8 practical ways to keep babies cool on a hot day

Babies cannot regulate their body temperature, so while they can’t tell you that they’re too warm and uncomfortable, they’ll usually let you know in other ways. Grumpiness, a damp neck or hair, flushed cheeks, and wanting to feed more are all signs that they’re feeling the heat.

Here are 8 practical ways to keep babies cool on a hot day:

1. Water play

Pop your little one in a tepid bath, or get in there with them to join in for a splash and a play. Or, give them a small bowl of water and some toys to play in, or put them in a little paddling pool outside in the shade. Use damp cloths to wipe them down regularly throughout the day.

2. Keep hydrated

Bottle or breastfeed on demand to ensure they keep their fluids up, and if your baby is over 6 months, offer sips of cooled boiled water. You might have been told that you can give your baby a frozen wet washcloth or baby icypoles (usually consisting of breast milk or pureed fruit), but some doctors advise against this as the ice can break off in big chunks, posing a choking hazard, and the direct contact can actually do some damage to their lips and gums. 

3. Go somewhere cool

If your house is hot, or you just need a change of scenery, head to your nearest air-conditioned library, museum, gallery, cafe, or shopping centre. Get yourself a cool drink too. 

4. Use breathable fabrics

Either leave your baby in just a nappy, or put them in lightweight cotton clothing. Ensure that their bedding is also natural fibres for naps and nights. Check out our article, How to choose the right TOG sleeping solution for your baby for a guide on what to put them in for sleep.

5. Cool their sleep environment

Keep the curtains closed during the day in your bedroom or their nursery to keep it cool. If you don’t have air-conditioning, leave a window open if the breeze is cool, or use a fan pointing away from your baby’s bed. The ideal temperature is between 16-20 degrees, so it’s a good idea to use a room thermometer to be sure it isn’t too warm.

6. Avoid hottest part of the day

Try to go out first thing in the morning for a walk with them or in the evening when it’s cooler, and stay indoors between 10am and 4pm when the UV index is high. Try to stay in the shade if you have to go out at that time.

7. Hang damp sheets

This is a great cooling hack if you don’t have air-conditioning. Soak some sheets or towels in cold water, wring them out, and hang them in front of windows or near fans. Another idea is to use bowls of ice near fans.

8. Protect against overheating

Babies are at a much greater risk of overheating, heat stroke, and SIDS because their body temperature can rise a lot quicker than an adult’s. It’s recommended not to cover prams or capsules even with a muslin, and never leave a baby in a car alone even for a minute.


Reminder: You know your baby, so listen to your instincts if you feel that your baby is unwell due to the hot weather. Please seek medical advice immediately.