Poppy is the author of "A Bard's Lament" and the Black Diamond series. She lives in Enoshima, Japan, with her husband and young son.
There are a million things you'll likely worry about when you have your new baby. They're fragile, they have needs, and all that on top of sweltering heat and high humidity can be daunting.
My son was born in July 2021 in the height of a hot and humid Japanese summer. Hailing originally from the UK, I had never taken care of a newborn baby in the summer before. My biggest fear was overheating, especially at night. Here are some ways I dealt with the heat while taking care of a newborn baby.
1. Use a Portable Fan
There is a wide variety of small, portable fans you can get, and they're a lifesaver for babies. I used mine for my son in the living room, the computer desk when I went back to work, and especially at night, blowing gently into his cot.
Make sure the fan isn't on too high. The setting should be low, a gentle breeze, and not directly on the baby's face.
I used a SkyGenius portable fan. You can adjust the direction 360 degrees, adjust the output level, and it works both via USB and with batteries. It's perfect to keep on your desk as well because it has a flat surface and also a clip so you can attach it to things. It's been my saving grace for several years and now for my baby, too.
2. Use a Summer-Friendly Baby Carrier
Also known as wraps or slings, baby carriers are great for newborns going through a needy phase. In the summertime, it's important to get a light one that won't cook your baby while you're holding her to your chest.
I recommend a Konny baby carrier, but there are many other great choices out there.
3. Get a Cooling Blanket
Cooling blankets are sheets or blankets that go on your bed that have a cooling effect. There are many different sizes out there, including ones that fit your baby's crib. Lie them on top of it rather than a regular sheet or blanket and it'll help keep them cool while they sleep.
4. Never Leave Your Baby in a Hot Car
Every year, dogs, babies, and young children die from being left in a hot car. It's a tragedy that can easily be avoided.
If you take your child out in your car in the summertime and must leave them in the car, crack all the windows to let in air. Better still, leave on the air conditioning. However, the best course of action is to take your baby with you.
5. Give Your Baby Cool Baths
Bathing your baby helps them sleep better. Be sure to use cool (body temperature) water to keep them from overheating.
6. Make Sure Your Stroller Has a Cover
Direct sunlight can be harmful to a baby, especially in the summer when there are dangers like sunburn and heat stroke. Make sure your stroller has a shade-providing cover if you plan on taking your baby out (but don't cover the baby too much; make sure there's enough air around them so they don't overheat).
If you decide to carry your baby in a carrier, an effective way the Japanese keep cool is using a dark umbrella or parasol. It may seem strange, but it works! You can take the shade wherever you go this way.
7. Use a Cool Cloth
Applying a cloth with cool (sterilized) water on your baby's face and body is a great way to keep them cool. Depending on your baby's temperament, they may love or hate this! Cleaning their face regularly with just water or with a gentle soap for infants can also reduce acne and milk spots.
A baby can't communicate in words that they're too hot, so it's up to us to monitor their temperatures and make sure they don't succumb to any deadly summer heat. With these six tips, you can hopefully keep your baby cool throughout this tricky season.
© 2021 Poppy
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on August 17, 2021:
Thank you so much, Liz!
Liz Westwood from UK on August 12, 2021:
Congratulations on the birth of your new son. That's great news. These are all good tips that I wish I had read many years ago.