Keeping my little one cool in the middle of the Scottish summer is not exactly something I have to contend with all that often. Let’s be real. I live in Scotland, a country where most years our summer amounts to a magical fortnight at some point in May, always cited by The Sun as the hottest two weeks in the UK ever. This year, in some strange twist of fate, over two months later our summer is still going, and the heatwave is only just starting to die out. With temperatures to rival Spain, suddenly the question of which raincoat matches my sons’ favourite wellies was replaced with a whole host of worries around keeping him cool in the heat. While my own top tips are limited to minimal clothes and more ice-lollies than sense, I’ve teamed up with WaterWipes to really delve into how to keep babies cool. This July, they partnered with a child dermatologist to highlight the importance of protecting baby skin throughout the summer months, something I’m sure we could all be more aware of.
For those of you who haven’t heard of WaterWipes – where have you been? – all joking aside, they are the world’s purest baby wipes and are recommended by 97% of midwifes for use on newborn skin. They have been carefully designed to be gentle on sensitive skin, containing 99.9% water and a drop of grapefruit seed extract, which is natural skin conditioner. They are the only wipes to ever be approves by Allergy UK, and for that reason are the only wipes I would recommend to mamas with littles with sensitive skin. Harrison’ does not have sensitive skin, but I’ve raved about them since he was a newborn as they seem to retain moisture better than any other brand we’ve tried, and that is just what we need in this hot and sticky temperature.
How To Keep Toddlers Cool In The Heat
1. Abandon All Clothes
Let’s ignore the irony of my own child wearing a bobble hat in these images. Can we note they were taken this weekend, when the heatwave finally disappeared and the true Scottish summer returned…
Needs must. It doesn’t matter that I’ve spent a small fortune on the Zara summer collection and no one we’ll get to see it – clothes are just not worth the hassle. 2018 has been the year of the nappy. Dr Wilkinson advises that that babies have immature sweat ducts which are more likely to get blocked, and this can lead to prickly heat – a whole other kettle of fish. To avoid this, dress them in loose clothing, or in our situation, stay in the garden and abandon completely. In the first few weeks of the heatwave I spent more time faffing over a Gro Egg and various levels of ajar-window’ness in Harrisons’ room than getting any sleep myself, in the end, abandoning PJ’s and letting him sleep in the buff was the saving grace.
2. Keep Them Shaded
I feel like this goes without saying. Babies don’t need a golden tan, and they certainly don’t need to be in direct sunlight. With older tots it’s a little different, let’s be honest, keeping the two year old from the haven that is a busy park just because it’s not shaded probably won’t happen. It’s not always possible to just stay inside, so we’ve invested in a few really good quality sun hats, I’ve done my research on sunscreen and we try and time our nap for the hottest part of the day. One area to be very careful with when it comes to shade is the buggy. We all know that the hoods of prams’ never seem to offer quite enough shade to give peace of mind while they sleep. We’ve all seen the scary video on Facebook where a buggy covered with a thin blanket was over fifteen degrees warmer underneath that blanket than the buggy left in the sun. Invest in a Snooze Shade, or avoid direct sunlight in the hottest part of the day.
3. Water, Water, Water
I don’t think I can say the word water enough here. Buy a paddling pool, fill a bucket with water, bring out the hose, create a DIY sprinkler with a pool noodle (thank you Pinterest!). Make keeping cool fun, and embrace the fun of a good old fashioned water fight. Long gone are the days when getting your hair wet was an inconvenience, in this heat, it’s a welcomed relief. I’ve also scowered the internet to find ingenious ways to get my child to drink more water throughout the day. With temperatures to rival Spain, dehydration is a big problem, and handing over a bottle of Buxton isn’t exactly going to go down too well. For us, having a stock of bendy straws, Robinsons’ flavour drops and allowing Harrison to drink from a glass like mummy and daddy have been life savers in getting him to keep drinking throughout the day. Carrying a water spray or damp flannel can also offer a quick relief if you’re out and about.
4. Do Your Suncream Research
Unknown to me, sun cream is not tested on babies under 6 months old, so is not to be used on them. Luckily for my son, we didn’t go abroad before my son was a year old, and he’s a Winter baby, so no risk of a heatwave then. It just goes to show how limited by knowledge on sun protection was, and probably still is. Until this summer, I would have grabbed the first brand name factor 50 without so much as checking the label. Luckily, a viral Facebook post had me wise up to UVA and why SPF is not the only indicator I should be looking for on the bottle.
5. Ice Is Your Best Friend
If your honestly telling my that your not humming ‘Ice Ice Baby’ right now, then we are two completely different types of people…
I never thought I would have such an appreciation for frozen water as I do this year, but let me tell you, it is number one on my ever-growing Summer Essentials list. Not limited to children, but making your own ice-lollies is a perfect way to cool down, keep hydrated and stay indoors during the warmest part of the afternoon. It’s a nearly no-mess activity, and a perfect way to get everyone involved. Smashing ice is also a new thing I’ve come across this year, which is exactly as it sounds. I spied this on a Facebook page, and it was the revelation of the summer. Would you believe that some water, a spoon, and the ability to make a mess on the ground could be so entertaining? More practically, we’ve not left the house this summer without a frozen bottle of water or juice box tucked under the pram. Freezing them overnight means that they don’t end up lukewarm by 10am, and also double up as a mini-ice pack for when desperate times call for desperate measures.
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Water Wipes.