Monthly Parenting Magazine

Hotting up: keeping your baby cool in a heatwave

Hotting up: keeping your baby cool in a heatwave


Usually we love a heatwave, but navigating the soaring temperatures with a baby is more about survival than sunbathing...

Here are our top baby heatwave tips for making sure you stay safe and don’t get in a hot sweaty mess…

Keeping babies cool in hot weather

  • Block out UV rays by keeping the blinds closed and curtains shut, but keep the windows open to allow air to flow
  • A cold wet sheet hung at an open window can also help to create a cooler room
  • Regulate baby’s temperature by giving them a cool bath before bedtime
  • Putting a bowl of frozen water in front of a fan can help to circulate cooler air, however never put a baby directly in front of a fan
  • Babies and young children aren’t able to self regulate their temperature, so keep their clothing light. However just a nappy is best in really hot weather
  • Check your little one’s body temperature regularly, by placing your hand on baby’s forehead and the back of their neck
  • If they are feeling warm, you can cool them down with a tepid flannel
  • Keep your baby’s room or child’s bedroom cool – 18 degrees Celsius is the ideal temperature. You can check this with a nursery thermometer
  • Keep your baby cool by keeping cotton sheets to a minimum. A single well secured sheet won’t work loose and is the safest option for baby sleep
  • Playing in a paddling pool on hot days can help to keep little ones cool. Make sure you keep it in the shade and supervise them at all times though!

Sun safety for babies

  • Babies who are younger than 6 months should be kept out of the sun and direct sunlight. Baby’s skin contains too little melanin to provide protection from the sun
  • You should also keep older babies out of the sun as much as possible – avoiding the hottest part of the day from 11am – 3pm
  • Keep baby safe by attaching a sun parasol or sun canopy to their stroller to keep them shaded
  • Get a baby specific sunscreen (SPF) and make sure you check the age suitability. Make sure it protects against UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen regularly
  • Babies and young children should also wear a sunhat – one that covers the neck offers the best protection

How to avoid dehydration

  • If you’re bottle feeding, use cooled boiled water to help prevent dehydration. Offer a little cooled boiled water on top of their usual milk feeds as well
  • Fully breastfed babies don’t need extra water until they’ve started solids. However, offer extra breast milk feeds to keep them hydrated
  • It’s important to make sure you stay hydrated too, especially if you’re breastfeeding so drink plenty of water
  • One your baby starts eating solid foods, offer sips of water with meals as well as additional water outside of meal times
  • If your little one is 12 months or older, you can offer ice lollies made from plain water or very diluted fruit juice. Lollies made from fruit juice can cause tooth decay, so they should only be offered at mealtimes
  • Offer older children lots of fruit and salad to keep them hydrated
  • Check for dehydration by feeling the fontanelle on the top of baby’s head, if it’s sunken seek medical attention
  • Fewer wet nappies is also a sign of dehydration, contact your GP if you are concerned