How to keep Babies Cool and Comfortable in Summer Heat — 10 Not-to-miss tips
Created by Ankita A Talwar Updated on Jun 07, 2019
Come summer and we all start hyperventilating, literally! Moms are complaining all the time how hot the weather is; how their little and newborn babies is cranky all the time, or how they are determined to keep the child indoors till the weather changes for the better. Each parent has her own ways to deal with the harsh summer season to make newborn cool and comfortable.
Ways to Keep Babies Cool and Comfortable Enough in Summer Heat
Here are a few pointers for you parents to keep in mind, especially when it comes to newborns and infants.
#1. Right Clothing and Skincare :
- Keep baby’s attire simple, free of embroidery, embellishments, fancy trimmings, or flouncy frocks that have too many layers underneath;
- Choose only cotton for garments;
- Change clothing frequently and wash as frequently; 4) keep the baby loosely clad and let the sweat evaporate on its own;
- It is okay to bathe the baby twice (but use mild lukewarm water or water at room temperature) so that sweat and grime from the skin is washed off.
#2. Fan versus Air Conditioning (AC):
There is always a debate on how cool a room should be for the baby. Ideally, a baby adapts to change in temperatures faster than we do. Have you ever seen a small infant, coolly clad in just a vest and a nappy, happier in an AC room than in a room with the fan on? Possibly not! We tend to work on adult perception that since it is so hot, our baby needs the air-conditioner.
- Focus more on the right clothing than the ambient temperature;
- For nights or nap times when the baby is with you in an air conditioned room, keep the infant away from direct drafts of cold air from the AC;
- AC temperature should be ideally around 22 C so that if the baby is moved out from the room, he doesn’t fall prey to the cold and hot phenomenon;
- Inside the AC room, you might need to cover his legs and arms etc in loose clothing such as a pajama or a full-sleeve tee;
- A newborns body temperature follows the mothers, so exercise common sense and your own instinct rather than listening to others advising about how cool or warm it is for the baby;
- Each child is different. Some infant's feel the heat more than the others, so follow your child’s requirement; 7) Coolers are generally not advised cause of the humidity they can create.
#3. Use Humidifiers:
One of the biggest drawback in the early summer heat months is the dry heat and the air in some parts of the country, especially the North. And this gets further aggravated in air-conditioned rooms. Therefore invest in a good humidifier (available at most chemists or large grocery stores). A humidifier maintains the humidity in the air in the room.
#4. Keep Indoors in Peak Hours:
Avoid taking the infant outdoors between 12 am- 4 pm, when the sun and heat is at its peak. Post that use your judgement. But, it is not a good idea to totally keep the infant indoors as well—they need their dose of outdoor air and activity.’
#5. Insect Bites:
Use mosquito repellant when stepping outdoors in the evening. There is a huge variety available in the market (read our blog on Natural Mosquito repellant. ). Also, keep the arms and legs of the infant covered, when going outside, despite using the repellant cream. In case of an insect/mosquito bite, use an ice cube to help the swelling and itchiness to reduce. Follow it up with aloe vera gel or a doctor-prescribed medicated ointment.
#6. Keep the Child well Hydrated:
With newborns, still on breastfeed, hydration is not as issue as they get their required dose of liquid from the breastmilk. Children who have been weaned off, or on formula, might require additional liquids. Choose healthy drinks such as tender coconut water, thin lassi, or fresh fruit juice, depending on the age of your child. A flushed face, skin that's warm to the touch, rapid breathing, and restlessness may be warning signs of dehydration.
#7. Avoid Feeding the Child Heavy Meals or Difficult to Digest Foods:
keep meals light, small and frequent. Thin daals, water-based vegetables such as lauki, tori, tinda, vegetable soups, gazpachos (cold soups made of cucumber and tomatoes) are ideal picks for the season. Avoid heavy kheers, halwas and sugary foods as body takes time to digest these.
#8. Diaper versus Cloth Nappies:
This is more a thing of comfort and what suits your lifestyle, but in summer, babies in diaper require some bit of extra care. Change diapers frequently. Between changing diapers, let the skin get cooled with air (let the baby be without any diaper for some time). Even with nappies, hygiene is required as bacteria tend to breed faster in summer months.
#9. Let the Baby have enough Ventilation:
Since a baby doesn't perspire effectively, he can become overheated far more quickly than an adult. That's why you should never leave an infant in a hot room or a parked car. Even a few minutes could cause his temperature to spike and make him uncomfortable.
#10. Protect from Stomach Ailments:
Summer is also a month when bacteria tend to breed at rapid rates. Therefore, ensure the drinking water is purified (get your filter cleaned regularly), feed only freshly-cooked food and avoid giving your baby food that has been cooked atleast 4 hours before or has not been refrigerated properly. Check with your doctor for de-worming medicines and also any gut-healthy supplements such as enterogermina or probiotics.
While most of the information above is general suggestions, they may vary as per the age of the child—newborn, infant, to a baby close to his first birthday. Therefore the bottomline is to exercise common sense and practicality when deciding what is right for your baby.
Do write in to us with more suggestions and any other tried-and-tested tips you may have about keeping your baby safe and happy in summer & heat.
| Apr 08, 2016
Very useful article fir this summer. My baby is in 9 months old he is suffering from running nose and cough and cold bcoz of the temperature . He is actually good outside of the bed room but in night the problem start bcoz of the AC and fan. If the room is cool, then he will get running nose and a bit of cold too , if we switch off the AC , then we are switched on the Fan , after fan is on within few minutes his nose will become blocked this will happen only during night time he is suffering between these two (AC and Fan). What is the solution for this to keep my baby safe and happy sleep .
| Apr 13, 2016
Hi Madhavi, It is advisable 1) dress the child appropriately so that the cold air does not get to him. Ensure he is wearing full sleeves tee shirt, a vest, and a full pajama--all cotton. 2) Keep him away from direct flow of air whether from AC or fan. He should be sleeping in a place where the drafts do not reach him. 3) Also, though children throw off the sheets, try and keep him covered in the night with a light cotton sheet, again to block the air out. Hope this helps.
| Apr 16, 2016
Hi Saswati, You could try a home-made kadha of tulsi leaves, adrak, and clove/laung. Boil down till colour is dark brown. Add a bit of honey to sweeten and give this to your child 2-3 times a day (even a few tsps is enough). this should boost immunity in the long run. But if the problem is related to asthma, bronchitis etc, then please continue with the doctor's treatment.
| May 22, 2016
it is summer and my baby's head is always warm. i was confused and asked my doctor. he said it may be due to teething . it was lije this even before teething. so now, while i give massage to my baby, i use curd and mustard oil. i massage on his head for about five -seven minutes. its a big relief and now my baby is comfortable.