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How to keep your little one happy on sweaty summer days

By January 5, 2016December 1st, 2020Tips & Tricks4 min read
Ubuntu Baba Baby Carriers | South Africa

I don’t know about you but this is the first Cape Town summer that I’ve actually started to complain about the heat. We’ve had some unbearable days and it makes for a very sweaty and moody toddler when he just can’t get a good nights sleep because it’s just too dam hot!

To make sure your little one stays cool and protected during the long, hot days of summer, check out my hot weather survival guide below!

1. The right clothing

The 2016 heat wave has hit Cape Town hard – I’ve been at home for the last few days and for the most part it’s been shorts and a bikini top for me because I actually can’t cope with much more clothing than that. Leo has been running around in his nappy when indoors and if he is outdoors between the hours of 10am and 3pm I make sure that he is wearing very lightweight clothing, preferably made from a natural fibre like cotton, which absorbs perspiration better than synthetic fabrics.

2. Good air flow for smaller babies

Small babies don’t perspire effectively and can become overheated really quickly – even a few minutes in a parked car or hot room with the windows closed, could prove life-threatening, so make sure to use fans and open windows where necessary.

3. Use a breathable baby carrier

The main reason we use organic hemp for our baby carriers is because it’s 100% breathable making it cool in warm weather and warm in cooler weather. The hemp fabric absorbs and releases perspiration quickly, keeping your baby as cool as possible on these hot summer days. Make sure that whichever carrier you go with – the fabric isn’t going to contribute to making your baby hot and bothered. If your baby’s face starts to look red and flushed, remove them from the carrier to cool down immediately.

4. Ice ice baby

Teething toddler + 38 degrees = I must carry my child around! Even with our hemp carrier, it can still get hot in there. My new trick is to stick an icepack wrapped in a dishcloth in the outer pocket of my carrier, works like a charm to keep him nice and cool.

5. Keep baby hydrated

Babies can become dehydrated very quickly. Even if you don’t see them sweating, they can still be losing fluids during this hot weather. Babies under 6 months shouldn’t really drink water, so if your little one falls into this category, you can replace the lost fluids by giving extra formula or by nursing more frequently. Babies usually drink at least 50% more than usual during summer, so make sure to always offer extra on the warmer days.

6. Plan your day around the sun

We all know how strong the South African sun is, but between the hours of 10am to 3pm it’s the most dangerous. I don’t allow Leo any sun during these hours. If he wants to go outside to play I make sure to put up a big umbrella and cover any exposed areas with sunscreen incase he runs to fetch a ball and happens to catch some rays. Try to plan your outdoor play dates before or after these hours.

7. Sunscreen matters

I know we all have this vision that we’ll be tanning on the beach with our little newborns sleeping blissfully and enjoying the afternoon breeze… but then we became Moms and had a reality check ;) Babies under 6 months old really shouldn’t get any major direct sunlight, so you shouldn’t need to use any sunscreen on their very delicate skin. My Leo has very sensitive skin that is prone to eczema (thanks dairy products…!) so I found a lovely sunscreen that is available at Dischem, Cetaphil Daylong for Kids, with a SPF of 50 – it lasts forever and is easy to spread so you won’t annoy your little one too much with the sunscreen process!

If you have any hot weather survival tips of your own, please share them with us in the comments section below.

Shannon McLaughlin

Shannon is the Founder of Ubuntu Baba baby carriers. She is passionate about helping new parents adjust to 'life with baby' through the art of babywearing and talking about the reality of motherhood in the 21st century.


  • Lee says:

    I highly don’t recommend giving your baby water before they are 6 months. It can cause overhydration, mess up their kidneys and end up in infant death.

    Milk has everything a baby needs that they can get grown water. Their little kidneys have not matured enough to effectively process water.

  • Tina says:

    Thank you for some good advice:)
    But it’s perfectly fine for babies to drink water from 4 months. I’m from Denmark and there you can give from the tab, I would give bottled water or purified water here, at least when they are that young. Have a great day:)

  • Thanks for those tips Michele, I love the mini ice pops idea!

  • Michele says:

    1. Dylan is loving his Zoku Mini Ice Pops (available on Yuppiechef or @Home) which I make with 50% Squish & 50% double cream yogurt and a bit of raw honey to taste (but you can use anything just about). He’s even upgraded himself to 2 at one sitting now. Warning…They do get messy as the pop soon becomes a paintbrush!
    Also at night I have the floorstanding fan on…yes I know…not a real gem of insight, but what hubby taught me is to bounce the air direction off a wall or roof so it’s a lot more gentle on baby’s skin – it’s feels a lot more natural that way and doesn’t make him too cold.

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