Advice from Canpol's experienced mothers.

How to help the baby in hot weather?

A thermometer shows 30 degrees Celsius. There is beautiful sun shining on a cloudless, blue sky from the early morning. In the winter, we dream about this moment, but when it finally comes, we yearn for cold and and pause from the heat. Hot summer is a difficult time for adults and children as well.
What to do to help our babies feel better?

Proper clothes

First golden rule: do not dress the baby too heavy. If you are hot, then for sure your baby is also very warm. Children feel the heat similarly to adults, so if you are not sure how to dress him, go out onto the balcony and see what clothes you would like best in this weather.
Remember! Dress the little one as lightly as yourself. Choose clothes made of natural fabrics such as cotton or linen as they are better at absorbing sweat. The clothes should be light and loose-fitting, so that the skin can breathe easier. I recommend light colors because dark ones attract additional sun rays and thus your child may be even hotter.

Going for a walk

When going for a walk you can dress your baby in a bodysuit or shortall. A baby under three months must, regardless of temperature and weather, always wear a light cotton cap on his head. If a day is extremely warm and windless, and the baby travels in a carrycot with a hood fully protecting his head, you can opt out of a cap. Still, you must be careful. There may be very hot in a tightly shielded carrycot. It is better to fold the hood and protect the baby with a big umbrella.
Older children who travel in a buggy or walk must necessarily wear a baseball cap or a hat, protecting the head and eyes from the sun. T-shirt and shorts for a boy or a dress for a girl are perfect clothing for hot days.
When walking look for shaded and cool places. While in full sun you put your child at risk of skin burn or a heat stroke. Choose places with lots of trees and greenery. A park or a forest is the perfect solution. If you live near a lake, a pond or one of recently very popular fountains, look for refreshment there. Find a shaded bench near water or a place where you can spread a blanket. You will then be able to take your baby out of a pram for a while. Older children can then play on a blanket or cool themselves in water.
And remember. Try not to go out between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. These are the most risky hours. The sun shines the most, and the air temperature is the highest during the day.

At home

In the summer a house can be like a sauna. I know it from my own experience. All my windows face east. In the winter it is nice, as the morning sun is shining. But in the summer it is hard sometimes. The flat heats up and sometimes it is much hotter inside than outside.
How do I cope with it? First of all, I have all my windows shaded until noon. Moreover, I try to open all windows and balcony. When the air temperature is unbearable, I turn on a fan. Of course, not directly towards the child, because this way you risk an ear infection or a cold.
A newborn is unable to maintain constant temperature, thus the heat is particularly dangerous for him. Such a small baby has not many sweat glands in the skin, and so he does not sweat enough. Exposing him to high temperature can result in fever. To prevent it, try to ventilate and humidify the apartment. I use an air humidifier for this purpose, but wet sheets hung on a dryer or a pan of water also work well. During the day, if my home is stuffy, and I can not go out for a walk, I put the baby outside on a balcony in a pram.
At home you should also stick to the less the better rule. The baby does not have to wear a full clothing set as for a walk. He can just wear a T-shirt and panties, no socks. If your child still wears a nappy, take it off. Let him run with a bare bottom. Small babies will be more comfortable without a nappy. If you are afraid of a little mess such as pee or poo, put a changing mat under a blanket.
Moreover, to offer additional refreshment you can from time to time wash the infant's face with a damp sponge or a flannel cloth, and an older child can be sprayed with water. I use a special water spray, but you can use a simple sprayer.

Bath

I do not know about you, but in summer I take a shower at least twice a day and on hot days my daughter also bathes more frequently. Water is cooling and refreshing, making the skin less sensitive to chafing. This is particularly important in infants, in whom overheating of the body can induce prickly heat.
Every morning I take my daughter to a shower and wash her, because nights are often very hot and children sweat just like adults. Lukewarm water cools and awakes the baby.
During the day, usually after coming back from a walk, we also hop into the shower. Sometimes, when it is very hot I put a baby bath with water and a set of toys onto the balcony. My daughter can splash there up to an hour (I just keep pouring warm water). Firstly, it is a great attraction for a baby, regardless of age, and secondly having fun in the water cools the body and helps the child to endure the heat. If you have a garden or a patio, you can invest in a small pool in which the child can bathe and splash in the day to cool off.
In the evening there is of course an obligatory bath. You need to wash off all day sweat, dust and sand from a sandbox. After all, it is unpleasant to put a clean pajamas on the dirty and sticky body. Wash thoroughly all the nooks and crannies. In newborns pay special attention to creases, neck and the area under armpits. A lot of dirt accumulates there and it can sometimes cause chafing of the delicate skin.
In the summer it is a good idea to wash your baby's hair everyday. The little one is active all day long and he will sweat all over at least a few times. Sweaty scalp can itch, so it should be at least rinsed with water. This way the child will be much cooler and nicer. On such hot days and nights you do not have to close the windows in the house during the bath. Do not put a cap on the youngest babies, as in such a high temperature a wet head may overheat.

Cosmetics

In the summer I recommend cosmetics with a light consistency that are easily absorbed and do not leave a thick, oily layer. You can use balms instead of creams. The best ones are those odourless, as they do not attract insects. Give up olive, because it may clog the skin pores.
During a day, when you go for a walk, using a sunblock is a must. For the youngest babies I recommend mineral sunblocks of a thick consistency and a higher SPF, while for older ones sunscreens made for children are enough.
Remember. It is necessary to cover baby's skin also under clothing, as sun rays penetrate through fabrics.

Sleep

Night clothing in a form of bodysuit or a shortall is enough for your baby. Dress the older baby in a short-sleeved pyjamas. When the night is very warm a baby can sleep under a diaper cloth. An older kid can sleep just under a pillowcase or a sheet.
Never close the windows at night, so that the child has access to fresh air. Try, however, not to put baby's cot right by the window so as not to expose your baby to a draught. When the night is warm, remove the canopy, because a shielded cot traps the air and makes it harder for the baby to breathe. However, be careful not to expose your child to mosquitoes and other insect bites, because the effects of such stings can be troublesome and even result in allergy.
IMPORTANT!
Give your baby extra drinks as often as possible. Breastfed babies should be often latched on. Bottle-fed babies can be offered, for example, camomile tea or boiled water. The older ones can drink juices, water, teas or fruit compote. At home, the child should always have access to drinks. On a table you can put a cup, a glass or a bottle with his favorite beverage or water. When going for a walk, do not forget to take something to drink. Also remember that small children should be dressed like you, plus one more layer. It is always good to have a light blanket or a flannel diaper at hand to cover the baby in an emergency situation.

Anna

Mum of 1,5 year old Michałek, 5 years of professional experience

Marta Piątkowska

Midwife
- consulting

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