It’s 90 degrees outdoors in the middle of July. The sweltering heat is too much to bear. The kids are fussing. Jumping off the walls. Simply stir-crazy indoors.You’re drowning in baby’s incessant cries, begging mommy to feed him once again.
You just want to pack up the cooler and load everyone in the car to make your way to the beach. But then you remember you have an infant to look after too…one under 6 months that can’t exactly be in the sun all day like his brothers.
What is any sane mama to do??
Well I definitely experienced a few rounds of new baby in the summer predicament and had to make it work on those scorching hot days when you just need to get away.
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Related: 24+ Summer Activities for Babies
Here’s how we manage to keep baby cool at the beach each summer:
1. Light Clothes
As parents, it’s often easy to overdress baby throughout the year. We forget that they too can sweat and develop heat rash from wearing too many layers, so it’s important to make sure little ones are dressed appropriately in the summertime.
This means opting for single layers or thin breathable clothes like a onesie or loose top and bottom. You can find swimwear that contains SPF to protect baby’s delicate skin even more!
It’s so important to keep the sun’s harmful rays away from baby — and a wide-brim hat (and one that covers their little neck and ears) is so crucial! Look for ones that even contain SPF like this one — our favorite!!
Don’t forget to start early! If you get in the habit of putting a hat on your baby, think how much easier it will be to get them to wear it once toddlerhood hits. One of my sons hated hats…and I really couldn’t blame him since I didn’t introduce hats ’til he was about a year.
3. Baby Tent
A quick search online for baby canopy, sun shelter or tent is bound to bring numerous results, but they are all basically the same thing: shade and sun protection for baby!
These have made so much of a difference for me when I’m toting around a baby and can’t find adequate shade.
So when you’re heading out to the beach (or yard or playground for that matter) be prepared with your own sun shade just in case! Such a wide array of styles and options to choose from — just look for ones that are durable and contain UV protection.
4. Stroller Fan
This is one genius tip I only learned about recently – I can’t believe I didn’t discover it sooner! Did you know there are little portable fans made for baby??
These kid-safe fans you can buy here have soft blades made from foam — not sure how well a grabby toddler would do with them but they are ideal for your little bundle.
All you need to do is attach the fan to the stroller or clip it to a baby carrier or carseat while going for a walk on the beach. Such a fun way to keep baby cool indeed!
5. Muslin Blankets
These light-weight swaddle blankets are a must-have for baby that I’ve mentioned a few times before. They are pretty much the only blankets I use these days and a perfect choice for the hotter months when you just need a thin breathable blanket to shade baby.
But with any blanket in the summertime, be careful how you use them, as a new study reports that even shielding baby with a blanket can have serious consequences.
That’s why when I am using my muslin blankets I always make sure baby isn’t completely covered or that the carrier isn’t closed off so I know he is okay and not overheating.
6. Carseat Liner
It’s no mystery how hot little ones can get in the car/carseat during the summer months — tons of tragic stories fill the news. And don’t think taking your carseat out of the car removes all the heat either. If you have a darker carseat or thick-cushion liner, baby can still overheat when you’re trudging him along in the snap-n-go.
I often forget to change my standard carseat liner — one that works great for added support and comfort for infants — but can be a bit much in the summertime.
So remember to look for a thin, breathable liner that can easily absorb moisture to prevent baby from getting unnecessary heat rashes – we like this natural one made from bamboo.
7. Kiddie Pool
YES, YES! A kiddie pool is definitely another fun, genius way to keep baby cool at the beach. You can pretty much find the inflatable, portable pools everywhere these days – Amazon.com has decent sales on these!
If you have a baby under 6 months of age that can’t be in direct sunlight and/or wear sunscreen yet, these shaded baby pools make such a great alternative to laying directly in the sun! And if your baby isn’t quite sitting up yet, you can definitely still prop them up or hold them while they cool off their little feet and tushies in the shade (always with proper supervision of course)!
As a mom of a baby, toddler and preschooler, I know all too well how much of a production it is to get all the kids out of the house for a beach trip, especially when your baby isn’t quite ready to be in the sun. But these tips that might not have been super obvious to you before, should help you be able to relax and enjoy even the hottest days, knowing your new bundle of joy can beat the heat outdoors along your other kids if you just make a few creative adjustments.
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Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.