We all know heat and babies don’t mix. If you’re a parent, you already know that heat is the number one cause of heat rash in babies. It’s also uncomfortable for them to be warm in such hot weather. So once your baby comes home from from the hospital, you have to make sure your room is well-ventilated and cool enough to prevent irritations.
Mums and dads need to be extra vigilant in the summer. The heat can make babies feel irritable, uncomfortable and if it is very hot, they might get dehydrated. That is why your baby requires extra care, as much as you take care of yourself – especially if you are breastfeeding your baby.
If your baby gets hot and sweaty on warm days, there are things you can do. You can keep the house cool or buy sheets that help your baby sleep better. As Dr. Sharryn Gardener, a doctor for kids’ health app Juno, says: “Don’t panic if your baby gets hot on warm days.” You must know how to prevent things from becoming serious. You can know if someone is dehydrated or has heatstroke by looking for signs. If you see these signs, take quick action.
How to Cool a Baby Down in Hot Weather
1. Up to Their Fluids
Parents must keep an eye on their baby’s drinks. They need to drink more during the warmer season.
On hot days, babies need 50% more breast milk. That means they will drink more. You can give the baby small amounts of cooled boiled water with their normal feedings for formula mothers.
Mothers breastfeeding need to make sure they drink enough water or their milk will not be good for the baby.
When a baby is weaning or over the age of six months, they can drink from a cup. A one or older baby can have regular water, diluted fruit juice, and frozen water lollies. These are all good ways for babies to keep themselves hydrated and avoid dehydration.
When a baby has fewer wet nappies than usual, cries and doesn’t seem to be as active, and has a dry mouth, it might be because they’re dehydrated.
If you are worried that your child is sick, don’t worry. Give them food or water. Keep them in the shade and away from direct sunlight to help keep their hydration levels.
2. Apply a Cold Compress
If it is hot outside, you can put a cold, wet cloth on your baby or make an ice pack.
If your baby or toddler is overheating, try wrapping a few ice cubes in a muslin square. Use this to cool your baby down in their crib or buggy.
Jojo Maman Bebe has large pieces of cloth which you can use to keep your child cool. You can put this in their buggy, and it will work when they are in their crib at home on a hot day.
3. Give Them a Bath
Experts say that a bath can make your body feel cool. You should do it during the day or before bed.
If you are worried about your baby, try to give your baby a bath before bed. It will make them feel more comfortable, and they won’t sweat so much. Or, you should at least regularly wash your baby’s face.
Scientists found that taking a bath before bed helps the body’s core temperature go down so you can sleep better.
The NHS also recommends a cool bath before bed and a dip in a shallow paddling pool for older infants.
Playing in a paddling pool is a terrific way to keep kids cool when it’s hot outside. Make sure that the pool is shaded and observe them at all times.
4. Choose Cool Surfaces
You should always check the temperature of the surfaces where you will put your baby down. This is, so they don’t get too hot or cold.
You should make sure your baby isn’t laying on anything sticky or hot. For example, put a soft cloth underneath the baby before laying them down.
It’s worth investing in cooling mats that feature hydrophilic gel. These can be placed in a young baby’s pram, or you can put them in the fridge for a few hours to improve their cooling effect.
5. Dress Them in Suitable and Minimal Clothing
When it is sunny, what your baby wears can affect how hot or cold they are.
Certain fabrics and items are better in warmer weather. You can cool your baby down in the heat if you choose what to wear carefully.
Wearing the right clothing is important when you are in the sun for a long time. Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs, and make sure they breathe. You can also find fabrics that protect you from the sun. Wear them wide-brimmed hats with air vents or sunglasses to ensure they do not get too hot.
If you think your child is too hot, take some of their clothes off.
Remove clothes. Put on clothes made of natural fibers. Remove hats so their head can cool off.
6. Light Layers at Night
Loose layers of clothes, such as a T-shirt and shorts, are good for keeping your baby cool on hot nights.
You need to dress your baby in one extra layer than you need. If it is very hot, a thin vest over their diaper is enough and will be breathable.
7. Invest in Cotton Baby Sheets
Cotton sheets can help people sleep better in hot weather. They’re good for babies and adults too. This is an excellent investment, especially if you want to save money on basic baby supplies.
In the summer, change your baby’s sheets from nylon to cotton. This is because nylon will get sweaty and hold onto that sweat.
It’s important to ensure that the sheet is safe in the baby’s bed. If it falls, your child can be covered by it while sleeping.
8. Ventilate and Shade their Bedroom
Keep your bedroom curtains closed during the day so the room won’t get too hot before bedtime.
Another tip is to buy a fan. When kids go to bed at night, turn it on.
A fan usually moves around the same hot air if the room is very hot. You can help by freezing a water bottle and placing it in front of the fan right out of the freezer. This will cool down the air, and when it starts to get colder, the water will have defrosted.
Set the air conditioner to start around 30 minutes before you put your baby to bed.
9. Sleep Downstairs
A simple way to cool a baby down at night is to switch where they sleep. This will help because heat rises.
If it is too hot upstairs, you can sleep somewhere else. It will be cooler downstairs. Our heatwaves never last too long, so it will only be a few days that you need to sleep in a different room.
10. Pushchair Accessories
Pushchairs with gadgets are helpful to parents in the summer. They can use them, but they have their own fans and parasols.
Fans that you attach to your baby’s stroller, or pushchair, are really useful if you’re out and about. This is because they will protect your baby from the sun without stopping airflow.
A common misconception is to cover the baby’s pushchair with a blanket. This can be dangerous.
Never cover your baby in a blanket when they are in the buggy. It will cause the temperature to build up and get very hot. Instead, use a parasol or buggy fan.
You can check this link to learn more about how to make your baby comfortable during the summer.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Cool a Baby Down in Hot Weather: 10 Tips Every Parent Needs to Know
How Hot Is Too Hot for a Baby?
What is the outside temperature too hot for a baby? The American Academy of Pediatrics says to avoid taking babies outside if hotter than 90 degrees. If they are out, they can get too hot quickly.
How Does the Heat Affect Babies?
When it is very hot, babies and young children may get sick. They can become dehydrated or get heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
What Are the Symptoms of Heat in Babies?
Signs of heatstroke may include a body temperature higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. They may or may not be bewildered or sweaty. Their skin may be heated and dry. They may pass out, experience a racing heart, become nauseated, and vomit.
How Can You Tell If the Baby Is Too Hot at Night?
If your baby has clammy skin, a red face with rashes, rapid breathing, raised heart rate, lethargic behavior, and increased irritability. They are probably too hot.
Do Babies Cry If They Are Too Warm?
If your baby is crying, it might be because they are too hot or too cold. If you think they are too hot, look for signs like sweating, damp hair, heat rash with red patches that bloom into water blisters, or clammy skin. On the other hand, you should also keep your baby warm during the cold weather since this could also make them feel uncomfortable.
Can a Baby Overheat at Night?
Going to bed when you are very warm can cause side effects. This can be mild, like bad sleep or a heat rash. But it might also be more serious like SIDS, which is when an infant dies without any known cause. An infant’s temperature must be under 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), which is normal for them.
Can You Put a Fan Directly on a Baby?
Does it matter if a fan is blowing air onto a child? No, it does not cause them to get sick. Some children may find this stimulating (or the contrary), but it does not affect their overall well-being. However, you have to be extra mindful in taking care of your baby during winter, since the cold weather could make them uncomfortable.
Why Do Newborns Need to Be Exposed to the Sun?
Sunlight is good for your baby. Sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D, which helps absorb calcium. This makes your bones stronger and prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. And it might even help with cancer by preventing it from growing.
How Can You Tell If a Baby Is Hot or Cold?
How can I tell if my baby is too hot or too cold? If your baby has sweaty spots on its neck or it feels cold, the baby is probably too cold. If they have red cheeks and look sweating, the baby may be too hot.
What Do You Do With a Baby on a Hot Day?
When it is very hot outside, you can cool a baby down by giving them more fluids. And sometimes, they will need to have a cold compress. You should also provide them with a bath with cool water, dress them in light clothes, and make sure that the room they are in has good ventilation to keep it cool too.
What Should I Do If My Baby Has Heat Exhaustion?
- Put the child in a cool place.
- Have him lie down with his feet elevated.
- Take off all his clothes except for underwear.
- Sponge the whole body with cold water. The weakness should go away after 2-3 hours when he gets fluids back into his body.