While older children can tell you if they’re unwell, or hot, it’s harder with babies, and in really hot weather it’s important you don’t let them overheat.
We’ve got some tips on how to make sure your little one doesn’t get too hot on these super-sunny days…
Keeping out of the sun
Until your baby is at least 6 months old, it’s preferable to avoid using sunblocks and instead keep your child out of the sun altogether.
A small baby isn’t going to notice if the view of the beach or the park isn’t as pretty as yours is, so make sure you have a pram or pushchair with a good parasol that isn’t so thin it lets harmful UV-rays through.
And don’t forget to adjust the parasol if you change position or the sun has moved. On the beach, if your baby will be very young, think about getting a UV-protective tent for feeding and nap-times.
If you have your baby in a sling or carrier, cover her head with a muslin cloth or something similar that’s light and unoppressive, for the times when you can’t be in the shade.
Slings and carriers
Don’t forget that carrying your baby around in a sling or carrier means they have your heat to deal with as well as the sun’s.
BabyBjorn do a Carrier Air which is lighter in design to allow the baby to ‘breathe’ better in the hot months.
And the company Beebyhart make UV-protective outfits (as well as their winter rain ones) that fit over your baby’s carrier if you want to cover your baby up while you’re out and about.
Dressing your baby
When you are not out and not having to worry about their skin being protected from the sun, or you’re out but your child is in the shade, then you really don’t need to dress your child in anything more than a nappy or a nappy and vest.
Try to dress your child in light, loose clothes made of natural fibres that breathe and that will absorb sweat.
Make sure you take changes of clothes out with you so that you can change damp clothes. You might find your baby’s delicate skin gets a little rashy with sweat and warm clothing, but this should clear up quickly after a cooling, cleansing bath of just water (no soap).
It’s good practice to give your baby some head protection and if your baby is older than 6 months and is out in the sun, make sure you always put a hat on her.
Make it a cotton hat that is light and has a good brim to shade her face and neck. If you can get the ‘legionnaire’ style – with a flap of material down the back of the neck – then all the better.
What to do when they’re asleep
Again, your baby doesn’t need much on other than a nappy or vest, but do be aware of draughts caused by leaving windows open.
Is her room going to get too chilly in the night? If so, you may want to dress her lightly but place a light cotton sheet over her as you go to bed, later in the evening, when the night is cooling down.
If you are leaving a fan on in her room, make sure it is safely out of reach.
Eating and drinking
If your baby is breastfed, that should be enough to quench her thirst, so long as she is feeding well and regularly.
It will not harm her to have some cool, boiled water from a sterilised bottle, but if you are feeding her, this isn’t essential at all.
If she is already on solids, you may find the heat spoils her appetite. In which case, make meals smaller and more regular. Offer hydrating foods like cucumber and keep up liquids.
If she has started to wean, milk (yours or formula) and cool boiled water are all she needs – NOT juices or special formula drinks suitable for adults in hot weather.
Your baby’s temperature
Remember that a baby’s hands and feet are usually cooler than the rest of their body, so place the back of your hand either at the top of her back or on her chest to gauge her temperature.
Is she sweating? If so, she’s too hot. To cool a baby down, peel off layers and get her to a cooler place, but don’t blast her with cold air or change the temperature setting too quickly.
Some babies might enjoy an unscheduled midday splash in some cooling (but not very cold) bathtub water.
If cooling your rooms with air-con or fans, make sure the temperature doesn’t drop below 22.2 degrees C.