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How to Keep Baby Cool in Hot Weather | RuffleButts

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How to Keep Baby Cool in Hot Weather

Picture this: your baby wakes you up as soon as the first ray of sunshine slips through the crack in your bedroom curtains. It’s only 6 AM, but that’s a-okay because it’s summertime, and you have a full buffet of poolside playdates, park kite-flying, and beach strolls waiting.

But as soon as you and your baby step outside, the extreme heat hits you like a weight—literally. It’s so hot you can barely move.

In these moments, you may wonder how to keep baby cool in hot weather.

Fortunately for you and your mini-me, we’ve put together this guide on how to help keep baby cool in hot weather all summer long, whether you’re beaching, playing in the park, or simply napping at home. So, let’s dive in.

How to Keep Baby Cool in Hot Weather During the Day

Helping your baby stay cool on a hot day in the summer can often feel like a juggling act. For instance, although you should keep your baby dressed in light, breezy clothing, you should also keep her skin protected from the sun. While it’s best to let her body release heat, you should also make sure her head is covered. And although a stroller or car seat can provide extra coverage, you don’t want her to overheat in an enclosed environment.

See what we mean? A juggling act!

To help keep things manageable, let’s discuss 4 easy ways you can help your baby beat the heat.

Dress Baby in Light, Layered Pieces

When it comes to how to dress baby in summer, keeping your baby dressed in layers of lightweight, breathable clothing is the best way to keep her cool in the summer months whether you’re playing inside or venturing outdoors. If you’re inside, some easy and functional summer baby essentials to consider dressing her in are:

However, if you’re headed outside, you’ll want to make sure your baby’s tender skin is covered. Because your baby isn’t ready for sunscreen before 6 months old you might be wondering how to best protect their skin. Learning more about ‘What is UPF clothing,’ will help you find ways to protect her from the sun’s UV rays.

Try adding one of the following to her outfit when you head into the sunshine:

  • Cotton cardigan
  • Snap-front kimono top
  • Light brimmed hat
  • Muslin swaddle

Ensure Baby Stays Hydrated

Not only should you keep your baby cool on the outside with light clothing, but you should also keep her cool on the inside with sufficient hydration. Babies can become dehydrated much faster than adults, so try to feed her an extra bottle or add another nursing session when there is a high temperature .

While formula and breastmilk are always acceptable forms of hydration, be cautious about offering your baby other refreshments, such as:

  • Cool Water – Babies can only have water starting at around 6 months old, as long as their main source of hydration and nutrition continues to come from breastmilk or formula.
  • Fruit Juice – Only after your baby is 6 months old can you occasionally give her juice. This is because the empty sugar calories in juice can lead to tooth decay, weight gain, and diarrhea.
  • Ice Cubes – You shouldn’t let your baby suck on ice cubes until she’s at least 4 years old because they pose a choking hazard. Around 1 year old, your baby might be able to handle frozen fruit pops or a frozen ice bar, but she should still be closely monitored if given one of these cool treats.


When the extreme heat of summer hits, it’s also wise to keep close track of how many wet diapers your baby produces. This is a good gauge of whether or not she’s sufficiently hydrated.

Try to Avoid Direct Sunlight

Staying out of direct sunlight is just as important to summer comfort as dressing your baby appropriately and keeping her hydrated. Not only can the sun sap her energy and raise her body temperature, but it can also lead to painful burns on your baby’s tender skin.

If you do have to be outdoors with your young baby, consider:

  • Avoiding the midday sun (between 11 AM and 2 PM)
  • Shading your baby with an umbrella, stroller shade, or parasol
  • Lightly swaddling younger babies in a cotton muslin
  • Putting a brimmed hat and sunglasses on older babies
  • Using sunscreen for babies older than 6 months
  • Avoiding placing your baby in enclosed spaces, like cars, strollers, and car seats
  • Researching places nearby where you can cool off, like libraries, malls, bookshops, or theaters

Take a Dip in the Pool

Swimming with your baby is a great way to keep both of you cool and refreshed in the summer heat. Although expert opinions vary on what age is safe to take your baby swimming, always be mindful of the different beach essentials for toddlers as well as to:

  • Keep your baby shaded from the sun
  • Watch for signs of becoming chilled in the cool water, such as shivering
  • Stay vigilant about watching her at all times, especially if she’s mobile
  • Wait at least an hour after feeding to swim

How to Keep Baby Cool in Hot Weather at Night

In the summertime, the night might offer some relief from the scorching sun. But sometimes, hot nights and days become one long sweltering stretch.

If you don’t have air conditioning to cool your baby’s room, you’ll need to take some additional steps to keep her cool on hot summer nights, such as:

  • Ensuring Her Crib Comfort – Your baby’s crib mattress should be outfitted with a tight, breathable sheet made of a natural material, like cotton, bamboo, or satin. Beyond the sheet, don’t place any additional items in your baby’s crib, such as:
    • Bumpers
    • Blankets
    • Toys
  • Circulating the Air – Even without air conditioning, your baby’s room can be a cool sanctuary at night if you utilize a ceiling or standing fan to circulate the air. The caution here is that you make sure the draft from the fan doesn’t blow directly onto your baby, potentially chilling her too much.
  • Choosing Appropriate Pajamas – When it comes to how to dress baby for sleep in summer, it might be as easy as taking off everything except her diaper when high temperatures just won’t quit. However, on cooler summer nights (or if you can regulate her room temperature with air conditioning), general guidelines for summer pajamas are:
    • Below 68℉:
      • A sleep sac over a long-sleeved onesie
      • Long-sleeved fitted and footed pajamas
      • A temperature appropriate swaddling blanket made from fleece or muslin
      • Hat and mittens (if the temperature is below 60℉)
  • Between 68℉ and 75℉:
    • Cotton or light fleece sleep sack
    • Long sleeve onesie
    • Lightweight or cotton footed pajamas
    • Fitted two-piece pajamas
    • Swaddle over a onesie or footed pajamas
  • Above 75℉:
    • Diaper (alone or with a cotton cover)
    • Breathable cotton or muslin swaddle
    • Breathable short onesie

Warning Signs of An Overheated Baby

No matter the weather, knowing the warning signs of an overheated baby is important knowledge for every parent and caretaker. When there is a high temperature, be on the lookout for:

  • Vomiting
  • Fussiness
  • Restlessness
  • Lethargy
  • Sluggishness
  • Elevated heart rate (above 150 bpm)
  • Skin that feels hot to the touch
  • Red or flushed skin on the face or body
  • Lack of sweat and tears or a very sweaty head (some babies sweat while others don’t, so you need to know how your baby reacts to use this indicator)

How to Cool An Overheated Baby

If you notice that your baby is overheating, you need to take immediate steps to bring her temperature back down. The best ways to cool down an overheated baby are:

  • Moving out of any direct sunlight
  • Retreating indoors if you can locate a cooler location
  • Removing excess clothing until she’s only wearing a diaper
  • Giving her a lukewarm bath or a cool sponge bath
  • Hydrating her with formula or breastmilk
  • Opening windows to create a cross-breeze or moving to a cooler room (if indoors)

If your baby still seems overheated, you can check her temperature with a thermometer to understand whether a call to your pediatrician is necessary. Any temperature above 100.4℉ warrants a call to her medical provider immediately.

Stay Cool and Cute All Year Long With RuffleButts

With summer comes hot (sometimes sweltering) weather, but with a few tricks, like layering cotton clothing, staying sun-smart, and hydrating with breastmilk or formula, you and your baby can stay cool, comfortable, and safe all summer long.

At RuffleButts, we know that finding cute, comfortable, and functional summer clothing for your little one is a top priority. That’s why we’ve designed all of our clothing collections with those hallmarks. From our ruffled little girl tank tops to our printed rompers, we always choose the highest quality textiles, the finest finishes, and the most hand-me-down worthy styles. Plus, all of our baby girl swimsuits are made with UPF 50+ fabric to help ensure even greater protection from the sun on those exciting summer beach or pool days.

Shop our collections today to see how you can keep your baby looking and feeling her best on the hottest days of summer and throughout the entire year.

Sources:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Should You Put Sunscreen on Infants? https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/should-you-put-sunscreen-infants-not-usually

Cleveland Clinic. Dehydration in Children. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/8276-dehydration-and-your-child#:~:text=Dehydration%20occurs%20when%20an%20infant,wet%20diapers%20and%20tearless%20crying.

WebMD. Water for Infants. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/what-you-need-to-know-water-infants

Nemours Kids Health. When Can My Baby Start Drinking Juice? https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/babies-juice.html#:~:text=It's%20best%20to%20wait%20until,in%20formula%20and%20breast%20milk.

Midlands Department of Public Health. Healthy and Safe Swimming With Your Child. https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/publications/children/child-safety-awareness-programme---healthy-and-safe-swimming.pdf