Top tips for keeping your baby cool and comfortable during the heatwave

We have been loving every second of this heatwave. The heat and constant sunshine have put a spring in our step, however, we’re not used to this warm weather on the Emerald Isle.

This weather may be wonderful, but we need to remember that protecting our skin during the summer is vital especially our babies’ skin. Nearly 80 percent of parents say their newborns have experienced skin irritations in the warmer weather, with heat rash, nappy rash and ‘general’ irritation the main complaints, according to research commissioned by WaterWipes.

Thankfully, dermatology advanced nurse Fidelma O’ Dowd has shared a heap of helpful tips on keeping your baby healthy and happy in the hot weather.

She advised parents to feel the back of their baby’s neck to check if they're too hot. If it’s at all hot or damp it is time to remove a layer or move to somewhere cooler.

Staying hydrated is key during the heatwave. Experts recommend consuming twice as many liquids during the hotter weather. Your baby may not be visibly sweating or look hot, in order to lose fluids. As babies under six months can’t drink water, replace lost liquids with extra formula or more regular nursing.

Getting a full night's sleep can be tricky during the heatwave. Nurse O’Dowd says babies will sleep soundly in a cool (18 – 20 degrees) bedroom with circulating air. In terms of clothing and bedding, babies often require one additional layer than an adult may sleep in, so if you’re sleeping naked with no sheets, a t-shirt and nappy should do the trick for baby.

Should the worst happen and your baby gets a sunburn, we recommend speaking with your GP if they’re under 12 months or with your pharmacist for those a little older. They will likely advise applying lukewarm water followed by a moisturiser or recommended topical treatment to the affected area. Also, leave the blisters be!

Another skin condition that may prop up during the heatwave is heat rash. The best way of treating it is by removing the tight clothing or nappy and dabbing with lukewarm water on a sponge. Keep skin clean and dry and use a barrier cream if required – moist skin can cause irritation and further inflammation so keeping the skin dry really is key. Ideally, clothing should be loose and cotton, when it is required. The rash should go down within 12 hours but if not, have a chat with your pharmacist or GP.

Your baby will certainly feel cool and comfortable all summer long if you follow these helpful tips.

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