baby in heatwave with najell sunhat peony pink

Babies and heat waves – What can I do when my child is too warm?

This summer has seen many parts of Europe experiencing record temperatures. And whether you see this as a positive or not, it’s still crucial to be sensible and protect yourself from the sun. But for our babies especially, who are less able they are to self-regulate body temperature, heat can pose a risk. And it’s not always easy to know how to keep their temperature correct during a heat wave.

Babies and heat waves

Babies, just like adults, sweat when they are hot. The sweat often appears on the head but also neck, feet, hands, throat and back. However, sweat isn’t universally an indicator that they are too hot. Babies cool down by sweating, especially when they sleep. But usually sweat is a sign to investigate further. If you’re not sure whether your baby is too hot (or too cold), you can feel their ears and the back of their neck. Red ears and a sweaty neck is a good indication that your baby is too warm. At this point, take action to cool them down to prevent heat stroke. 

Read more: dressing your baby for the sun

Symptoms of heat stroke can be:

  • Heat rashes – reddish and dry skin
  • Fast pulse
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness, irritation and confusion
  • Body temperature above 40 degrees

Babies can also become dehydrated when it’s too hot. Look out for dark urine and them producing less pee than usual. However, fatigue, dry mouth, headaches and dizziness (the last two being more difficult too spot with infants) are also other symptoms of dehydration.

What can you do if your baby is too hot?

1. Move to the shade! As much as we may want to savour the sun and stay in it, it’s recommended to move to the shade when the sun’s rays are strongest. With a SleepCarrier and its convenient handles, you can effortlessly move your little one to a shadier spot.

2. Carry skin-to-skin. Putting your sweaty skin against theirs in the heat may seem redundant. But did you know that a mothers’ breasts have the ability to change in temperature to help the baby maintain their body temperature? That’s why skin-on-skin carrying in a baby carrier or baby wrap is a great option when it’s hot.

3. Keep moving. Airflow and circulation increases when you’re on the move. That’s why it’s important to not be stationary in the sun for too long, but to stay active and move around. Not only will this be cooler for you and your child, but you’ll also discover more together.

4. Keep it cool in the stroller. Strollers and pushchairs are great for keeping your baby shaded during heat. But it’s important to make sure any bedding used is not too warm and the opening is not covered. Meaning air is able to circulate in the stroller. The bed section of the Babynest SleepCarrier is made of cotton and the long sides of an airmesh. This makes for a soft and airy base for your baby to sleep on during the summer. 

5. Protect your baby’s head with a sun hat. A baby’s head should always be covered in the sun. Therefore, you should always make sure that your baby wears a sun hat, along with loose-fitting and airy clothes. One tip is to choose a model with a wide brim and UV protection, which can be easily adjusted.