Given the heatwave that is sweeping the nation it seemed only right that we talked about how the hell you keep you, and your little ones, cool during these temperatures. I for one have been suffering not only from the heat but from two very tetchy, hot and bothered kids.

I adore the sunshine but mainly when I can relax by a cool pool in foreign climes. Rushing around getting girls ready for school, running up the road, ploughing through work and continuing with the never ending chores is not much fun in the heat. I am not complaining though as I am most definitely not a winter person. The sunshine makes me smile, even if it is a slightly sweaty, beetroot red smile.

The girls on the other hand are harder to look after in this heat. They love being outside in the paddling pool but after yet another day of picking up two very hot sweaty kids from school and pre-school I definitely need to be better prepared for heatwaves. And the sleeping is not going so great. That most definitely doesn’t help the girls energy levels that seem to be zapped at the moment. Poor Molly has the bedroom in the converted attic which is pretty much unusable during weather like this. As I type she is decamped to my bedroom so that she can hopefully get some shut eye.

I also have all the sympathy if you are pregnant during this weather. I was heavily pregnant with Alice whilst we were in the midst of a mammoth heatwave and it was not fun. Neither was the labour in 32 degree heat but that’s another story.

So how on earth do you keep cool when the temperature is rocketing? We are sharing some of our favourite tips but we would love to hear yours.

{For The Little Ones}

Dress Appropriately – Make sure your children are dressed in loose clothing, ideally in light colours. During the day you’ll need a sunhat and of course suncream. Come night time keeping them cool is really important. Charlotte recently shared a post on what to dress your children in at nighttime which is particularly important right now.

Offer Regular Fluids – For babies under 6 months you may find they want to feed more often or need top up bottles in between. Make sure you give them as much as they need to keep hydrated. For babies and toddlers over six months try overing them water in a cup or bottle at regular intervals. The key is to get them drinking before they become dehydrated.

Get Creative With Water Intake – For those over six months you don’t need to only offer water so make it fun. Homemade ice lollies are sure to be a big hit made with fruit juice or try making fruity ice cubes for them to suck on. I’m desperately trying to get the girls in to frozen watermelon slices at the moment as a way of cooling them down and getting extra fluid. For older kids offer lots of fruit or things such as cucumber to up their water intake.

Cool Baths – Give them a lukewarm bath just before bedtime to help bring their temperature down and prepare them for bedtime.

Keep Their Room Cool – Open the window and keep curtains or blinds closed during the day to stop the room getting too hot.

Easy Breezey – A fan is a must if your little one’s room is a bit toasty (Molly’s room needs about ten!). Has anyone got the Dyson fan as I am seriously considering it at the moment? I’m just not sure I can justify the spend….

Icy Breeze – Sometimes a fan can just circulate the warm air around so try placing a bowl of ice cubes in front of it. As it melts it will help cool the air that is blowing around.

Water Play – Most kids will love jumping in a paddling pool or running through the sprinkler. Alice also loves spending time at her Little Tikes water table and in this weather it really doesn’t matter if she gets soaked.

Pram Ventilation – You may be tempted to keep the sun off your baby by covering their pram or buggy with a muslin or blanket. Please make sure you DO NOT do this as hot air can become trapped leading to a higher risk of overheating and possibility of SIDs. Make sure you use a pram parasol instead to help provide shade.

{For You}

Clothing – Make sure you opt for loose clothing and wear light colours when out in the sunshine. I also lived in my Birkenstocks during the last few weeks of pregnancy as my feet got soooooo hot.

Keep The House Ventilated – Everyone will benefit from this but keep the windows open and take advantage of any breeze you can. Opening your loft hatch can also help as the hot air will rise up.

Drink Fluids – Make sure you have plenty of fluids and avoid caffeine like coffee and cola as this can bring your core temperature up.

Ice – Crunch on blocks of ice or homemade ice lollies to help cool down.

Eat Little & Often – When you eat heavy meals your body uses energy and generates heat so try small light meals throughout the day.

Foot Bath – Fill a bowl with water and ice cubes and soak your weary feet.

Potions & Lotions – Keep any body lotions or bump oils in the fridge to make them extra soothing when you apply them. Aloe vera lotion is also excellent for it’s cooling properties even if you haven’t been in the sun.

Cool Shower – Have a cool shower before bedtime (or whenever you need it!).

Sleepwear – You may be tempted to sleep in the buff but actually a light cotton nightdress can be cooler as it will absorb any perspiration drawing it away from your skin.

Light Bedding – Switch your duvet for a simple sheet to keep temperatures down at nighttime.

Cold Water Bottle – I’m a big fan of the hot water bottle in the winter but try filling one with water and freezing before wrapping in a pillowcase. Place in your bed to cool it or just rest you hot feet upon it for some welcome relief.

Relax – Sometimes hard to do but try to relax. Keeping calm and relaxed will help keep your temperature down.

{Signs Of Heat Exhaustion}

If you are at all worried about your little ones the NHS suggests looking out for these signs of heat exhaustion:

  • tiredness and weakness
  • feeling faint or dizzy
  • a decrease in blood pressure
  • a headache
  • muscle cramps
  • feeling and being sick
  • heavy sweating
  • intense thirst
  • a fast pulse
  • urinating less often and having much darker urine than usual
    If you notice that someone has signs of heat exhaustion, you should:

  • get them to lie down in a cool place – such as a room with air conditioning or somewhere in the shade
  • remove any unnecessary clothing to expose as much of their skin as possible
  • cool their skin –use whatever you have available, such as a cool, wet sponge or flannel, cold packs around the neck and armpits, or wrap them in a cool, wet sheet
  • fan their skin while it’s moist – this will help the water to evaporate, which will help their skin cool down
  • get them to drink fluids – this should ideally be water, fruit juice or a rehydration drink, such as a sports drink
    Most people should start to recover within 30 minutes so make sure you stay with them until they do. Severe heat exhaustion or heatstroke requires hospital treatment and you should call 999 for an ambulance if:

  • the person doesn’t respond to the above treatment within 30 minutes
  • the person has severe symptoms, such as a loss of consciousness, confusion or seizures
    So let’s all enjoy this glorious sunshine and long may it last!!