As you pull out the fans and swamp coolers, what are other suggestions for keeping cool now that summer has arrived? I imagine we each have our special secrets for beating the heat. We live close to the beach so heading out of the house is one of the first ideas that comes up. We pack an ice chest and pile into the car for ‘the Cool’.
With little ones dehydration is a major concern when the temperatures rise. For breastfeeding babies, offer them the breast more often than you usually would. This, of course, means you need to be drinking more liquid too. Keep ice cold water, fruit juice (non acidic), vitamin drinks, and popsicles around. Your beverages need to be things you are able to enjoy, otherwise you will not drink them. Sodas and caffeine drinks such as coffee and tea tend to act as diuretics, causing your body to shed water. This is not something you want happening in the heat.
If you feel your baby is not well hydrated speak with your pediatrician about the possibility of giving him a little water or formula from a bottle. Caloric intake is critical for newborns, so it is very important your pediatrician agrees with this thought. Also, if it is really hot let baby lay on a blanket or towel with just a diaper on. This will help baby self cool. Do not lay baby in front of a fan, but be sure she is in an area where air is moving and cooling.
You can keep your home cooler by keeping window shades and shutters partially closed. Keeping direct sunlight from coming in will help your place maintain a lower temperature. Where we live, in California, we open our windows daily. Much of the country does not do this due to the sweltering heat from out of doors. Folks often keep the temperature in their home high thinking this is best for their kids. I encourage you to talk with your pediatrician about the best temperatures for baby. Hot is not best.
If baby is sweating and showing preparation she is too warm. Take off extra clothing. Use cotton T-shirts and diaper only. If you wish, remove the T-shirt to help baby cool down. Be sure baby is lying on a cotton towel or blanket that absorbs perspiration. This will make her more comfortable Older children will usually tell you if they are too warm. However, it is important you pay attention to their body heat. Sometimes they are very involved in what they are doing and forget to stay cool.
When it is very warm keep beverages out on the counter so you remember to drink them. Have bottles of water easily accessable for toddlers and children. Make it fun to stay hydrated for all of you!!!