10 easy ways to keep babies and toddlers cool in the hot weather

BRITS are set for a hot couple of days, with highs of 34C on what’s being dubbed ‘Fiery Friday’.

With summer starting with a bang in the UK, parents should know how to protect their babies and children in warm weather, including at night.


Photo credit: Getty

Just like adults, babies and toddlers can have trouble sleeping in such hot temperatures.

Babies are not even able to regulate their own body temperature.

The NHS says you should always keep your baby out of direct sunlight under six months, while older ones should be in the shade at least between 11am and 3pm.

They should apply sunscreen to their skin and ensure they always wear a wide-brimmed hat as sunburn is the worst outcome.

But what about in the evening when you can’t watch over your baby or toddler while they sleep?

The Lullaby Trust – a charity working to prevent sudden infant death syndrome – says the temperature in a baby’s room should be between 16 and 20°C.

Lucy Shrimpton, a sleep expert known as The Sleep Nanny, said: “Babies sleep well in a room that’s between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius.

“But with this warm weather, in a country where we don’t typically have air-conditioned homes, it might be difficult to keep the room temperature anywhere near that. So what can you do to prevent your little one from overheating?”

She shared her simple tips for keeping your little ones cool and safe in their bedroom this summer.

1. Keep your home cool

Create a breeze during the day by opening the windows.

Open your attic hatch to allow heat to escape. Draw the curtains two-thirds of the way to block out the hot sun.

Get a room thermometer so you know which rooms in your house are the hottest.

2. Dress your baby appropriately

If the room is very hot, for example over 25 degrees, a diaper and a thin vest may be enough.

If the temperature is between 20 and 23 degrees, a short baby suit or shorts and a T-shirt or diaper and a solid color sleeping bag should be fine.

If baby is too young for any type of bedding, dress him/her in clothes suitable for room temperature.

Remember, no matter how hot it is before bed, the temperature drops during the night, so don’t just put your baby in his cot in a diaper if it drops below 25ºC at night.

3. Closely check your baby’s temperature

Hands and feet become colder than the rest of the body.

If you are unsure of your baby’s temperature, feel his neck or use a thermometer.

If your face is more red than usual, you have a rash, or you notice rapid breathing, these could be signs of overheating.

4. Give them a refreshing bath

A slightly cooler than usual bath before bed will ease and refresh the moisture. Make it quick so they don’t get too cold.

5. Use appropriate bedding

Only use cotton sheets. Avoid waterproof mattress covers as they retain heat and make your child sweat.

6. Put ice in your baby’s room

Place bottles of frozen water in your baby’s room. They help cool the air as they melt overnight.

Place the frozen bottles in front of an electric fan to circulate cool air throughout the room.

7. Chill some water

Your child may need to drink more than usual.

Chill cold water to be used during the night. Breastfed babies stay hydrated with breast milk.

8. Keep baby calm

A calm baby stays cooler than a frustrated one.

Maintain a calming bedtime routine and offer security and comfort to your baby when he is restless.

Pat a cold washcloth on your child’s head to soothe them.

9. Move rooms

If you can’t keep your child cool in their own room, move them to another room temporarily.

Keep in mind that the temperature will drop as the night progresses.

10. Put yourself in their shoes

Babies will be dressed comfortably for temperatures as if you were dressing yourself.

Remember that you can pull the covers off, but they can’t – so imagine going to bed without any comforters and how you would feel if you got cold later.

Your baby is likely to get restless if he’s too hot or too cold, so maybe he’ll let you know. 10 easy ways to keep babies and toddlers cool in the hot weather

Sarah Y. Kim

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