Special care is needed for the baby during the hotter parts of the year, and for a country like Nigeria where the weather can go as high as 34°C when you go further North, optimum care needs to be taken. Babies unlike adults cannot adjust to weather changes as fast as their older counterparts because of their body mass and for newborns, the functions of their sweat glands begin to kick in gradually therefore reducing their ability to expel heat. Parents also need to take precautions because overheating has been associated with an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Here are some tips to help manage your baby’s temperature in hot weather:
Hydrate your baby more often
Babies under 6 months old cannot have water so you’ll have to depend on breast milk and formula frequently than normal in hot weather to help hydrate your little one. Your little one might not visibly look hot, so you’d have to check his temperature by placing your hands on his belly to measure his temperature.
Dress with weather appropriate fabrics
Make sure your baby isn't dressed with clothes for warmth. Opt for clothes made with cotton or linen. Cotton is soft and breathable which makes it easy to expel heat, enabling the body to stay cool. If you must take your baby out, wear her wide brimmed hats to protect her from the sun.
Never leave your baby in a car unattended
According to the US National Safety Council, every year, an average of 38 children in the US die in hot cars from heatstroke and in 2018 alone, 52 children died in hot cars. 53.8% of the children were left there by mistake, 18.6% were left on purpose and 26.3% got access into the cars and couldn't get out. Under no circumstance should you leave your little one unattended and alone in a car even though the windows are slightly open. Children are at great risk for heatstroke mainly because their body heats up three to five times faster than that of an adult. When the body’s temperature reaches 104 degrees, the internal organs start to shut down. When it reaches 107 degrees, the child can die. Always ensure to look before you exit your car to ensure you don't leave your baby behind. There are also a few tech choices out there for purchase which can help remind you that there’s someone in the car just before you exit.
Staying indoors in an air-conditioned part of the house during hot seasons is the best option for your infant. Air-conditioning gives you the power to control the temperature, and you can bend it at will. The recommended temperature for where a baby sleeps is usually between 20C° - 22C°. You can use an indoor thermometer to measure the rooms temperature to know when it's too hot or too cold. Usually, the rule is to keep the room comfortable for a lightly dressed adult.
Give the Baby a Bath
More frequent baths than usual in the hotter seasons will help the baby cool off. Bath time can also be fun time by placing the baby in a paddling pool, close enough for you to keep an eye on him.