How to keep baby skin cool in summer.
As summer sets in, there are some simple things you can do to keep your baby comfortable in the heat:
Dress your baby right
Your choice of clothing can help keep your baby comfortable in summers.
Pure cotton clothes are more absorbent than clothes made of synthetic fibres such as nylon, polyester or rayon for example. As a result, when your baby sweats, cotton clothes absorb the moisture and allow it to dry whereas clothes made of synthetic fibres don't.
If your baby's skin is moist for long periods of time, he is prone to getting a prickly heat rash.
- Choose light clothes when out in the sun. Dark colours, especially black, absorb light and so heat up more. Light colours, and most of all white, reflects the light and so has a tendency to remain cooler.
- When outdoors, long-sleeved clothing can help your baby stay cool by protecting his skin from direct sunlight.
- A hat will also help keep your baby cool when out in the sun. Choose one with a wide rim so that it protects his head, face and neck from the sun. It's best to avoid hats with elastic support which may constrict blood circulation.
Stay indoors during the peak heat hours (10am-5pm)
If you can, try to stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day and only go out for walks early in the morning or late in the evening.
When you do step out, place a cotton sheet on the seat of the pram, or the baby carrier before lying your baby into it. The cotton sheet will prevent your baby's skin from being in direct contact with the synthetic fabric of his seat and will absorb any sweat to keep your baby dry and comfortable.
Give your baby some nappy free time
If you can, choose a convenient time of the day to let your baby be without a nappy on. Nappies can keep your baby quite warm in hot weather and cause him to sweat at the waist and leg bands where the nappy is snug on his skin.
This is true for cotton nappies as well as disposable diapers because with cotton nappies you tend to place a protective cover over them.
Once your baby gets into a feeding and sleeping routine, you'll notice that he also pees and poops quite regularly.
Choose a time of the day when your baby is awake and you don't expect him to poo (pee can be much more unpredictable).
Then place your baby in cotton underpants on a cotton sheet, with a protective layer underneath. Keep him for as long as you want without a nappy, although the longer you do this, the more cleaning up you'll have to do.
If you have a little crawler on your hands, and you don't want him to roam around the house without a nappy on, you can let him be nappy free during his afternoon nap, as long as he doesn't get disturbed and wake up if he wets himself.
Keep your baby hydrated
Babies can get dehydrated much faster than adults so always watch out for at least six to eight wet nappies in 24 hours.
If your baby is younger than six months, and if you are exclusively breastfeeding him, you don't need to give him extra water in hot weather. Babies who breastfeed whenever they wish don't get dehydrated.
The heat might make your baby want to feed more frequently, and he might be feeding for shorter periods at a time. He'll get enough liquid from your breastmilk because these short feeds will give him more foremilk. This is thinner and more refreshing than the fat rich hindmilk. So let him have as many extra feeds as he wishes.
If your baby is formula-fed, you might need to offer him some boiled, cooled water in hot weather.
For older babies who are already on solids, ensure your baby gets enough fluids through the day. Find out which are the best and worst drinks for thirsty children.
Avoid buying food and drinks in the street
Don't give your baby ice-cream, popsicles, baraf ke gole, water and fruit juices from roadside vendors. These may not be fresh and may make your baby sick.
Try to take food and water for your baby when you go out with him. You may like to buy good, food grade plastic ware (preferably BPA-free) to store your baby's food.
Taste your baby's food before you feed him, to ensure that it is not spoilt. This is particularly important in the hot summer months, when stored cooked food spoils very quickly. Make sure food kept in the fridge is safe enough to eat, especially during power cuts.