Mammy Diaries: Keeping your baby cool in the heat
I am not even going to dare complain about this heat wave…. we have had far too much cold, snow and rain to even attempt to give out about this sunshine. But at the same time, heat and sun, whether at home here in Ireland or if you are travelling abroad on holidays brings extra concerns and worry as parents about protecting our babies delicate skin. We want to keep our babies cool and as comfortable as possible in the heat. When Water Wipes approached me about collaborating on this campaign I jumped at it, as it think it is such an important and helpful message for all us parents.
In a recent survey conducted among Irish parents, almost 80% say their newborns have experienced skin irritations in the warmer weather, with heat rash (48%), nappy rash (29%) and ‘general’ irritation (22%) the main complaints and I can totally agree with this. I have been so concerned with not only Luna May (my 5 week old baby) but also Anabelle (2.5 years), I’ve noticed prickly heat rash on both of them, and off course your instinct is to worry. This intense heat is new for us all, and we need to know how to mind ourselves, but especially our little ones.
With this in mind, Water Wipes have created some top tips and advice in collaboration with Fidelma O’Dowd, Dermatology Advanced Nurse at Beaumont Hospital, on keeping your little ones, and yourself, healthy and happy in the hot weather:
Keeping cool – it is easy to check if you baby is too warm by feeling the back of their neck. If it’s at all hot or damp it is time to remove a layer or move to somewhere cooler.
Hydration – as a rule of thumb, 50% additional liquids are recommended in hotter weather for babies. They may not be visibly sweating or look hot, in order to lose fluids. As babies under six months can’t drink water, replace lost liquids with extra formula or more regular nursing.
Avoiding heat rash – bumpy and red or pink in colour, heat rash tends to appear where airflow is poor. Think skin creases or the bands of clothing, but it can also appear on babies faces. The best way of treating it is by removing the tight clothing or nappy and dabbing with lukewarm water on a sponge. Keep skin clean and dry and use a barrier cream if required – moist skin can cause irritation and further inflammation so keeping the skin dry really is key. Ideally clothing should be loose and cotton, when it is required. The rash should go down within 12 hours but if not, have a chat with your pharmacist or GP.
Comfy bedtime – a cool (18 – 20 degrees) bedroom with circulating air is ideal. In terms of clothing and bedding, babies often require one additional layer than an adult may sleep in, so if you’re sleeping naked with no sheets, a t-shirt and nappy should do the trick for baby.
Treating sunburn – should the worst happen and your baby gets sunburn, we recommend speaking with your GP if they’re under 12 months or with your pharmacist for those a little older. They will likely advise applying lukewarm water followed by a moisturiser or recommended topical treatment to the affected area. Also, leave the blisters be!
Sooth the skin – you may well venture to the beach or local swimming pool when the temperature rises, and chlorine and salt water can play havoc with skin. It is advisable to rinse it off as soon as possible in lukewarm water.
In a nutshell, I think it boils down to staying hydrated (I find making homemade ice lollies work a treat for Anabelle, my toddler), and seeking shade at peak hours.
Enjoy the sun and mind yourself
Naomi & girls xx
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** This is a sponsored blog post in collaboration with Water Wipes **
I am a new mum to 10 week old Aaron. So many people including my doctor and my local nurse have said it’s ok to give baby sips of water. I see that you said babies under 6 months cannot drink water. It’s all very confusing. Where did you get the info about babies not allowed water? Thanks a mil. I’m just trying to get as informed as I can.
Cooled boiled water is perfect for baby. If you breastfeed, the pre-milk is a thirst quenching drink so you don’t need to be as worried.