So it’s getting rather hot where you are at this time of year. And you’re wondering how on earth you’ll keep your baby cool in the stroller. The forecast says your location will get a heatwave over the coming weekend with temperatures hovering around 95F.
Naturally, you’re worried about your tot getting overheated during your usual afternoon stroller walk. Because babies and toddlers can get really hot in the summer.
It’s not always easy to keep babies cool when the temperatures are too high outdoors. But in this post, you’ll learn how to keep your baby cool when the mercury rises. I’ve gleaned the tips below from pediatricians, my own experiences, and other moms to save you both time and pain.
But first things first.
How Hot is Too Hot for a Summer Stroll With Your Baby?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it’s best to avoid being outside with your baby in their stroller for hours when the heat index surpasses 90F. That’s because too much exposure to high temperatures outdoors can lead to your baby overheating.
Most people can stay healthy in extreme temperatures for short periods of time — especially if they drink water and take breaks often. However, most experts recommend keeping outdoor activities to a minimum during peak sun hours.
It’s best to avoid any kind of strenuous activity on very hot days, and pushing a heavy stroller with a 40-pound tot seating in it sounds just like it.
And, did you know that over 800 Americans lost their lives due to excessive heat in 2019 alone? That’s a sobering fact.
I’m sure you’re going to do whatever it takes to keep your baby cool and comfortable in their stroller when the sun gets too hot.
And below is…
11 Tips to Keep Your Baby Cool in the Summer
It’s summertime and the mercury rises every day. So, how do you keep going out strolling in the scorching sun without baking your baby?
Below are 11 ideas that can help you improve your tot’s comfort levels while they’re in their stroller. Admittedly, some of the suggestions might require you to spend a little money. But there’s nothing that costs way beyond what the vast majority of parents can afford.
1. Schedule Your Strolls for When It’s Cool Outside
It is best to push a stroller in the early morning hours or in the evenings. No matter where you live, you’ll love how nice and rejuvenating it feels to stroll around with your baby outside of sun peak hours.
Avoid doing your stroller walks at any time between 10 am-2 pm. And you definitely want to pass up mid-day sun strolls.
Stroller shading mechanisms are pretty effective at blocking the sun’s UV rays. And you definitely should get a good sun shield for your tot’s stroller. Still, you want to stay indoors or in a shaded environment when the sun starts threatening humanity with sunburn and heatstroke.
However, there may be some advantages to pushing a stroller during peak sun time including easier navigation on shady streets.
Because there aren’t too many pedestrians milling about town at that time. Also, there’s less congestion from vehicles on roads.
But if it’s too hot that others are staying indoors, it’s probably too hot for you and your baby to be strolling about. Take care.
2. Get a Good Stroller Cooling Fan
Related: Best Stroller Fans for Summer Rides
One of the smartest ways to keep a baby cool when during balmy summer days and nights is to use a good clip-on stroller cooling fan. I always used one in the stroller when my babies were younger.
The whirring fan kept the stroller environment cool so baby could nap in comfort. And the white noise the stroller produced made daytime napping even better for my kiddos. What’s more, the fan’s sound kept my littles somewhat distracted at least some of the time.
Get a stroller fan that’s versatile. One you can use in the stroller as well as in the baby room for those extremely warm summer nights Luckily, Amazon and many other places sell good stroller air circulation fans that cost under $30.
Most stroller fans are battery-powered. But don’t worry, most should give you at least 2 hours of whisper-quiet cooling breezes to keep the temperatures in the stroller nice and cool.
3. Take off the Stroller’s Back Panel
Some baby strollers come with a detachable back panel. If that’s the case for you, be sure to take the back panel off if the temperatures outside rise to an uncomfortably high point. Chucking out the panel is a quick, sensible way to boost air circulation in the stroller. And it costs you zero.
4. Put a Loose Cover Over the Stroller (Be Careful Here!)
Well, this one draws quite a bit of controversy. And I’ve seen heavy blankets over strollers when it shouldn’t be there at all.
But, it’s generally a good idea to use a light, breathable loose covering when pushing the stroller and it’s mildly hot outside to block the sun.
A lightweight 100% cotton baby summer cover that breathes well may be a good option for use in pretty much all climates. Obviously, you won’t need this if you have an adjustable sunshade for your stroller. If there’s one stroller accessory I feel every mom/dad should invest in, it’s a sun canopy.
However, if you find that your stroller becomes too hot, slam on the foot brake and pull off the covering immediately.
You know your child better than anyone else and can easily and accurately judge their comfort levels and take corrective action.
Suffocation under coverings can happen, and it’s a scary thought. I don’t think using any kind of a blanket even if it’s a light muslin blanket when it’s hot is the best idea to block the sun out. I insist that you get a good adjustable sun/rain cover.
5. Get a Good Sun Canopy/Stroller Cover (Preferably an Adjustable One)
With a sun canopy, you can shield your child from harsh weather elements like hot sun and harmful UV rays when they are in the stroller while keeping them cool.
According to Dr. Pierrette Mimi Poinsett at Momlovesbest, good stroller canopies provide protection against almost 99 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun. She further states that sunburn might lead to melanoma (skin cancer) down the road. That makes a sun cover one of those most important stroller accessories you can ever buy for your baby.
A stroller cover also keeps rain and windchill out. And depending on the specific canopy you have, the cover can prevent bugs especially skeets from reaching baby when they are ensconced in their stroller. Here’s a stroller cover that also converts to a bug net.
The Universal Baby Stroller With Rain Cover and Bug Net is a worthy bet. It costs half what many others cost, and it should cover most medium-sized strollers adequately. I used it on a Chicco Urban stroller, and it worked really well.
This cover isn’t clunky at all and attaches to the stroller through Velcro and should keep light showers and even heavy rainfall out. And when the mosquito season rolls in, just pull the mesh net over the stroller and that’s it.
You can also buy a mosquito net separately.
6. Design This Simple But Effective Baby-cooling “System”
Get creative and devise a simple system to cool your tot cool even when the sun looks down vengefully.
Here’s the idea: Get a few water bottles and pour water into them. Then, use a clean towel to wrap each bottle. Finally, put these cooling systems on each side of your stroller.
Remember: babies like grabbing bottle caps and other small stuff like that and pop them into the mouth. So, turn the cap tight enough to prevent your child from unscrewing it and snacking on it.
7. Wipe Your Baby With a Clean Towel
If it looks like the stroller is pretty hot and uncomfortable for your child on a hot day, you can use a clean damp towel to cool them down a bit.
If you have a water bottle in the stroller basket and a clean towel, that should be easy and quick. Wipe their face, neck, hands, and any other part you can.
8. Use Frozen Cooler Blocks (Another Baby-cooling System)
Another little nifty trick to keep your tot cool when the temperatures outdoors soar is to use frozen cooler blocks.
Here’s what to do: find some cloth or blanket and wrap the block with it. Then, place the bundled cooler block to the sides of your child’s legs in the stroller. The idea should also work in a car seat.
Here’s another baby cooling idea for summer strolls.
A mom I recently met goes a step further and freezes a blanket in a zip lock bag. And when her baby falls asleep on a balmy summer day, she takes the frozen blanket and puts it on the stroller umbrella.
What happens is that her child gets more shade. And the stroller environment under the umbrella gets cooler and comfier for them.
I haven’t tried this strategy, though. But it seems likes a sensible idea that would work for anyone living in Texas, or Florida, or Oklahoma, or Louisiana, any other hot summer state.
9. Use a Moisture-wicking Stroller Seat Liner
Most parents tend to use a stroller seat liner for cold-weather strolls. But it’s safe to use a suitable seat liner when strolling around on a warm, summer day.
When buying a stroller seat liner for summer use, pick one made out of a highly breathable fabric. In addition, go for a liner that features cushioning with good moisture-wicking ability.
Consider picking a liner with a polymer cooling gel. I recommend this Car/ Stroller Seat Cooler Pad for Children. It’s versatile; you can also use it on a baby dining chair or in the crib. The cooling gel packed inside the liner is great at transmitting heat away from baby’s skin when they’re seating on it.
10. Keep the Little One Hydrated
When the sun shines super bright and hotter than other days, babies and adults can lose lots of moisture through sweating. You definitely should keep your baby sufficiently hydrated especially during strolls under warm, sunny conditions.
Mimi Poinsett, in a post published on Momlovesbest, says parents should keep an eye on how often they’re changing diapers on a hot day. If the rate seems lower than normal, it’s possible your baby isn’t hydrated enough. Additionally, if the urine smells stronger than normal or seems somewhat dark-colored, you may want to increase your tot’s fluid intake.
Dr. Poinsett says that for newborns, breastfeeding alone should be enough to keep the tot adequately hydrated. She adds that moms should breastfeed their babies more if the weather outside is rather hot.
As for formula-nourished babies, their intake should be increased when it gets hotter. And if the baby is six months or older, you can give them extra water, not more than 4 oz, though.
11. Dress Your Baby in Summer-ready Clothes
Babies and toddlers aren’t as good as adults when it comes to regulating their body temperature. Small wonder overheating happens in babies and toddlers.
To minimize the odds of baby overheating, avoid dressing them too heavily. Well, no parent bundles up their baby for a summer stroller the same way they wrap them up when it’s cold outside.
But what kind of clothing works best when outdoor temperatures rise?
Dress your kiddo in lightweight clothing that absorbs moisture well and breathes really well. Cotton and bamboo are some of the lightest, most breathable summer-oriented fabrics out there.
But lots of moms these days seem to gravitate toward bamboo clothes and away from cotton summer baby clothes. That’s because bamboo doesn’t trap heat in as does cotton.
Of course, you should choose light-reflecting colors as opposed to darker hues. A large brimmed hat might be a good idea, too.
But some hats that fasten through a strap at the chin can interfere with circulation. In my experience, a summer baby hat that’s tied under the chin rather than an elastic-secured one works best.
Keeping Newborns and Toddlers Cool During Summer Strolls: Conclusion
Keeping your tot cool during hot summer days can be a challenge. But there are many ways to keep your little one comfortable and happy when it’s too hot outside.
To point you in the right direction, I’ve outlined 9 tips to help keep things cool and comfy during these warmer months so both you and your little one will enjoy every moment together.
Which keep-baby-cool-in-the-summer tip did you like most? Have any other ideas or hacks for keeping kids cool in the stroller when it’s sweltering outdoors? Let me know what’s worked best for you by commenting below. For me, a good stroller fan is the best way to keep baby cool nice and comfortable in a stroller.
I'm Esther Moni, a proud stay-at-home mom and a psychology graduate of the United States International University (USIU) . I hate it when anyone calls me a housewife, because what does housewife even mean? Being a mother of two babies and a pup, Bailey, as well as being Ricky's wife tires me to no end, but I still manage a smile at the end of it all. And when my boys aren't done doing mischief, I juggle writing a post on parenting or baby gear performance for this blog and running my little counselling office based out in Nairobi. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/esther.moni/">Visit my Facebook profile here</a>, and this is my <a href="https://ke.linkedin.com/in/esther-moni-3841b573/">LinkedIn profile</a>, and here's my <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKcVb3NNDrURDH8C0KiAE1g/">nascent youtube channel.