Tyron and I have been enjoying the summer, even this week while temperatures reach record highs. Outdoor activity is super important in our lives, but when the temperatures reach 40+, it’s best to limit outdoor time and find ways to beat the heat and stay cool. Here are some tips for staying cool on hot summer days (and ways to protect you and your baby from those pesky hot-weather nuances like dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn!).
1. Water water water! Water isn’t just good for hydration, it helps keep you cool, too! Splash pads and wading pools are a great activity for hot days. Check your city’s parks and recreation website for lists of community pools, wading pools and splash pads. If you live in a city that doesn’t have these options, create them yourself! Buy a cheap plastic pool or splash mat for your kids, fill it with cold water, and some water toys, and have fun! We’ve even used an old rubbermaid bucket (pictured above) when we didn’t have a proper baby pool.
2. Drink Up! Staying hydrated is important all year round, but especially in the summer when you lose more of your body’s natural water stores through sweating (and spending time immersed in water also draws water out of your body! When your fingers get wrinkly, it’s time to re-hydrate). Drinking water is important for you AND your baby, so be sure to offer him water whenever possible. If you are breastfeeding on demand, you may notice your little one wants to nurse more frequently when it’s hot out as well. Breast milk is excellent for hydrating and replacing lost electrolytes, so don’t be alarmed if you feel like you are constantly feeding! If your baby is eating solid foods, offer water with each meal and offer lots of water-rich foods, like raw fruits and veggies! Formula doesn’t hydrate the way breast milk does, so offer your formula fed baby water between meals as well. If you are worried about replacing electrolytes, skip the sports drinks (which have added flavors, sugars and coloring), and give your baby (and yourself) some Coconut Water. Coconut water is excellent for replacing lost electrolytes, and hydrates just like normal water does. It’s also all-natural, and way healthier than sports drinks or fruit juices.
3. Stay in the Shade. Keeping out of the sun will help prevent sunburn and sun stroke, and shaded areas are much cooler than being out in full sun. Using an umbrella or sun shade when out at the beach or park will offer a cool place to rest and will keep you out of the harmful rays of the sun. Wearing a sun hat will offer extra sun protection for you and your little one’s face, neck and eyes, and making sure to wear UV protective swimwear will add in sun protection. Use baby sunscreen on babies over 6 months (younger than 6 months, keep your baby out of the sun!). Iplay has a lot of UV protective baby gear, such as swim wear, hats and clothes.
4. Stay Indoors! Check your local weather station for heat advisories. When it is TOO hot, stay indoors! Little lungs can struggle to breathe air that is too thick with heat and humidity, and in a heat wave, being indoors is sometimes the safest option. Take in a matinee movie with your older kids (or check out Movies for Mommies in Ontario, Stars and Strollers all over Canada). Hang out at the library, walk the mall, or take your little one to a family-friendly restaurant for lunch. If you or a friend have central air conditioning, share the love! Have an “Escape the Heat Wave” indoor play date with summer foods and indoor play time. Check out indoor playgrounds, museums and aquariums for other fun indoor activities!
What are your favorite ways to beat the heat in the summer?