How do you keep baby cool?



Little Robin's already travelled around France on a train.

It’s so hot inside, and worse outside. So how do you keep your baby cool? This post is by Nicola Baird – please add any comments you’d like as sharing know-how is brilliant – with some parts taken from my new book Homemade Kids: thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children.


On Sunday my girls took the thermometer outside and left it in the sunshine until it had registered over 40C. Actually I love these sunny days because it heats up our solar thermal tubes so we have plenty of hot water – and all without having to spend a penny on gas.

But inside our house stayed fabulously cool. There are some clever tricks to help it do this, so long as you are willing to think like a European. So in addition to making the place more energy efficient we –

* Use sash windows properly (open a chunk at both the top and bottom)
* Use blinds and or curtains to prevent direct sun heating up the rooms
* We also open the hatch to allow the hot air to rise out of the stairwell. This works really well, so long as you’ve insulated your loft floor.
* Grow climbing plants up the sunny walls – we’ve got a vine and a tayberry which I have high hopes of producing good crops this year
* This is obvious: use different weight duvets in winter and summer

When outside is temptingly holiday-like
If you are using a buggy or pram (or even if you are on your own) try sticking to the shady side of the street. For the moments when the sun insists on spilling into your pram try to block it with muslins perhaps secured by a clippy toy or clothes pegs. Or if you have your little un in a sling then you can always use an umbrella.

I hate being cold – and know that more layers and hot water bottles are the answer. But sometimes I think steaming heat is less escapable, and of course very hot weather can be really dangerous for a baby as they aren’t so good at regulating their body temperature. Obviously keep them out of the sun. Other useful ideas involve organising more nappy free play, cutting foot holes in all-in-one garments, avoiding swaddling, playing with your baby in a coolish bath or offering a mini watering can and seeing how soon they tip the water over themselves.

When it is hot you need to ensure babies drink enough. Breastmilk is perfect for the six months and under. For the older baby you can get in the habit of offering a cup or teaspoon of water with every meal, and between times too. Frozen fruit juice or yoghurt (perhaps slightly watered down) can also be a cool thirst quencher – and both are easy to make at home. And there’s always ice cream…

And if you have time reconsider whether your home is well enough insulated. Because if it is really heating up in the summer then it will also be uncomfortably cold in the winter. If you can only do one thing for your baby on the green front, then try to make sure it is making your home better insulated. Please do share your tips, thank you. Nicola x

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4 Comments on “How do you keep baby cool?”

  1. Penny Says:

    Make baby ice lollies to keep ’em cool and hydrated! Just freeze very diluted juice or even just water. Kids of all ages love sucking ice. Its a great one when your kids are ill and can’t really eat. Mine suck on frozen apple juice. I often wonder if I made frozen chicken soup cubes if they would eat those too!

    • homemadekids Says:

      Hi, hot weather and illness can be a real worry especially if your child’s temperature is high. I think frozen lolly soup sounds a very original solution for the recovery stage, or just general mealtime novelty. Nicola

  2. Claire Wilton Says:

    Great topic Nicola. We took Ruth (8 weeks) out in her pram at 9pm to cool her off before bedtime. We also went to a park with fun water jets and sat by them for a couple of hours – much cooler than elsewhere in the park.

    • homemadekids Says:

      Hi – brilliant idea to get out of the house, it sounds like an evening/nightime stroll was good fun for you all. I always wonder why people with kids plan long walks or meet up post-lunch when summer sun seems so hot – I guess being flexible about bedtime, even with a baby as little is yours, is still unusual. Do you think we should re-organise 1 and 2 o’clock clubs during the next heatwave to
      a cooler 8pm -10pm stay and plays? Nicola

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