How to keep your baby cool in hot weather

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Soaring temperatures are going to hit the UK throughout this August, and while many of us struggle with the overwhelming heat, babies are at risk from suffering the most. The weekend is set to bring highs of 37C in some areas, so keeping young ones happy and healthy in the heat is absolutely crucial.

Babies can become ill if they become too hot, and their body cannot regulate itself as well as adults and older children can.

Babies and young children can become ill during very hot weather. Their health can be seriously affected by:

  • dehydration
  • heat exhaustion and heatstroke
  • sunburn

The NHS has some great advice for keeping babies and little ones happy in this blistering heat.

Keep them out of direct sunlight

Babies under six months must be kept out of direct sunlight at all times, as overheating in babies this young can be extremely dangerous.

At this stage in life, their skin contains too little melanin, which is the pigment that gives skin, hair and eyes their colour, and provides some protection from the sun.

If they do need to be in direct sunlight, use a sun cream that is at least 50spf.

Keep them hydrated

Fully breastfed babies do not need any water until they’ve started eating solid foods.

During hot weather they may want to breastfeed more than usual.

If you’re bottle-feeding, as well as their usual milk feeds, you can give your baby a little cooled boiled water.

Once you have started to introduce solid foods, you should offer your baby sips of water from a cup or beaker with meals.

In hot weather, you may need to offer some additional water outside of mealtimes.

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Keep their room cool

A nursery thermometer will help you monitor the temperature of your baby’s room.

Your baby will sleep most comfortably when their room is between 16C and 20C.

Because maintaining a cool temperature can be out of your control, keep nightwear and bedclothes to a minimum.

If your baby kicks or pushes off the covers during the night, consider putting them in just a nappy with a single well-secured sheet that will not work loose and cover their face or get entangled during the night.

Buy a paddling pool

A double whammy for entertainment and cooling, a paddling pool is a great way to keep older babies cool.

Run a shallow pool and place in the shade in your garden and keep your child supervised at all times.

Make sure to also regularly reapply sun cream as it can wash off easily in water.

You can also run them a cool bath before bedtime to keep them cool right up until it’s time for them to go to sleep.

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