Keeping your baby cool in the heatwave

Heatwaves and babies don't always mix well, but our midwife Kate has some great advice about sleeping, feeding and dressing your baby this summer.

Baby wearing just a nappy lying on his front yawning

Pregnancy blog, 21/06/2017

Ideally the room where your baby sleeps should be kept at about 16-20 degrees but in the hot weather this can be really difficult!  Babies are not as good at regulating their body temperature so it's important to keep them cool as possible. Hopefully these tips will help:

Try to keep the room as cool as possible

  • Create a flow of air by having as many windows open as possible and have the curtains or blinds partly closed during the day to protect from direct sunlight.
  • If you have a fan, pop a bottle of frozen water or bowl of ice in front of it so it cools the air as it moves.
  • If you are worried about the room temperature then it may be worth having a room thermometer to keep an eye out.

Think about bedding

  • Use cotton sheets and blankets.
  • Avoid using waterproof sheets, as these can be sweaty for the baby and make them overheat.
  • Avoid swaddling your baby so they can kick off the blanket more easily if they get hot.

Dressing your baby

  • Do not be afraid to leave your baby to sleep in only a nappy if it is hot in the room, especially above 24 degrees.
  • If your baby doesn't like this, then just pop a thin cotton blanket or muslin as a single layer over them.
  • When checking your baby’s temperature, feel their chest or the back of their neck as their hands and feet will be cooler than the rest of their body.

Feeding your baby

  • If you breastfeed your baby you may find they want to feed a little more often.
  • They shouldn’t need any water if under 6 months old as breast milk is as hydrating as water.
  • If your baby is having formula then they may need a little cooled boiled water but try to keep this to a minimum and not just before a feed.

Being out and about during the day

  • It’s really important to avoid placing a blanket or cover over the buggy or pram as this stops air circulating and can make it even hotter for the baby.
  • Use factor 50 or higher sun cream on your baby and keep them in the shade, or with a hat if you are walking about.
  • Regularly check your baby’s temperature and be prepared that they may need feeding a little more often.

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