In typical Brit fashion, we’re not just having a spell of lovely warm weather, oh no we have to have a full blown heatwave akin only to that of 1976. Don’t know about you but I was born the last time it was this hot and whilst it’s lovely for the first day I’m quite happy for it to pour down again now.
Never thought I would wish for rain but with a hot, sweaty, tired, agitated 8 month old I am quite looking forward to cooler climes when those inevitable storm clouds eventually roll in.
Wishing for rain won’t help right now though so here are a few tips and tricks for keeping your little one and their bedroom cool and calm during these hotter than hot few days:
Clothes (or lack of) – Whilst it’s frowned upon for us grown ups to go out in just our knickers it’s perfectly fine for babies to simply be in their nappies when it’s super hot. Having nothing on their skin helps them to feel the benefit of any breeze. If you don’t want to go out with them in just a nappy then consider a light cotton romper or sleeveless vest.
What you put them to bed in is so important too, at the moment the temperature isn’t dropping all that much over night so most babies aren’t going to be comfortable in a full sleep suit and forget the sleeping bag. Here’s a guide of appropriate clothing depending on the temperature in their room.
Bedding – If your baby is less than a year old then hopefully you don’t have any bedding as such to worry about but it can make a huge difference to the temperature in their cot if you remove all unnecessary bedding. Personally I have removed the Sleepyhead pillow that Amelia usually sleeps in. It’s cosy and snuggly but this is not cosy and snuggly weather. I don’t want heat to build up inside the pillow or for it to prevent any air from reaching her so until it cools down, she’s sleeping without it.
Stay hydrated – Water, water, water. Just keep giving your child water to help keep them hydrated and cool. If you child isn’t drinking water yet then you might find they want milk more often, we all get thirsty when it’s so hot.
Ice cold – Help keep baby cool with homemade ice lollies, you can use fruit if your baby is weaning or you can make breast milk lollies in your freezer at home. Not only will it keep them hydrated and cool but it’ll also keep them busy for a while too.
Room temperature – Keeping curtains closed with a small gap to allow air in can help prevent the sun from warming the room too much. Keep all windows and doors open to allow air to flow through all the rooms and set up fans in key rooms. It can be worth turning a fan on 30 mins before you want to put baby to bed to help bring the temperature down and make it more comfortable for them. A nice little trick it to freeze a bottle of water and place the frozen bottle in front of the fan. As it melts the fan blades will spread the cooled water vapour around the room and this will also help to bring down the temperature.
Shade – This is so important when you are out and about or enjoying the sun in the garden. Try to keep baby in the shade as much as possible. Their beautiful delicate skin just can’t handle the sun’s rays especially when it’s at it’s peak between 11am-3pm. Trees, fences, umbrellas, pram parasols, whatever it takes to create a patch of shade for baby, if you can’t find shade outside it might be best not to take them out at all.
Go shopping – If it’s too hot at home and you can’t cool the rooms down any further consider going to a shopping centre, it’ll be quiet (everyone is outside) and it’ll be super chilled with air con. A great excuse for a coffee and a wander round the shops. Even if you just go to a supermarket for some food for dinner, the chilled air will be a welcome relief for both of you.
Water play – It’s a perfect time to crack out the paddling pool and get some fresh cold water pumping, babies can keep really cool whilst playing in water. If you don’t have a paddling pool you can use a baby bath or even the washing up bowl if your baby is small enough. Just somewhere for them to sit and splash about, under your constant supervision of course. Keep baby safe and never leave them unattended near water.
Bedtime bath – Much like playing outside with water, a nice luke-warm bath can often help babies settle for sleep. Wash away the sticky sweaty day, clean off the sun cream and the relaxing water and bubbles is guaranteed to make them sleepy. Try running the water a few degrees cooler than normal, you don’t want to shock their system with a cold bath, but a little cooler than normal can help to lower their body temperature if they’re too hot.
Relocate – If your baby’s room is too hot consider moving them to a cooler room. We have a downstairs spare bedroom and it is always around 3C cooler than the bedrooms upstairs. We’ve set up a travel cot in the spare room to help Amelia sleep more comfortably at night. If baby is struggling to fall asleep for naps during the day too, why not try laying them down in their prams in the garden (in the shade of course), the breeze can take the edge off and help them fall asleep.
The Big NO NO
I know it’s so tempting to want to keep your baby out of the sun and stop it shining in their eyes when in the pram but please don’t cover prams with blankets or muslins. Yes it will block the sun from their eyes but it will also create a heat trap with very little air flow. In really hot weather the temperature inside a pram can rise as quickly as it does in a locked car and you wouldn’t leave your baby in a locked car.
In a study carried out by Swedish journalists (read about it here) they found that a pram covered with a light muslin cloth can reach temperatures of 30C and above when out in the sun. With no way for air to circulate and no way for you to see baby they can quickly become overheated and struggle to breathe.
This is such a common thing to see when out and about but please don’t be tempted, if you need shade for your pram pick up a cheap universal parasol and save yourself the worry.
I hope you have found some of these tips helpful, I hope your babies aren’t too distressed and from one hot and bothered mama to another, here’s hoping for some rain.