5 Tips to Cool your Baby during a Heatwave

July 27, 2021

5 Tips to Cool your Baby during a Heatwave

The thermometer will display record temperatures this week, with more than 40 ° C in France.  During these episodes of strong heat, the priority of parents is to maintain a pleasant temperature for their child and especially infants who do not regulate their body heat well.  How to relieve your baby despite the heat peaks?  Our nursery nurse    Marie Juglaret   gives us her precious advice to really make a difference in   hot  weather.

1 - Priority to hydration of your baby

Your baby's water needs are extremely high: between 3 and 4 times higher than an adult.  During the heat wave, you can regularly offer him water, which he will drink at his own pace.  For older children, you can always leave a bottle of water close at hand, including in bed.  And if your baby doesn't like to drink from a bottle or from a glass, you can also offer to drink from a spoon or soak the food in water before giving it to chew.  

For breastfed babies:    as Marie reminds us, “breast milk is very thirst-quenching and contains nutrients that water does not contain.”  You can therefore offer him the breast regularly, even if he does not ask for it.  It is important that he drinks often, even if the quantities are small.  And to make sure your baby is well hydrated, you can check that    their diaper    is wet day and night.  It is a good indicator.


For babies who have started their dietary diversification:    hydration also involves food.  So if your child has started to diversify, think about fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables (melons, watermelons, nectarines, peaches, tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, etc.).  Depending on his age, he can eat them mixed or in pieces.

2 - Maintain a pleasant temperature for your baby

So that he is less embarrassed by the stifling heat, lighten his wardrobe to the strict minimum.
“Prefer 100% cotton clothing that absorbs moisture and therefore perspiration.”  adds Marie.  Dab regularly with a glove or    a   cool, damp   swaddle  , his forehead, neck, neck, temples.  You can also use a water sprayer and have it take several baths during the day at around 36/37 ° C to refresh it effectively.  As Marie reminds us, “beware of baths that are too cool, which will have the opposite reaction and lead to an increase in body temperature to compensate for the rapid loss of heat.”

3 - Your baby's sleep during the heatwave

During a heat wave, your baby may be “knocked out”.  Do not forget to ventilate his room and renew the air, and if necessary activate a fan to keep away from his bed, so that he does not catch cold while sweating.
Shade will be your best ally to dissipate heat.  So leave the shutters closed and the window closed all day so as not to let in the heat.  Finally, if the heat wave is such that your child cannot sleep, consider hanging a wet sheet in the window to diffuse a little coolness.  At night, swap her bodysuits for T-shirts that let air circulate and make sure that the air circulates well around the bed. 
Marie's tip, to gain freshness:    you can move the bed away from the wall and as the heat rises, install the bed as close to the ground as possible to stay as close to the cool as possible. 

4 - Outings with your baby during the heatwave

If you can, avoid going out with your baby during the heat peak between 12 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.  And when you go for a walk with your stroller, make sure that the air circulates in it.

To avoid the sun, we are tempted to use a diaper to cover the stroller.  But this practice is not recommended because it can create a furnace effect inside the stroller and reduce air renewal.  Instead, take a hat that you can wet to keep your little blonde or brown head cool.  And if you take your baby in the car, be sure to keep an eye on him during the journey as well.  There are mirrors that attach to the headrest that are handy for checking that your baby is not getting the sun on them.

For families in Ile-de-France:    For the last week of June, level 3 out of 4 of the heat wave plan has been set up by the prefect.  The town hall of Paris has therefore provided air-conditioned rooms for vulnerable people (elderly people, pregnant women, young children, etc.) in particular registered on the extreme heat file (Chalex).  Other cool spaces have also been opened in the district town halls.  You can reach the call center on 3975 for more information. 

5- Recognize the signs of dehydration

As Marie explains, there are indicators to watch out for in a heat wave.  “The skin of the lips or dry mouth, dark and scanty urine, unusual drowsiness or irritability, vomiting or diarrhea, temperature over 38 ° C… All of these symptoms can be signs of dehydration.”  In these cases, or if you have any doubts, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.

Good to know: the regulation of body heat according to your baby's ages   1 to 2 months:    your baby's thermal immaturity is total.  It has great difficulty regulating its basal temperature which is around 37 ° - 37.5 ° C.  It is very sensitive to temperature variations, whether hot or cold.  Adapting to it takes a lot of effort and energy.   From 3 months:    it will become less fragile, even if its thermoregulation system is not yet mature.   18 months to 2 years:    your baby will really be able to regulate his temperature naturally even if he is always more sensitive to temperature variations than an adult.

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