How do you keep baby cool?
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