I don’t know about you but this is the first Cape Town summer that I’ve actually started to complain about the heat. We’ve had some unbearable days and it makes for a very sweaty and moody toddler when he just can’t get a good nights sleep because it’s just too dam hot!
To make sure your little one stays cool and protected during the long, hot days of summer, check out my hot weather survival guide below!
1. The right clothing
The 2016 heat wave has hit Cape Town hard – I’ve been at home for the last few days and for the most part it’s been shorts and a bikini top for me because I actually can’t cope with much more clothing than that. Leo has been running around in his nappy when indoors and if he is outdoors between the hours of 10am and 3pm I make sure that he is wearing very lightweight clothing, preferably made from a natural fibre like cotton, which absorbs perspiration better than synthetic fabrics.
2. Good air flow for smaller babies
Small babies don’t perspire effectively and can become overheated really quickly – even a few minutes in a parked car or hot room with the windows closed, could prove life-threatening, so make sure to use fans and open windows where necessary.
3. Use a breathable baby carrier
The main reason we use organic hemp for our baby carriers is because it’s 100% breathable making it cool in warm weather and warm in cooler weather. The hemp fabric absorbs and releases perspiration quickly, keeping your baby as cool as possible on these hot summer days. Make sure that whichever carrier you go with – the fabric isn’t going to contribute to making your baby hot and bothered. If your baby’s face starts to look red and flushed, remove them from the carrier to cool down immediately.
4. Ice ice baby
Teething toddler + 38 degrees = I must carry my child around! Even with our hemp carrier, it can still get hot in there. My new trick is to stick an icepack wrapped in a dishcloth in the outer pocket of my carrier, works like a charm to keep him nice and cool.
5. Keep baby hydrated
Babies can become dehydrated very quickly. Even if you don’t see them sweating, they can still be losing fluids during this hot weather. Babies under 6 months shouldn’t really drink water, so if your little one falls into this category, you can replace the lost fluids by giving extra formula or by nursing more frequently. Babies usually drink at least 50% more than usual during summer, so make sure to always offer extra on the warmer days.
6. Plan your day around the sun
We all know how strong the South African sun is, but between the hours of 10am to 3pm it’s the most dangerous. I don’t allow Leo any sun during these hours. If he wants to go outside to play I make sure to put up a big umbrella and cover any exposed areas with sunscreen incase he runs to fetch a ball and happens to catch some rays. Try to plan your outdoor play dates before or after these hours.
7. Sunscreen matters
I know we all have this vision that we’ll be tanning on the beach with our little newborns sleeping blissfully and enjoying the afternoon breeze… but then we became Moms and had a reality check 😉 Babies under 6 months old really shouldn’t get any major direct sunlight, so you shouldn’t need to use any sunscreen on their very delicate skin. My Leo has very sensitive skin that is prone to eczema (thanks dairy products…!) so I found a lovely sunscreen that is available at Dischem, Cetaphil Daylong for Kids, with a SPF of 50 – it lasts forever and is easy to spread so you won’t annoy your little one too much with the sunscreen process!
If you have any hot weather survival tips of your own, please share them with us in the comments section below.