How to deal with heat, sun and a baby.
And just like that, it’s summertime! It can be a struggle to navigate warm temperatures when you have an infant. Remember - they get hot faster than adults and cannot regulate their body temperature like we can, which means their only way of cooling down is crying to alert someone for help. But never fear - here are some products and tips that will make this summer a breeze!
1. Shade is your best friend. Find some tree coverage, a tent, or an umbrella.
2. Use the stroller canopy – just be mindful that it can get very warm inside a stroller for baby.
3. Buy a stroller fan! Inexpensive on Amazon and they simply clip on. It can be turned toward you if you need to sit and feed on a bench, too.
4. Put a moisture-wicking, breathable hat on baby! Here are some great ones! (Stripes: Patagonia Little Sol Hat, Blue: iPlay Flap Sun Hat)
5. Put a hat on yourself! A large-brimmed hat can provide coverage for you and baby if you’re holding or wearing.
6. Throw a couple washcloths in a lunchbox with a freezer pack – that way you’ll have a cool cloth to put on baby if needed. (Keep cloths in a ziplock so they stay dry and clean.) This is also a great way to keep a teething toy cold.
7. If baby wearing, be extra mindful of baby’s body that is pressed against you, since you’ll be generating more heat, too. Also, don’t forget those little hands and feet that might be dangling in the bright sun. (Some carriers like the Ergo have a built in sun-shade. If using a ring sling, you can lightly cover baby with the extra fabric.)
8. Keep baby hydrated - nurse/feed often as it's their only way of staying hydrated. Babies nurse often nurse for thirst not simply hungry. If you notice your baby wants to nurse or bottle feed more often on a hot summer day, it is because they are thirsty. Please check with your pediatrician before giving water to your baby as it is typically not recommended for babies until a specific age.
9. Car seats – metal parts and fabric – can get very hot. Let the AC run for a couple minutes before putting baby in. Or if you’re super crafty, make one of these seat coolers for your infant carrier or convertible seat. (You put it in the seat while baby is NOT in it.) Or order one on Etsy.
Britax also makes a car seat sun shield that keeps the seat cool. It runs for about $25 and fits most brands of infant car seats! (Obviously, never, ever - regardless of temperature - leave your baby in the car.)
10. Get some sunnies for baby! You can find infant sunglasses online or at local boutiques. Baby eyes are very sensitive and still developing, so protect them! (Babiators, Nordstrom)
11. Sometimes the toughest choice... skip it. If you're concerned about protecting your baby in the heat or sunlight, just stay indoors. You'll feel less stressed and will be less sweaty, which is great considering how hard it is to get a shower with an infant around.
*Keep in mind that most docs recommend waiting till 6 months old to apply sunscreen. Talk to your pediatrician about when to use it and safe brands to buy. (Beauty Counter is a great option!) When in doubt, just keep infant skin covered with lightweight clothing or a breathable swaddle blanket - their skin burns much faster than ours.*