Staying cool during the summer isn’t just a desire for babies, it’s a necessity. Babies who become overheated can suffer terrible consequences, ranging from heat exhaustion to heatstroke. While babies can’t exactly tell you when they are hot, there are signs that can indicate your baby is overheating. Some signs that indicate overheating include your baby being extremely thirsty, tired, and having skin that is cool and moist.
Overheating is one of the leading causes of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) according to the National Sleep Foundation. When babies are too warm they sleep deeper, which can lead to trouble. For this reason, it’s important not to overdress your baby for sleep. When she is sleeping in her crib and there is no air conditioning in her room, putting her in a onesie or a pair of light pajamas is best. You’ll also want to have a fan running in her room to circulate the air, but make sure that the fan isn’t blowing directly on her. To cool the air that the fan is blowing you can put a pan of ice water in front of it.
A good rule of thumb is to dress your baby like you are comfortably dressed, plus one layer. If you are comfortable wearing shorts and a T-shirt then put her in that as well, plus a onesie underneath. If you’re burning up and have a pair of shorts on, leaving your baby just in her diaper may be appropriate. Try to avoid synthetic fabrics when dressing her as they tend to trap the heat and moisture in instead of allowing her skin to breathe.
If you are going to be going outside with your baby then dress her in lightweight cotton long pants, long sleeves, and a floppy hat. Keep her in the shade and preferably somewhere she can feel a breeze. It’s better to keep her skin covered than to use sunscreen on a very young infant. If you must use sunscreen, apply it conservatively and only to the areas of skin that are exposed. You’ll also want to avoid being outside between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m because the sun’s rays are the most damaging during these times.