Little Routines, Gillian Stewart

Summer Heat
, Saturday, July 16, 2022

It is always lovely to enjoy some summer sunshine however, extreme heat can make babies and children tired and grumpy!

Keeping little ones cool can be quite challenging. Below are a few tips and suggestions which may help to make things a little easier..

Keep the bedroom windows closed during the day and only open them just before bedtime, when the temperature outside is cooler.

Close the blinds and curtains during the daytime.

Keep the bedroom door open.

Put your baby or child in a thin, cotton, loose fitting vest for bedtime. A thin layer of clothing will actually help them sleep better rather than expecting them to sleep naked, when they may feel too exposed.

Remove the duvet and other warmer layers and just use a cotton sheet to tuck your child up. You can buy very thin, lightweight sleeping bags for babies.

Using a fan is a must! There are some really good quiet ones available.

A portable air conditioning unit can be a life saver however, it can be rather noisy. Bringing the temperature down in the bedroom before bedtime and then turning it off, will make falling asleep in the evening more pleasant!

It can be difficult looking after newborn and young babies, in the heat. Our naturally ability is to hold our baby and cuddle them, particularly when we feel they are unhappy. This will only heat your baby up and you too.

Try not to handle your baby more than you need to. Pop them down on their mat on the floor, where it will be cooler.

Finding a cooler place to feed will help to avoid your baby going too sleepy. Your baby is more likely to take a full feed if they are not too hot. Sitting in front of a fan to keep you both cool will certainly help!

Use UV protection over the pram when you are out rather than a muslin draped from the hood. Muslin is a thin cotton material with holes in, providing no protection from the sun - your baby will get sunburnt!

Keeping everyone well hydrated is really important. Young babies can have drinks of cooled boiled water - just make sure that you don’t give the drinks immediately before a milk feed.

For older babies and children, cold drinks, frozen smoothies and yoghurt can be really refreshing. You may find that your child’s appetite dips slightly in the hot weather. Please don’t worry but just offer smaller, lighter meals with lots of fruit snacks during the day.

Even babies can go off their milk and become quite sleepy. Again, don’t worry. Do your best encourage full feeds but just during the very warm weather, it is fine if your little one takes slightly bigger feeds when it is cooler at night.

Avoid going outside when it is just too hot.

Keep little ones in the shade as much as possible.

Set up a paddling pool outside with lots of fun water play toys.

Use a good suncream and keep reapplying it, particularly if your child is in the water.

Toddlers are notorious for taking sun hats off! Set an example and wear one yourself and try to be a little firm rather than turning it into a game.

Having a quiet time after lunch or even a short lunchtime nap can help little ones cope with the heat, especially as they tend to fall asleep later in the evening.

Have fun and enjoy the summer holidays.