best way to check on your baby’s temperature is by putting your hand on the skin on their tummy or the back of their neck. Don’t use their hands or feet as a guide as they will always feel cooler than the rest of their body. If your baby is too hot you will feel the skin is hot, slightly clammy or sweaty. Remove clothing, open a window and a door (if safe to do so) or place a fan in the room, just making sure it isn’t directed at baby.