With the temperatures set to rise over the coming days, it is important you know how to take care of a young baby during a heatwave. While most of us rejoice in the few nice days of sun, mums of babies need to be extra careful, particularly for newborns.
With the following tips and a lot of common sense you can keep your baby safe and happy throughout the summer.
1. Keep them out of direct sunlight
Babies under six months of age should be kept out of the sun completely as their skin doesn’t contain enough melanin and older babies should be kept indoors during peak time: 11am – 3pm. Always put sun cream on if they are going outside.
2. Avoid dehydration
Make sure they avoid dehydration by giving them an extra bottle of milk or, if you are breastfeeding, an extra feed a day. Babies over six months can be given cooled, boiled water as another way to stay cool.
3. Sun cream
Don’t leave the house until your baby has sun cream on and is covered with a hat and UV protected clothing.
4. Keep your home well ventilated
Don’t allow your home to become too hot so keep the windows and doors open, but make sure your youngster is not placed in a draught. You can keep the curtains or blinds closed as long as the breeze can still be felt.
5. Give them a bath
If your little one is too warm a lukewarm bath can help to cool them down, although you need to be careful they don’t get a chill.
6. Dress them appropriately
If it is really hot, baby can simply wear a vest inside the home. Don’t cover them with a blanket or a sleep suit in their cot. However, don’t allow them to just sleep in a nappy as the temperature will drop in the middle of the night.
7. Keep a thermometer in the room
A thermometer placed in the room will ensure your baby doesn’t get too warm and will allow you to adjust them accordingly. It should be between 16°C and 20°C.
If you are concerned or your baby shows any of the following signs, do take them to the doctor:
- Refusing to drink
- Sweating or hot to the touch
- Being floppy
- Low fontanelle (the soft spot on your baby’s head)
- Fewer wet nappies