Summertime brings warmer weather, longer days and, for many new parents, loads of anxiety. Keeping a new baby from overheating is a major concern. The health risks are real, and your tiny one is unable to tell you when they're too warm.
Here's a quick guide to the potential health risks of Baby overheating, as well as tips for keeping Baby comfortable during this summer’s sun-soaked days and warm, muggy nights – because a good night's sleep is essential to their well-being (and yours!)
Babies Are Extra Vulnerable to Overheating
Wouldn’t it be easier if your little one could simply tell you when they felt too hot? Parents of babes who have just started babbling may tell you not to wish away the quiet months. But the fact remains that you must be extra diligent during your baby’s first summer.
Because not only do babies have a tough time communicating their discomfort, but they also struggle to regulate their body temperature as adults do. Infant sweat glands are not fully developed, and their small size means they generate and retain more heat. As parents, it's crucial to be aware of these factors and take necessary precautions to keep your baby cool and comfy during the summer heat.
Health Risks of Baby Overheating
Unfortunately, Baby overheating isn’t just about feeling sweaty and uncomfortable. For infants, overheating can lead to various health issues, including:
- Heat exhaustion
- Increased risk of SIDS
These conditions can be dangerous and, in certain cases, life-threatening. To prevent these risks, it's essential to create a cool and comfortable environment for your baby – especially when it’s time to sleep at night.
Signs Baby Is Too Hot While Sleeping
It’s true that your little one can’t tell you when they feel too hot, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t tells that signal to you that they’re overheating. Make sure to watch for:
- Excessive sweating
- Flushed skin
- Damp hair
- Rapid breathing
- Heat rash
- Restlessness or disrupted sleep
If you think that your little one may be overheating and they are exhibiting these signs, seek shelter indoors immediately and contact their pediatrician. Better safe than sorry – always.
Tips for Staying Cool and Comfy During the Day
Does this mean you have to spend your summer months indoors? Don’t fret – you and your little one have plenty of options for safely exploring the world around you this summer. These tips will help keep Baby cool during those long, summer days.
If you feel too hot, what’s the first thing you do? Drink water, probably. The same goes for your little one – hydration is key to keeping cool. Ensure your baby stays hydrated by offering frequent breastfeeding or bottle feeds. If your baby has started solids, offering hydrating (and nutritious!) fruits and vegetables can help keep them cool and happy.
Just because it’s sunny outside doesn’t mean you have to be in the sun. Find shaded areas to protect your baby from direct sunlight – not only are you preventing overheating, but also sunburn on their sensitive skin. You can also use a lightweight stroller cover or a wide-brimmed hat to shield them from the sun's rays.
Stay Cool Indoors
Everything in moderation. Spend some time outdoors, but spend time in air-conditioned or well-ventilated spaces during the hottest parts of the day. Be selective! When you transition from outdoors to indoors, consider using a portable fan or air conditioner to keep your baby's play area cool and to help them cool down, too.
How to Keep Baby Cool on Summer Nights
Now that you know the risks and the signs, let’s talk solutions. These tips will help you keep your little one cool and comfy in dreamland. They’ll give you some piece of mind, too! After all, this survey says new parents worry about their babies more during sleep time than any other time of day.
Choose a Breathable Mattress
Opt for a mattress like Naturepedic's Organic Breathable Crib Mattress, which allows for enhanced airflow and helps your little one regulate temperature naturally. The design features a breathable cover that helps prevent your baby from feeling too hot while sleeping, and on top of that, the cover is machine washable and the mattress surface itself is waterproof (because a breathable mattress isn’t worth it if it poses hygienic risks!).
Comfort for Baby, peace of mind for parents – sounds like a recipe for better nights’ sleep all around.
Dress Your Baby Appropriately
Avoid overdressing your baby. In the summer, a basic onesie and a light muslin sleep sack or swaddler is often enough. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fabrics will be a better choice, as synthetic fabrics tend to trap heat rather than let it breathe.
Organic cotton is the best of the best – it’s breathable, it’s soft, it’s gentle on Baby’s sensitive skin and it’s durable (because, let’s face it, babies are MESSY). The cherry on top? Certified organic cotton is a sustainably farmed crop – better for Baby, better for Mother Nature.
Create a Cool Sleeping Environment
Most adults prefer a cool sleep environment, and the same is true for our little ones. To keep Baby’s sleep environment cool and comfy, use a fan or air conditioner to maintain the right temperature in the nursery. It may also help to keep curtains closed during the sunshine hours to prevent extra heat from entering the room.
And, of course, always monitor the room temperature regularly to ensure it stays within the recommended range (around 68-72°F or 20-22°C, per Sleep Foundation).
Keeping your baby cool and comfortable during the summer months is essential for their well-being. By following these practical tips, you can create a safe and cool environment for your baby to sleep peacefully and enjoy their day without the discomfort of overheating.
We’ve covered keeping baby cool … but what about parents? Check out our blog post dissecting the myth of cooling mattresses.