Keep Baby Comfortable in the Summer Heat

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

How to Keep Your Baby Comfortable in the Summer Heat

    Pick the right clothes

    Mother with Baby in Summer Thayer Allison Gowdy

    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.

      Lather up

      Mother with Baby in Summer Thayer Allison Gowdy

      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.

      Seek shade

      Mother with Baby in Summer Thayer Allison Gowdy

      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.

        Soothe his skin

        Mother with Baby in Summer Thayer Allison Gowdy

        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.

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