10 Ways to Keep Babies & Toddlers Cool in the Summer Heat

We can’t do anything about the sweltering summer temperatures (boo!), but we can offer tips for keeping kids cool, calm and collected through the dog days of summer (yay!). Here are some of our favorite ways to beat the heat. And the best part? You can do all of them without breaking a sweat. (Sorry, we had to.)

Keep a beach umbrella and extra water in your car so you can ‘stop and smell the roses’ at the beach or park. Slowing down for a few moments will bless your day and your outlook on the world. When my kids were small and I found myself frustrated with their behavior it was usually because I had too much to do and was impatient with them. You want them to remember the calm happy times you spent together!!! So make them happen! JUDY

1. Keep It Cool
(This paragraph was an advertisement). If baby gets sweaty wipe her down and use non-talc powder to help her stay cool. If it is really hot keep her in the shade and keep her cool by laying her on a moist towel with just a diaper on. This will sound crazy, but it is cooler near the floor. It you are at home lay a towel on the floor and sit next to baby while she lays there. She can’t fall off anything and she is in the coolest spot in the house.

When I had a busy 15 month old and a newborn this was my best way to protect the baby. He would get lots of full body hugs, but he was safe on the floor! (Hay, you do what you gotta do!!!)

If you’re planning to log a lot of hours in the sun with your mini-me, you’ll need to keep an arsenal of baby-friendly sunscreen at the ready. Our top pick: Honest Mineral Sunscreen. The zinc oxide-based formula is rated at SPF 50+, and because it’s made with shea butter and coconut oil and without chemicals, parabens, fragrance or dyes, it’s gentle enough for baby. (Find more of our sunscreen recommendations here: The Best Baby Sunscreens.)

2. Take Cover
I am editing this thought too. Your newborn can not be in direct sunlight for several months. Her skin is too thin and new. KEEP YOUR NEWBORN OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT Always have an umbrella you can use to protect her.

Keep a fisherman’s style hat with a large brim close by. If you have to be out and about without a beach umbrella carry a rain umbrella with you to keep you both out of direct sun. Sunscreen will not protect a newborn’s skin enough to let her take direct sun. Plus, she could overheat in a very short time.

3. Just Breathe
To keep baby from feeling hot and bothered this summer, ditch the polyester duds and look to breathable fabrics made from natural fibers. Cotton is a classic pick, but bamboo is taking the children’s textile market by storm for good reason. Not only is it soft and breathable, it absorbs up to three times its own weight to help wick away sweat from babyies’ skin, keeping them cool and dry. (It’s a great choice for bed sheets, too!)

4. Drink Up
Keeping baby hydrated is important year-round but even more crucial when the mercury starts to rise. Offer baby liquids frequently, especially when you’re out and about, to ward off dehydration. Keep liquids cool by popping bottles or sippy cups into a small insulated bag with an ice pack when you head outdoors. Planning a longer outing? Freeze liquids before you leave and you’ll have an icy drink to enjoy.

5. Just Add Water
A little water exploration can go a long way in creating fun summer experiences with babies—and keeping them cool, of course! Pack the swim diaper and sunscreen and head to your local splash pad or zero-depth entry leisure pool, or bring the fun home with a small inflatable pool, splash mat or water table you can set up in your own backyard.

6. Let Loose
Imagine this: It’s hot out, the humidity is high, and you’re trapped in a cocoon of fabric with another human being’s body heat emanating through it. That is how your baby may feel after spending too much time in a carrier this summer. Consider opting for a stroller (with a sufficient sun shade!) instead. If you (or your baby) prefer a carrier, look for one made of light, breathable fabric, such as the Bamboo Moby Wrap, to help keep both of you comfortable. (Check out the latest baby carriers here: The Best New Baby Carriers)

7. Turn Up the Air
Adding a portable fan to your baby’s stroller will help keep them cool and comfortable. Our pick: the O2COOL® 4-Inch Portable Stroller Clip Fan has an easy-to-use design that clips onto any stroller frame and a bendable neck that allows you to adjust the direction of the airflow for maximum comfort.

8. Timing Is Everything
To avoid the energy drain that comes from being in the heat, plan your outdoor adventures for the early morning or evening hours instead. Besides letting you take advantage of cooler temps, you and baby will benefit from smaller crowds, whether you’re heading to the park (no wait for the baby swings!) or the zoo (finally, a front-row glimpse of the lions!). If you want to get out in the afternoon, choose an indoor spot like an aquarium, pet store or the local mall, where you can take advantage of the AC.

9. Spray It On
Most babies have a blast playing outside on a sunny day, but the elements can take their toll quickly on sensitive skin. After extensive sun exposure, reach for a moisturizing spritz like Mustela After Sun Hydrating Spray, which is made with avocado oil and shea butter to soothe, nourish and refresh your little one’s skin.

10. Monitor Magic
A baby monitor with up-to-date temperature sensing technology can keep baby sleeping comfortably through those hot summer nights. Because infants aren’t able to regular their body temperatures as well as adults, a too warm or too cool environment can make your little one restless. Most experts recommend setting the thermostat between 68 and 72. One option: The Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor with Temperature Sensor and Night Mode will not only let you monitor the climate in baby’s room, it allows you to create customizable settings to alert you to changes in nursery temperature changes.

—Suzanna Logan

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