As it feels like the summer is finally in full swing, and it's just getting hotter, here are some ideas to keep your baby (and you!) cool in the heat.
Ice, Ice, Baby
Stock up on ice, and not just for your G&Ts. Use ice cubes in front of your fan for cooler air, give older babies cubes to play with/suck, or make your own lollies with fruit/veg juice for babies that are weaning. You can also wrap ice cubes in your muslin clothes and use as a cold compress on baby's arms/legs.
Keep in mind that babies (as well as us adults!) may also want to hydrate more frequently when temperatures are high. Breastfed babies shouldn't need any water if they're under 6 months, however if your baby is formula fed then you can give them a little cooled boiled water as well.
Until babies are 6 months old sun-cream is a no no, and they should be kept out of direct sunlight. Where there is no natural shade make sure you create some to keep your little one cool and out of the sun.
For those with little ones older than 6 months, there are a range of baby suncreams on the market, many of these with "no nasty's" (i.e. Ultrasun - although quite pricey), or made especially for sensitive skin (Nivea's Sensitive Sun Lotion). Kids suncream, particularly those 50SPF or higher, tend to be very paste like and not particularly easy to apply, so best done at home before leaving the house (and keep well away from any nice clothes to avoid stains).
On the move
Many prams have built in sun visors (it took me a while to find the one hidden away in the hood of our pram). If your pram doesn't have one of these, invest in a clip on umbrella to provide some shade whilst on the move (your pram brand likely has their own version, if not, JoJo Maman Bebe have a selection). Avoid covering your pram with a blanket or muslin to shade your baby as this can cause the pram to heat up.
To avoid the sun during outside play, a pop up sun tent is a good investment. They provide SPF50 protection and are easily portable so can be transferred between your garden and the beach (if you are lucky enough to live near one!). Babymoov have a great variety of UV sun tents and other items to protect your little one.
If you are out with your baby and are unable to stay in the shade, a good sunhat should provide some temporary relief.
You can put just about anything in your fridge the night before some serious heat to help cool your little one.
Muslins - use as a cold compress, or as barrier between you and baby to avoid them sticking to you when are feeding.
Toys - if for example your little one is teething, cooling down their favourite chew toy can provide a useful relief (even outside of the heat wave).
Wet wipes - babies somehow seem even stickier in the heat, a perfect way to clean and cool down!
What to wear
I always look to our room thermometer at to determine what our baby should be wearing (if anything other than a nappy during very hot nights!). I find this infographic by BabyCentre also really helps avoid a sleepness night worrying that my little one is overheating!
Don't forget baby's sun hat on a day out, and for older kids spending time in the sun UV suits are another option to keep their skin protected (make sure that both of these items are labeled with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating, the higher the number, the better).
Enjoy! Summer is finally here!
Disclaimer: as much as I have learnt lots over the past year since becoming a mummy, I am not a professionally trained expert, nor can I vouch for all of the products suggested (although where recommendations have not been personally tried and tested by myself, these have come through others in our Baby Talk network and WhatApp groups).