5 Top Tips for Keeping Your Newborn Cool during a Summer Heatwave
We are in the middle of a serious heatwave! London is soon hitting 38 degrees and New York is so hot, people are advised not to go outside.
Handling a new baby in this weather and trying to implement a routine can be hard as newborn babies are extremely heat sensitive. Their bodies heat up naturally while feeding and digesting. Hot and humid weather affects their ability to stay awake during feeds and whilst digesting milk. This, of course, has a knock-on effect on how well they sleep, not just for naps but during the night as well.
A newborns growth can be compromised if they’re not getting enough milk or sleep so it’s important to be able to at least feed your baby properly at each feed regardless of the weather.
If like the majority of U.K households, you don’t have air-con, then here are my 5 top tips for keeping your newborn cool during a summer heatwave.
1. Fan power.
At night and for daytime naps use a quiet but powerful fan and direct the airflow over your baby but not directly onto your baby’s face and body. Turn your baby’s face away from the airflow of the fan but aim for the feet and above the whole body so the air is moving and cooling around your baby. The hotter the temperature the more direct you would aim the airflow. Perfect sleeping temperature for a newborn baby is 19-21 degrees. I would use less clothing and a fan when temperatures reach over 23 degrees but airflow indirectly, isolating over the top. When temperatures hit 26 and above, maintaining high temperatures at night, I will aim the airflow directly across a baby’s sleep position and expose feet. My favourite fan from the last few years is the Bioniare six speed pedestal fan. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bionaire-Standing-Control-Adjustable-BASF1016/dp/B004G6TGL8. Next up, I would recommend the Dyson tower fan. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dyson-AM09-Hot-Cool-Heater-White/dp/B00Y4Z2TGA
2. Using cool water for waking.
Use cool water for nappy changes and for a wash down if your baby is too hot and sleepy to feed or soak a muslin in water to dab or compress on your baby’s body while feeding. If the heat is extreme and humid, run a bath of 30- 31 degrees and have mini bath breaks of a minute or so to help revive. A baby’s body will not only heat up with the outside temperature but also from feeding and digesting milk so cooling the body down will help your baby stay active, wind properly and have their usual routine of feed, wind, play, nap.
3. Keep windows open overnight and try and get airflow through the house. Keep curtains and blinds shut during the day to keep the cool in and the sun and heat out.
4. Move your baby, to feed and sleep, to the coolest room in the house. Maintain sleep positions as advised in my book but sleep your baby in just a vest, keep the swaddle but with the swaddled rolled back up the legs to expose legs to the airflow of the fan.
5. Freeze Muslins.
Put wet muslins in the freezer which frost up quickly, they can be used to put close to a fan to help cool the air in the room. They can also be placed under another muslin or thin towel onto your feeding cushion which will help keep a cool surface to lie on when feeding and using a breastfeeding pillow or bottle feeding pillow.
Being pregnant during a heatwave is also very uncomfortable so you’ll be pleased to know that my 5 Top Tips also work well for adults!