Keep Baby Comfortable in the Summer Heat

A few simple rules can help you have a safer sunny season.

Pick the right clothes

Stick with loose-fitting, lightweight items made from a natural fiber such as cotton. If you're comfy in shorts and a T-shirt, Baby will be too. For outside, add a wide-brimmed hat to shield his face. Do this even on gray days.

Mother with Baby in Summer
Thayer Allison Gowdy

Lather up

Apply a broad-spectrum sunblock 30 minutes before going outside and again every two hours or if Baby gets wet. As a last resort, a little bit of block is okay for babies under 6 months. Look for zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and an SPF of at least 30.

Mother with Baby in Summer
Thayer Allison Gowdy

Seek shade

If you're going to the beach or park, find a shady spot under a tree, umbrella, or canopy. Or consider buying an infant tent to bring with you. Sunglasses can protect Baby's eyes—choose a pair that blocks at least 99 percent of UV radiation.


Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

A good rule of thumb: If you're thirstier than usual, Baby probably is too. Give him extra formula or nurse him more frequently on especially hot days. Kids older than 6 months can have water, but clear it with your doc first.

Mother with Baby in Summer
Thayer Allison Gowdy

Soothe his skin

If Baby sweats a lot, he may develop heat rash—bumps that cluster on the neck, groin, back of the knees, or in the crease of the elbows. To relieve it, rinse the area with water, pat dry, and leave Baby undressed inside to help his skin cool.

Exit Strategy

  • Plan your errands wisely. The worst time to be outside is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest.
  • Make lightweight clothing, a hat, and sunscreen staples in your diaper bag—even when you're not planning to be outside.
  • You know never to leave your sweetie alone in a car; it can become deadly hot in minutes. To prevent forgetting about your quiet newborn back there, keep your purse next to him.

Originally published in American Baby magazine in July 2014.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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