Before you head out on warm weather family adventures and walks with your new baby, it’s super important to know how to keep your baby safe in the heat. Babies love being outdoors, but they cannot fully sweat (your body's way of cooling itself off and regulating body temperature),so they can often suffer heat stroke or get dehydrated much quicker than an older child or adult. They rely on you to keep them cool! Plus, baby skin is extremely delicate, and can burn very easily. 

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For babies under 6 months, we asked Tinyhood’s experts to round up the top things you need to know about how to enjoy hot weather in a responsible way.  Keep reading for their top tips, and for everything you need to know about how to keep your baby safe from overheating and survive the newborn months — including infant CPR, safe sleep and more — check out Tinyhood’s Baby 101: The Parenting Prerequisite online course. 

How to keep your baby (younger than 6 months) safe in the heat:

1. Lightweight clothing: Dress your baby in lightweight, breathable fabrics, like cotton or linen, with long sleeves, long pants, and a wide-brimmed sun hat to protect their face and back of their neck. 

2. Avoid mid-day. Avoid spending time in the sun during its hottest hours. High temperatures and extreme heat usually occurs between 10am-2pm. 

3. Stay in the shade as much as possible and avoid direct and indirect sunlight. Take advantage of natural shade, like trees, or bring your own with a beach umbrella, shade tent or structure, or stroller canopy. 

4. Cloudy days count. Cover up your baby even if it’s cloudy. Ultraviolet rays can reach through clouds and can damage your baby’s sensitive skin. Be mindful of surfaces that can reflect UV rays, like sand, water, and snow, and don’t forget extra protection at high altitudes.

5. If sun exposure cannot be avoided, use sunscreen. For babies younger than 6 months, if the sun cannot be avoided, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says it is OK to apply sunscreen to small areas of skin not covered by clothes or hats, such as the face, back of the hands and neck, tips of the ears, and tops of the feet. Make sure to apply the sunscreen 15-30 minutes before you’re in the sun. Use a gentle sunscreen made for children with an SPF of at least 30. As always with sunscreen, reapply after going in the water or every 1.5-2 hours.

Lastly, what do you do if your baby gets sunburned? If your baby was accidentally exposed to too much sun, their skin may become red, warm, and uncomfortable about six to twelve hours later. Try cool baths, cool compresses, or acetaminophen at the recommended dose for your baby’s age/size to relieve any discomfort as well as hydration.  If you see symptoms such as blisters, fever, chills, headache, or general signs of illness, the sunburn may be more severe. Call your pediatrician immediately, who can help determine next steps. 

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With thoughtful prevention and precaution, you and your new baby can enjoy the warm weather. If you are looking for further guidance on how to keep your baby safe, as well as get our expert’s tips on the ultimate on-the-go diaper bag essentials, Tinyhood’s online course Baby 101: The Parenting Prerequisite covers all of that and more.