Little Goat Gruff

Laura Chadwick— July 20, 2016

Top safety tips for keeping baby cool in hot weather

 Well it has so far been the week that nobody in England (except maybe the weather men and women) expected.  We all know here in the UK that the weather can never win, we complain in summer when its rainy and glum, we then complain when we get a mini heat wave, but it’s no surprise really because with highs reaching up to 35 degrees in some parts of the United Kingdom today, we at Little Goat Gruff want to try to help by giving you and your little one some tips on how to stay safe and smiley during this tropical weather.

Although we all love a day in the sun, it’s slightly different when we’re not lazing around the pool or building sand castles on the beach. Due to the usual cloudy days we encounter, there are very few of us that are fortunate enough to have air conditioning, as let’s be honest we don’t often need it. This being said the weather can be dangerous if you are still little as babies and young children are particularly susceptible to problems such as heat stroke, becoming dehydrated or sunburn. We’ve done some looking around and have made a list of helpful tips and important facts hopefully to put you at ease.

Just before we get started here are some facts you may not know about babies and hot weather:

- Babies aged between 0-6 months have not formed the right level of our skins natural sun protection dosage of melanin, meaning they should ideally be kept out of direct sunlight as it puts them under a higher risk of burning or skin damage than that of an older child.               
- A baby's room temperature should ideally be between 16-20 degrees at night time for a safe and comfortable sleep.
-The ideal tog weight for a baby's blanket in hot temperatures is around 0.5 togs, although in extremely hot temperatures baby can just sleep in a nappy. Gro-bag have a fantastic guide for what baby should wear in hot weather that we found extremely useful when our little ones where babies: 
-Sun stroke occurs when the body’s core temperature exceeds 40 degrees, this can be extremely dangerous as it starts to damage your cells.
-If you're breastfeeding or bottle feeding you don't have to give your baby water as well as the milk, just ensure you give them more than usual to avoid dehydration.


Now we've got some useful facts out of the way it's time for the helpful reminders of how to keep your little one cool.

The first thing to note about keeping baby sun safe is to remember that the sun is at its hottest between 10am-3pm So it's best to avoid leaving the house for long periods of time during these hours. If you are nipping out or visiting family you should be fine, just remember to use a cute little sun hat or sun parasol like our gingham print one, to keep the sun off baby's face.

Another good tip to lower baby's core temperature can be as simple as giving them a lukewarm or sponge bath, playing water related games or popping up the paddling pool. Although this to us just sounds like a lot of fun, the cooler water can instantly make baby more comfortable and who doesn't love a good splash around. With younger babies it's best if the water isn't too cold as this can cause shivering which will result in raising baby's core temperature even further.

Always use sun cream! We know this sounds obvious but it's always a good one to remind people of. Due to your babies delicate skin, anything under a factor 30 isn't recommended and a total sun block is preferential.  It's best to keep applying this throughout the day, even if you're only outside for short periods of time.

Dress cool and look cool! We know as adults that there are certain don’ts for hot weather clothes. Black is a no-no, thick clothing and lots of layers isn't good either. Although you may love that black flowery dress you just bought for your baby girl, save it for the cloudy days. Also, try to use thinner and natural materials that don't tend to stick to skin such as linen to make baby feel even more comfortable.

Remember, babies can't tell you when they need a drink or that they're really thirsty so it's your job as mummy and daddy to ensure that during the summer months your little one drinks up to 50 percent more than in the winter months. As we mentioned up in the "fact's" section, if you're breastfeeding or using formula, you don't need to start giving baby water and babies under 6 months are not recommended to consume water anyway. Just continue with your usual milk and offer double the dose as it's just super important to make sure that baby isn't dehydrated. As long as baby has moist lips, is crying tears and is having regular wee's baby should be safe.

We think you'll already know this one anyway but just for extra measure it’s good as a reminder to never ever leave baby in a warm car, room or enclosed space even in the shade. As babies have not learnt to effectively cool their bodies through perspiration, they heat up at twice the rate of us adults so be extra careful.

All this being said it's still nice to have a bit of sun for a change here in the United Kingdom and we hope with all our little facts and tips, you can now feel a bit more confident that when the temperature starts to rise, they'll be no need to cry or wipe babies eyes.                                                                 

Wishing you lots of happy and safe fun in the sun and we'd love to hear if you have any tips to share. 

Just to add, we are not medical professionals we are mummies and daddies sharing advice we have found and tips that work for us. For some expert advice check out the following links:

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