There’s a bee coming towards your baby’s tiny foot and you can’t work the parasol. Hot weather with a newborn can be… testing. Here’s how to navigate it.
Check out our newborn SOS tips when it comes to hot weather...
Keep them out of the sun
Under six months, all babies’ skin, regardless of their ethnicity, contains too little melanin to give any protection from the sun so they shouldn’t be exposed at all (NHS, 2021). When they are in the pram, attach a clip-on parasol or sunshade so that they have good ventilation. Never cover the pram with a blanket or towel which can make the space very hot. Modern prams or pushchairs often have good ventilation, so read the manufacturer's instructions on how to keep your baby safe.
Read more sun safety tips here.
Water, milk and what to do about hydration
If your baby is under six months old, they don't need additional water in hot weather. They'll probably just want to feed more often (NHS, 2021).
Breastmilk production adapts to the heat, meaning that fully breastfed or combi fed babies will get enough fluids. For fully formula fed babies, you can also simply offer more frequent feeds.
For babies over six months, you can offer sips of water between feeds, however they are fed (Kellymom, 2019).
Read more about dehydration here.
Ask any new parent and they’ll tell you how much time they spend worrying over the temperature in their baby’s bedroom. The ideal temperature for your baby is between 16°C (61°F) and 20°C (68°F). The best way to measure it exactly is with a thermometer.
During the day, keep curtains or blinds closed, open doors and windows, and even put a fan in the room to circulate air. Don’t leave a fan in there when your baby goes in to sleep though, as that can be a danger.
Baby summer clothes
You had your baby at the peak of summer and now you have some new outfits ready for them, courtesy of generous friends and family. Yet the only thing your baby really needs right now is their nappy.
Even for sleep, a vest or just a nappy are fine on the hottest nights. You’ll get to those lovely outfits later, when the weather breaks in three days’ time – this is the UK after all.
Baby summer carriers
You might be keen to try babywearing but are worried about your poor baby getting sweaty in the sling. You could choose a carrier made from lightweight nylon rather than a heavier fabric.
But whatever you do, always stick to the manufacturer’s instructions and follow sling safety guidance, TICKS, which stands for:
Tight for adequate support
In view at all times (this refers to your baby’s face)
Close enough to kiss (your baby’s forehead or head)
Keep baby’s chin off their chest to ensure breathing isn’t restricted
Supported back so the baby can’t slump and restrict their airway.
Things to do...
What do you actually do with a newborn baby in the hot weather? It’s a good question.
Babies are often happy with the simple things in life. You could try lying them down in the garden and blowing some bubbles over them.
Or you could simply put them in the carrier and head off for a lovely walk - socially distancing along the way. Your local NCT branch is a great way to make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area. During the pandemic, they're running online groups so why not find out what activities you could join in with?
Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.
You might find attending one of our Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.
Kellymom (2019) Guidelines for offering water to babies. Available from : https://kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-solids/baby-water/ [Accessed 18 Aug 22]
NHS (2021) Keeping your baby safe in the sun. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/first-aid-and-safety/safety/safety-in-the-sun/ [Accessed 19th July 2022]