Babies and especially newborns don’t have the capacity to regulate their body temperature, so it’s especially important to be cautious when you’re out with a baby in these warm, summer months. Here are some essential keeps to help you keep your baby cool during the hot summer months:
Keep baby out of direct sunlight
First off, any baby under six months shouldn’t be in direct sunlight. Their skin doesn’t contain enough melanin to protect them from the sun and they’re too young for sunscreen (which is recommended as of six months). While babies over six months can get some sun, they should be kept out of the sun at peak times (usually 10am to 3pm). Shade is your friend!
“For kids who want to run around in the sun, be sure to use and reapply broad-spectrum sunscreen as needed to reduce the risk of sunburns and sun damage that can potentially lead to skin cancer down the road,” says Dr. Janice Johnston, the chief medical officer and co-founder of Redirect Health. “For best protection, search for a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher.”
Offer more milk or water
For babies under 4-6 months who haven’t yet started solids, increase their milk intake and try cool milk. For babies who are already at the solid stage, offer a few sips of cool water. For older kids, offer healthy popsicles – we love Chloe’s Fruit Pops because they’re free of stabilizers and additives – and water-rich, cooling fruits like watermelon. Having insulated water bottles on hand will be helpful too when on-the-go. The Frost Insulated Water Bottle from EcoVessel, for example, comes with fun design options such as dinosaurs, unicorns and animals. It also has an inner silicone straw for easy tilt-free drinking, making it convenient for kids to keep healthily hydrated. It’s designed to insulate drinks throughout the day up to 36 hours.
“Dehydration is a serious issue and potential risk for anyone during the hotter summer months, especially for young children and babies who can’t always voice their thoughts or aren’t able to recognize they are thirsty in the first place,” says Dr. Johnston. “This applies for individuals of all ages, but thirst usually means you are already dehydrated. With kids, you have to be proactive with their liquid intake to ensure they are properly hydrated throughout the day.” She also notes that it’s important to be aware of the signs of dehydration in young children and babies. “This includes constipation, changes in mood and behavior, dry mouth, muscle cramps, urine that is a darker shade of yellow, weakness, nausea and vomiting, and more. If symptoms persist, have your child checked by a medical professional.”
Tie hair back
Summer isn’t the time for flowing hair. Instead, keep little girls and boys extra cool by pulling their hair back. We love Teleties in the “tiny” size – they’re perfect for kids.
Attach a parasol and fan to your stroller
Amazon has a ton of stroller fan options, but we found this one to be the most versatile. We suggest to buy two: one to face you and one to face baby! The fan can also work for your car seat, but we suggest this double-duty buy instead for cars: Breeze Baby In-Sight Fan Car Mirror for Munchkin. It keeps baby cool while giving you peace of mind that he or she is doing great in their back-facing car seat.
A universal parasol is another must for the summer months. We love this option because it has build-in sun protection, comes in a bunch of colors and is affordably priced.
Opt for an airy baby carrier
Skip materials like denim and velvet when the warm weather hits and opt for an airy carrier like BabyBjörn’s Baby Carrier One Air.
Keep temperatures cool at home
Keep baby’s room between 68 and 72 degrees and work a cool bath into their night-time routine. You’ll also want to keep the shades/blinds/curtains drawn during the day unless you’re facing a direction that only gets light (not sun).
Wear lightweight clothes
Switch baby clothes to lightweight, loose-fitting materials and stay away from black clothes. “Darker colors absorb light, whereas lighter colors reflect the light and keep you feeling cooler,” says Dr. Johnston. “You can also opt for lighter and more breathable fabrics, such as cotton, to help your child stay cool.”
By: Sharon Feiereisen