Keeping your cool
It's perhaps a bit of an understatement to say that it's been hot lately. More like sweltering-disgustingly-sticky-nausea-inducing hot. Which is really uncomfortable, but can also be harmful for babies, who are not as able to regulate their body temperature as well as we are. People also understandably worry about the extra body heat that is generated when babywearing. A few tips for staying as cool as possible in extreme heat:
- if you are babywearing, have your baby clothed in nothing but a diaper. If you are outdoors, make sure to put a sun hat with good coverage on your baby. Use sunscreen on legs or other exposed areas, or cover lightly with a fabric barrier, especially one with SPF.
- you can provide additional sun protection for your baby and yourself when walking outside by using an umbrella.
- breastfeed or offer bottles A LOT. Just like we need to drink a lot more water, babies need to drink more. They don't need water, though, breast milk or your normal formula are all they need to stay hydrated.
- you will know that your baby is not dehydrated by watching how many wet diapers they have and making sure that the number does not decrease.
- if you cannot be in an air-conditioned environment at least a portion of the day, ensure there is good air circulation with fans and stay shaded from direct sun.
- watch out for signs of heat exhaustion and call your doctor if necessary. Babies suffering from heat exhaustion will have a fever of approximately 102 or greater, a rapid pulse, lethargy, red and hot-to-the-touch skin, and shallow breathing.
- give your baby a cool bath if they get flushed.
And sometimes in extreme temperatures, it may indeed be too hot to babywear for lengthy periods as you may do on average days. Take breaks and try to relax. Hot weather is exhausting! Here's to dreaming of crisp, autumn days!
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