If summer is one of your favorite seasons of the year then you’ve probably planned a lot of fun, outdoor activities and have most likely pinpointed a few interesting beach destinations to travel to. If you’re the parent of a newborn, your plans don’t necessarily have to change completely in order to fit in with your new responsibilities. If you do your research well and take on the season prepared, you’ll most certainly be able to enjoy all the sunny days and keep your baby comfortable and safe at the same time.
A common concern for new parents during the hot days is the way the high temperature affects the baby’s health condition and mood. Unlike grownups, babies don’t have the privilege of being able to speak for themselves and let you know if they need to cool down. So what signs can we use to tell if our little one is struggling with the heat and what can we do to make them feel better?
In this article, we will look at the ways the warm temperatures influence toddlers, share with you some useful tips on how to tell if your baby is too hot, and provide solutions for you to use.
How does heat influence your baby?
For starters, before trying to fix the problem it is worth understanding what it is in the first place.
Is hot weather dangerous for babies? What are the negative effects after all?
The short answer is yes, hot weather can be really threatening for your little one. Apart from causing your baby to feel extremely uncomfortable and often irritated, heat can cause a heat rash, a disturbed sleep cycle, or even SIDS, also known as infant sleep death. This does sound very concerning but it can easily be prevented. In fact, most cases of SIDS have been registered during the cold months, when parents tend to dress their babies with too many layers of clothing to ensure they are protected and warm.
This can have a negative effect instead and lead to dangerous scenarios. On the contrary, during the summer period, it is natural that most parents try to cool down their little one’s temperature, avoiding the risk.
Here are of some of the main ways in which heat can affect your little one:
- Discomfort and irritation
- Pale skin
- Sleepy mood
- Dry skin, mouth and eyes
- Heat rash
- Irregular sleeping
- Infant sleep death
What’s the right baby body temperature?
Keep in mind that the normal body temperature of a baby is 36.4 degrees Celsius or 97.5 degrees Fahrenheit. It is advisable to keep an eye on your baby’s temperature at least until you feel comfortable enough to read the signs they are giving accurately.
Apart from using a thermometer, you can check your little one’s temperature by checking the skin on her ears and neck. If you notice redness or sweating in these areas, chances are that your baby is too hot.
How can you tell if your baby is overheating?
There are a few sure signs that will certainly tell you if your little one is overheating. We’ve already mentioned some of them but it is worth going into more detail to see how we can spot the problem when it first arises. By doing this, you can minimize the risk and take measures early on to avoid any problems in the long-term.
For starters, if your baby is struggling to cope in a temperature that is too warm for them, their skin will feel warmer than usual when touched. It is advisable to always check your baby’s skin during the summer months, especially when visiting the beach or being outdoors under the sun.
An increase in the baby’s heartbeat can also be a sign that they are too hot and their body is experiencing difficult to operate as normal in this temperature. This is one of the sure signs that you need to decrease your baby’s temperature by either adjusting the temperature of the surrounding environment or using other methods such as water to hydrate.
If your little one has a fever but there are no signs of sweat, they are overheating. Vomiting can also mean that the temperature is too high for your little one. However, vomiting, in particular, can occur due to many other reasons and if you aren’t confident that this is the reason for the discomfort or are noticing something unordinary you should speak to a doctor or another medical professional who can provide advice and guidance on steps to take.
Noticing behavior like dizziness or confusion is another sign that you need to adjust the temperature and protect your little one.
What can you do to make your baby feel more comfortable in hot weather?
As parents, it goes without saying that it is priority number one to always do everything you can to protect your little one, keep them safe, healthy, and happy. However, in our try to make this happen there is a chance that we overdo our efforts and sometimes may actually cause harm instead of a positive outcome.
Dealing with a baby who is overheating is no exception. It is advisable to have a few solutions prepared in advance to make sure that you are able to react quickly and without hesitation. There is a lot that you can do, both indoors and outdoors, so let’s get your list of solutions started.
Choose clothes carefully
Regardless of whether it is summer or winter, the choice of baby clothes is extremely important. If you’re preparing to spend some time with your little one indoors in your home, the shopping mall, or the office, choose loose-fitting clothes and concentrate on natural materials such as cotton, which are able to handle perspiration. Synthetic fibres are not the best choice as they may cause sweating and discomfort in a warm environment.
If you’re expecting to spend some time under the sun, remember that light colors push away the sun rays while dark colors absorb them. Dress your baby in a casual cotton T-shirt and a pair of shorts but always keep a few extra layers packed in your bag. Keep in mind that even if you can’t feel the sun directly under the clouds on a greyer day, the sun rays can still be quite strong for your baby’s sensitive and pure skin. Try to keep them under shade for the majority of the time or use sunscreen for protection.
Use the right baby carrier
Did you know that there are baby carriers that have been designed specifically to suit the requirement of parents during the summer season? The material of your baby carrier is a fundamental factor that will dictate whether your little one will be comfortable or not during the warm days. Opt for a carrier made from lightweight nylon to ensure that the material is gentle and will keep your baby cool and calm during your walks throughout the day.
Water is essential
Staying hydrated is a must during any season, both for adults and children. However, considering that babies don’t have the ability to speak for themselves or control how often they drink water, it is your responsibility as a parent to watch out for their water intake during the first years of their life. During summer it is natural for your baby to sweat or lose water through perspiration. We’ve already covered the signs that reveal that your little one is too hot.
If you spot any of these signs, consider that your baby is dehydrated and make sure to make up for the lost liquids. If your baby is younger than six months, you will not be able to do this by providing water as babies in this age are not allowed to take in water directly. You can either use an additional formula or ensuring extra nursing when possible. If your little one has reached their sixth month it is okay to give them a water bottle.
You can also cool them down by using a wet, cool cloth to wipe his forehead, hands, and feet with. When they are old enough to be able to go inside a swimming pool with you, put on a waterproof swim diaper and combine the fun with a great way to cool down.
Stay under the shade
Of course, one of the surest ways to keep your baby cool and happy during hot days is to either keep them under shade if you are outdoors or to ensure that the temperature of the surrounding environment is suitable for your little one.
We hope that by reading this article you will take on the summer season with more confidence and comfort. Create new and long-lasting memories with your baby and enjoy all that summer has to offer!