With Summer finally here and a recent burst of hot weather this might be the first time that you are taking care of a baby during hotter temperatures. Taking care of a baby in hot weather requires extra attention to ensure their comfort and safety. Here are some tips on how to look after your baby in hot weather:
- Keep them hydrated: Offer your baby frequent breast milk, formula, or water (if they are old enough). Babies are more susceptible to dehydration, so make sure they drink plenty of fluids.
- Dress them appropriately: Dress your baby in light, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton. Avoid overdressing them and use a hat or cap to protect their head from the sun.
- Provide shade: Keep your baby out of direct sunlight, especially during the hottest parts of the day. Use an umbrella, sunshade, or stroller canopy to provide shade when you’re outside.
- Use sunscreen: If your baby is six months or older, apply a baby-safe sunscreen with a high SPF to protect their delicate skin. Consult with your pediatrician for recommendations on sunscreen use for babies younger than six months.
- Keep the environment cool: Maintain a cool environment indoors by using fans or air conditioning. If you don’t have air conditioning, use fans strategically to create a breeze. You can also use a damp washcloth to lightly dab your baby’s skin to help keep them cool.
- Limit outdoor activities: Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and limit outdoor activities during the hottest hours of the day, typically between 10 am and 4 pm. Schedule outings or walks in the early morning or late afternoon when it’s cooler. You could always pop along to your nearest Adventure Babies class.
- Check their temperature: Keep an eye on your baby’s body temperature. Feel their neck, chest, or back to ensure they’re not overheating. If they feel excessively warm, use a cool, damp cloth or sponge to gently cool them down.
- Be mindful of car safety: Never leave your baby alone in a car, even for a few minutes. Cars can heat up quickly, leading to a dangerous situation.
- Be alert for signs of heat-related illness: Watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke, such as excessive sweating, rapid breathing, flushed skin, irritability, lethargy, or dizziness. If you notice any concerning symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
- Trust your instincts: Pay attention to your baby’s cues. If they seem uncomfortable, fussy, or excessively sweaty, take steps to cool them down and make them comfortable.
Remember, each baby is unique, so adjust these guidelines based on your child’s age, health, and individual needs. Consult with your GP if you have any specific concerns or questions about how to look after your baby in hot weather.