Posted: Jun 07, 2013 11:00 AM
 
Summer is a great time to have a baby — except for that whole hot weather thing. Babies are very susceptible to heat, so it's important to keep them cool. We've got tips on keeping your newborn safe in the heat.

Sure, you want to keep your baby safe in the hot summer weather — but how? Even just sitting in the shade can be dangerous in extremely hot weather. We've got tips for helping your baby stay cool and safe this summer.

Baby that baby

Babies and toddlers may be more sensitive to the sweltering heat than older children and adults. While you have the ability to move yourself to the shade, go indoors, get a glass of water or remove a layer of clothing, your baby relies on you to regulate her temperature. Here are the important things to remember when the weather heats up.


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Hydrate

Keeping your baby hydrated during the heat is key. We all lose fluid through sweating, and babies may need to increase their fluids by as much as 50 percent. “Drinking water is an important way to cool off, and for babies over the age of six months (unless they are struggling to gain weight), this is a great way to keep kids hydrated in the sun between formula feedings [or breastfeedings],” says Deborah Gilboa, M.D. — also known as Dr. G — a board-certified family physician, parenting expert, author and mother of four.


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Get wet!

Looking for a cool way to beat the heat? Give your baby a bath, or just have some fun splash time with toys. Use lukewarm water — not cold — and always supervise your baby when she's in the tub. “For toddlers, grab a spray bottle and fill it with water. They love to spray themselves (and others so look out!),” Dr. G shares.


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Say no to noontime heat

If at all possible, avoid being outside with your baby from 12-3 p.m.

The hottest time of the day is usually considered to be between noon and 3 p.m., so if at all possible, avoid being outside with your baby during this time.


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Sunscreen 101

Babies have very sensitive skin that is very susceptible to burning, and your pediatrician may recommend that you keep your baby out of direct sunlight until he's at least six months old. For babies over six months, there are many brands of sunscreen that are made for a baby's sensitive skin. You may try a few brands before finding the one that works best for your baby. Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours — or more often, if your baby gets wet or sweaty. Even with sunscreen on, your baby is not completely protected.


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Fan club

When indoors, turn on the air conditioning if you have it, use fans or open the windows if there's a breeze. “Speaking of fans, be really careful about fans, even the box kind with the rain guards,” adds Dr. G. “Those plastic grids in front of the blade look safe, but often are soft enough or large enough for little fingers to get in and get hurt.” If your house is still unbearably hot, check to see if your city has any "cooling centers" available, where you can take your baby and get out of the heat for a bit.

Isolated onesie


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Dress for success

Lightweight clothing that covers arms and legs is best for your baby when the heat is rising. A wide-brimmed hat is a great way to keep the sun off your baby's head and face. And what's cuter than a baby in a hat? Look for a hat with a chin strap, since some babies don't like to wear a hat at first.

Safety first

Educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and dehydration, and always keep a close watch on how your baby seems to be feeling and acting when the heat rises. If you ever suspect that your baby is in danger, call 911.

More caring for baby

Co-sleeping does not make you a bad parent
Childhood vaccines
Breastfeeding basics

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