Babies have 10 times more sensitive skin than adults. In addition, the epidermis of a baby’s skin is almost 5 times thinner compared to our own adult skin. Consequently, the skincare process for babies should be given the utmost attention, especially when it’s summer time.
In other seasons, the baby can more easily cope with the weather changes but when the summer starts parents have to be more conscious to keep their baby cool and protected.
Tips to Keep Your Baby Cool in Summer
● Staying Indoor is Safest
First and foremost, the easiest way to protect your baby from sun-related dangers is to keep him out of it. While I don’t mean to say that you should never taken your baby outside, I do mean to say that you can be smart about the time spent outside.
It’s a great idea to stay indoors more and more when the sun is at its peak and at the most direct (between the hours of 11am-2pm), and spend more time outside earlier in the day and later in the day. Your baby shouldn’t be out the sun unprotected during the direct sun hours if you can help it because there are chances of sunburn even if you keep him out for just a few minutes (especially newborns and infants).
Problems like heat stroke and dehydration for young babies are very common in summer. As a parent, it can be very difficult to tell when a young child is struggling with heat related stress, because heat stress looks so much like every other kind of stress or distress a young baby exhibits.
If you have no other option, and you have to go outside with your baby when the sun is at its zenith, make sure the baby wears a wide sun hat that covers his head, and try to keep the rest of his parts covered up. If you are traveling in your car, keep the air conditioning on or the windows down to keep the air inside from getting too warm for him.
● Shade Whenever Possible
If you have to be outside during the most dangerous part of the day for baby, try to get him until the shade of a building or tree as much as possible (or even turn to shield him with your own body.
● Light Clothing
Always opt for light colored and thin clothing for your baby in summer, that can breathe. Avoid complicated designs, tons of extra fabric (which can bunch and fold up), and heavy material, such as wool. Many parents stick with cotton or other natural fabrics, but I am a fan of whatever get the job done, regardless of whether it is cotton or polyester.
● Chilled Foods
Another way to help keep your baby cool when you have to be outside or when it is hot is to provide him with chilled food or drinks. If your baby is of an age where he/she can eat solid foods, or even chew/gum something, you can make simple iced treats for him to hold and gnaw on (or you can hold them for him).
You can freeze bananas, or fill ice pop trays with leftover smoothie. I like to put fresh fruit and juice into Popsicle trays, and I don’t feel bad about letting the kids have a couple like I might if I was giving them ice cream.
If baby is under six months you could try out frozen breast milk. Just make sure that the shape of the frozen treat isn’t one that he is going to cram into his mouth or swallow whole. Putting a cube of frozen breast milk into a fresh food feed (pictured below) could also work.
Yes, the baby will make a mess of it. Yes, it will melt all over him and floor. But he’ll be cool and happy, which is best for everyone.
● Fan for The Baby
A good fan for the baby’s room can help a lot. It’s not necessary to have a big industrial-sized fan. You can easily choose a small-sized fan that makes plenty of cool air. I happen to like fans in kids’ rooms because the fan keeps the air moving and the white noise produced by the fan can help them go to sleep and stay asleep, as noise from the rest of the house seems to be less startling.
● Sunscreen Protection for The Baby
As you may (or may not) know, doctors don’t recommend that you apply sunscreen to the skin of babies until they are at least six months old. It is better to cover baby up with a hat and light colored clothing, even his little feet and hands, when they are that small and would otherwise be in need of sunscreen.
● Cool Baths
If your baby is acting like he might be overheated, try putting him in a plain water sponge bath and use no soap and shampoo. This type of bath helps the baby to get relaxed and feel cool even in extreme heat. He might complain at first when you start putting the cool water on him, but after the initial shock as passed you shouldn’t hopefully see his mood improve and some signs of enjoyment.
You can also arrange an inflatable baby pool in the yard and let your baby enjoy and play in the pool. Naturally, supervise your baby around water 100% of the time.
● Outdoor Preparation
It’s necessary to make some preparations before taking your baby out in summer. First of all, make a plan where you are going to be all day and try to choose air-conditioned places as it will keep the baby cool and calm. After that, make a list of baby products that you are taking with you. Here you may add a water spray bottle and a baby water cup and a portable hand fan.
When roaming outside in heat your baby may get irritated with the hot atmosphere. At that point, spray some water on your baby and cool him down immediately. Also, let him have plenty of fluids (appropriate for his age) and allow him to frequently feed as much as he needs.
● Diaper Caution
Diaper rash is a common problem in babies during summer. To prevent this, changing diapers every two hours is recommended, and let his bum and private parts air out whenever possible. If it works, get the diaper off of him and lay him on a dry towel for tummy time, or cover his genitals with a light cloth if he is on his back.
Summer can be tough with a new baby. But taking proper steps and getting prepared enough to overcome the roughness of summer before it starts can help your baby enjoy the hot weather.
This was a guest post contribution. If you are interested in contributing to Mom Advice Line, please check out the WRITE FOR US page.
Emily Anderson is a mother of three children, ages 8, 6, and 3. Located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Emily is a full-time mom and part-time blogger, jumping in front of the screen when the kids are occupied. She can be reached through the Contact Us page.