During the summertime it can be difficult to know how to keep your baby cool. In the UK, we don’t have the pleasure of hot weather very often so when we do, it’s a bit of a shock to the system. It can be hard enough to keep ourselves cool during a heat wave, so how can you make sure your little one can cope with the temperature?
First of all, it’s important to keep babies out of the sun as much as you can. Under six months of age their skin contains too little melanin to give any protection from the sun, so they really shouldn’t be exposed to it at all. When they are in a pram, always use a parasol or sunshade – but never cover your pram with a blanket or muslin, as babies can quickly overheat if you do this.
While layers are a good idea when it’s cold, during hot spells a single layer should be enough for your baby during the day. At night they may still need a thin sleep suit or baby sleeping bag. Thinner and lighter fabrics are best, and when you’re at home during a heat wave your little one will probably be most comfortable in just a nappy through the day. It’s also good to give them as much nappy free time as you can.
In the UK temperatures can change rapidly, so regularly check the temperature through the night. You may need to remove or add more layers – don’t be afraid of disturbing your baby’s sleep to do this. To get an idea of how hot or cold your baby is put your hand on their tummy or back of the neck, not arms and legs as they are always cooler.
If you use a baby carrier or sling, it’s important to make sure the material is breathable so your little one doesn’t get too hot.