I am a huge sun worshipper. It makes me feel so much happier and full of more energy. I love everything from lighter morning and longer evenings to hanging out on the beach or in the garden.
When J came along my love of the sunshine remained but instead of peaceful sunbathing with a glass of something alcoholic it is full of ‘where’s the shade?’, ‘pass the sun cream’. I still love the sun, and luckily J shares that love of the heat.
Last summer we went to Feurteventura and I made sure that I had prepared everything I could possibly need for J to avoid everything from exhaustion to sunburn. Now that we are in the middle of a heatwave (we’re in England) I have had to remember all the tips I used to make sure our sun memories are fun ones.
10 Top Tips
- Be prepared
My number one tip is to have everything ready and easily available. You will need factor 30 suncream and aftersun/moisturiser (especially if, like J, your little one has eczema as the combination of heat and suncream makes him flare). Test the suncream on your child before you actually need it to make sure if doesn’t give them a reaction. Different brands work for different kiddies.
Pack a bag with spare drinks, towels (personally I love the ones you slip over their heads with a hood as it provides a bit of shade too), juicy fruits, wet wipes and blanket (this can be to sit in or create a bit of shade). I also pack a few ‘sit down’ toys to encourage J to sit in the shade and chill every now and then. (I admit that my phone is also used to encourage him to rest for a little while).
2. The freezer is your friend
This is the time to stock up with ice lollies and ice cream. For those with very little ones you can easily make your own by puréeing some fruit. I’ve also heard of people freezing breast milk to use as ice lollies.
We use the Annabel Karmel ice lolly mould. I’ve frozen yoghurts, puréed fruits, sugar free orange squash and plain water so there’s an option that are all ‘J friendly’ and I know exactly what’s in them (the idea of J and E-numbers is It’s also cheaper than buying them.
3. Keep your child’s bedroom cool
As tempting as it to through open the curtains and let the beautiful sunshine in, this can quickly heat up your little ones room. J’s bedroom is like a sun trap and is really hard to cool down again.
Here is some advice from fellow bloggers…
“Try to keep blinds and curtains closed in the day to keep their bedrooms as cool as possible” (Beth)
“If you are using a fan, pop some ice in front to cool the air a little more” (Emma)
“Wet towel over the cotside, helps keep the air cool” (Helen)
4. Make the buggy/pram a safe space
When pushing little one in the buggy it’s easy to overlook what affect the sun and heat is having on them. On holiday I used the buggy for when we went exploring the nearby towns, as a make sure bed for naps and as a shaded spot for J.
It’s important to keep the air flowing in a buggy or pram. Placing a blanket or muslin over the buggy can trap the heat in and make it hotter and hotter creating risk of dehydration and over heating.
Amy recommends a Snoozeshade on the pushchair. I had a quick nosey at the website as that sounds really handy (wish I had found this when we went on holiday). You can buy them for buggies, cots and car seats so great for out and about.
5. Have fun with water
Today J has been in his paddling pool. He had so much fun on the water-sliding in on his tummy, pouring it over his head and laying about in it. It was a great way to keep him cool. When he was a baby I remember putting him in a tub of water as we didn’t have a small enough paddling pool. You could always take the baby bath outside too.
“We used to have a little pop up Gazebo that we put a paddling pool under so they could splash about in the pool in the shade” (Cass).
“Water in a thoroughly washed out spray bottle. Brilliant fun but also works!” (Lianne).
6. Know when to seek medical attention
It’s important to know the signs of when you or your child may need medical attention. Heatstroke can be dangerous for children, especially babies. There is great information here on the NHS website.
Also, be on the look out for dehydration. Keep some cool drinks in the fridge, have a tippy cup or flask of water readily available at all times etc.
For those Mummy’s who are breastfeeding and little one isn’t using bottles/tippy cups then Leslie says “your boobs are magic and will give baby what it needs. Just keep them (and you) hydrated“.
J can be a bugger to get him to drink at times. In the heat I’m a little less strict and let him have more juice or fruit shoots if he really won’t take in the waters end of the day hydration is more important at this time. When he was a baby I did use a medicine syringe to give him water little and often when I didn’t think he was drinking enough.
It may be tempting to just strip children off and let them be ‘au natural’ however this will explode their skin to a lot of potentially harmful UV rays.
“I brought some larger white cotton tshirts to put on my little ones in the garden and just have them in those so they’re nice and loose” (Clare)
For J I will keep his shoulder covered during peak times. Today he was in the water with swim shorts and a tshirt on (and suncream). This kept him cool but also kept his skin safe.
You can buy swimsuits, sunglasses and hats with all sorts of UV protection these days. These are great if you’ll be spending time outside on high UV days (I use the Met Office website/app to check these regularly).
Sunhats are great (if you can get your child to wear them). If you can find sunhats which cover the neck and have a decent size peak then that’s a big win as it will help provide shade to those important parts of the body. J is a pain and will whip hats off. But once I get his hat and sunglasses on he usually gets distracted and then forgets I’ve put them on him.
8. Be a good role model
If you have a toddler or older children you’ll notice they often want to be mini adults. They want to do or have whatever you have got. Be a positive role model and let them see you putting on suncream and hat. Let them see you drinking fluids and having time in the shade too. This will help them to pick up good habits in the future.
9. Make sure you and your child have all their medications handy.
Heat can often flare up a lot of medical conditions. For J, it can set off his allergies and asthma. I always make sure I have an inhaler on us at all times. His preschool have a spare one in the cupboard too so I don’t have to worry about forgetting it. Doctors are (usually) happy to prescribe additional ones if you say why.
But this is the same with other medications. If you are on your own with your child and YOU end up unwell then you are putting your child at risk. Make sure you take care of you too.
If you are travelling abroad then I recommend taking a copy of your repeat prescription with you and putting it in a clear bag with all you and little ones medications. Make sure you have your medication labeled too incase you need to see a doctor whose English may not be fluent. They should be able to google or recognise it if you have the packaging or repeat prescription list. It also makes it easier at security in the airport.
10. Go with the flow
You may find that your child routine changes in sunny weather. Where possible, just go with it. When we have hot days (and when on holiday) J gets tired quicker. He has an earlier nap and sometimes a mini power nap later too (this was more on holiday as we would go to the evening kids show).
It may be a pain to change routine but if you can do it then it will help your child to be less stressed and helps their body to relax and cope with the heat. Obviously this will all depend on the individual child but it’s a piece of advice that helped me.
If the sun is making it difficult for your child to nap/sleep at bedtimes then I recommend a ‘GRO Anywhere blind‘. It uses ‘suckers’ so you can easily put it up and down wherever you are. It makes the room almost pitch black (it doesn’t come through the sides a bit but noticeably). This way you can hide the sun away until you’re ready for it to shine.
So, go ahead and enjoy the sun whilst we have it. Let me know any top tips that you find helpful in the comments or on our Facebook page ☀️
Disclaimer: I do not receive any money for my blogs or the links I choose to add. I may receive free products to try or discounts but I will only ever promote products I believe in and enjoy using. In this blog the only ‘tester product’ is the GRO Anything Blind. All other links are st my own discretion and I have not received anything for them (except a warm fuzzy feeling for helping people)❤