How should you dress your baby in hot weather?
Written by: Irène GABRIELLI, midwife responsible for home monitoring
New-born babies are sensitive to changes in the outside temperature, and it is more difficult for them to regulate their own temperature (so they may have cold feet when the temperature is pleasant).
Ideally, you should avoid taking a new-born out when it is warmer than 27°C.
With regard to the child’s bedroom, it is recommended that shutters and windows are kept closed during the day. Open windows before putting the child down to sleep. Make sure that your child’s nappy is not too tight, and put them to bed in a babygro with short sleeves, or in their nappy and a cotton, linen or bamboo sleeping bag. If you want to turn the air conditioning on, ensure that it is set to no more than a 10°C difference with the outside temperature (ideally between 18 and 20°C).
For trips outside, it is recommended that you stick to the coolest times of the day (before 10 am and after 6 pm) and make sure your baby is wearing clothes appropriate to the outside temperature: simple, loose garments (romper suit, bloomers, babygro), a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and suncream that is suitable for the baby’s age. Change your child as soon as the fabric becomes damp to avoid irritation.
If you carry your baby in a sling (ideally made from a breathable material) or in a baby carrier (best avoided during the hottest parts of the day), it is important that the parent wears a t-shirt and the baby wears a babygro, as well as a hat, suncream, etc.
When your child is in a pushchair, do not cover them with a cloth, instead use the parasol or sunshade.
When in the car, be sure to keep the air conditioning at a reasonable temperature (23–24°C) to avoid switching from hot to cold.
Don’t forget to hydrate your baby regularly (breastfeeding on demand or bottles of formula). Water misters can be very helpful when out for a walk – use them to spray your baby’s arms and legs.
Ideally, new-born babies should not be exposed to direct sunlight and should not be taken to the beach.
Avoid swimming pools, as the chlorine and salt are not recommended for new-borns’ skin. You can cool babies down in a lukewarm bath, making sure to dry carefully in between the folds in their skin.