Newborns don’t have the best handle on regulating their body temperatures, so we’ve got to help them out a bit. Especially during the summer! Newborns can get overheated quickly, and if you aren’t able to get their temperature back down and reverse the symptoms, the baby could need medical attention.
I’m obviously not a doctor, but here are some things I think every parent should be aware of. Signs that a baby is too hot include damp hair, sweaty chest/back/forehead, red ears, warm hands and feet, rapid pulse. Signs that a baby is suffering heatstroke include a sudden rise in body temperature over 100 degrees, hot dry skin, flushed or pale skin tone, rapid pulse, rapid breathing, vomiting, sluggishness, non-responsiveness, and signs of dehydration.
In addition to knowing the signs of overheating, we should all also keep in mind ways to keep baby cool so we can avoid overheating altogether.
1. Stay Inside
If it’s too hot to go outside, stay indoors! Believe me, I know how hard that is. Summer is my favorite, and I love love love being in/around/by the pool, but the risk just isn’t worth it to me.
2. Cool the Car
When I get in the car, the first thing I do is roll all the windows down and then back up to let the hot air out. If you have a car with vents in the back, make sure they’re pointing towards the car seat. Also, I’ve found that a clip-on car seat/stroller fan is really helpful! Especially if you don’t have vents in the back.
3. Seek/Make Shade
If you’re going to be outside, find shade or create some. Stand under trees or an umbrella or bring something to shade the baby like a pop up tent.
4. Seek Air Conditioning
When you’re out and about, think of places that provide air conditioning. For example, when we’re at the Dallas Arboretum we usually stop in the indoor science lab because it’s air conditioned. The movie theater and mall are other places we like to go for entertainment when it’s too hot to be outside.
5. Water Activities
If you’re baby is old enough, take a dip in the pool! Splash pads are also great a summertime favorite around here! If we can’t go anywhere, running through the sprinklers or squirting each other with squirt bottles or water guns suffices.
Don’t forget to offer lots of water to replenish the fluid baby is losing. If baby isn’t old enough for water, make sure she’s taking full feedings and having wet diapers so you know she’s not dehydrated.
7. Light Layers
Dress baby in light layers so you can manage her temperature better. As it gets warmer you can remove layers to help her manage the heat.
Sometimes when we’re outside I wear Everly in a baby carrier. Although I really love the K’tan, I’ve found that it’s not very breathable so we both get hot and sweaty. There is a K’tan Breeze available that I’ve heard is more breathable than the original, but I don’t have it. I like to use our Ergo because it lets in a little more air than the Original K’tan. I’m also a big fan of Frogg Toggs Chilly Towels. You can cut them to a smaller size and place them between you and the baby to keep her cool.
8. Time of Day
Keep in mind the time of day that you plan to venture out. Obviously it’s cooler in the mornings, so if we want to be out and about that’s when we go. Evenings are a good time to go out as well. We try to avoid the hours between 1pm and 5pm if we can because it’s so much hotter at that time of day. Plus that’s naptime/rest time for us!
9. Never Leave Baby in the Car
I can’t stress this enough – never leave the baby in the car. Even parked in a shady spot or in the garage with the windows/doors open, the car will still get hot. I know it’s super tempting to do this if baby is sleeping, but I think it’s better to wake the baby than to risk overheating.
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