01/07/2015

A First Time Mum's Heatwave Saviers & Hazards

I am delighted to finally say summer has arrived at last. Although I didn't think we were going to get one this year if I'm honest, we've had so many down poors and high winds the last month or so that I thought summer would of blown away with the wind. Alas here I am declaring that it's bloody boiling out at 9.00pm!

With no real experience of parenting in high heat such as this its been a complete learning curve and has pushed me to think out of the box. I've had to use my own initiative to come up with ways in order keep Penelope cool throughout the day and at night time. Thinking about it now I don't know why I didn't just look to Twitter, Facebook, or other bloggers for advice. I guess I just felt like going at it by myself; how else am I going to learn to deal with difficult situations!?

I thought I'd share some of the ideas or tricks that I've been using over the last two days to maybe inspire another mummy or daddy to try. Some of them are based on common sense when the weather is that little bit too warm but that's just stating the obvious. I've also included some hazards I've discovered along the way.

My Saviers
1. An Electric Fan; A holy grail in the summer for children. I've had a stand up fan pitched infront of an open window circulating fresh air (not saying there has been much of it) into the room. At times when the heat became to much I brought the fan closer to us and we've sat and read a story sitting directly infront of it, just to help cool Penelope off when she's looking a bit bedraggled and sweaty.

2. Cool Wipes; Keeping a pack of baby wipes in the fridge and giving Penny a wipe down worked a treat, yes it only gave relief for a short while but anything is something right! She flinched at the coolness of them and would giggle slightly as I went over her belly and under her arms. It made an instant difference to her body temperature making her much more comfortable. I've been doing this throughout the day here and there. I'm 99.9% sure this idea would be on Pinterest or all over google advice pages but the idea popped into my whitty little brain this morning afternoon.

3. Swimming; We have been lucky enough to stay at our favorite place here at Cosgrove Park  over the last few days. It has an outdoor pool accessible throughout the whole day. I have been making good use of this and we have been swimming everyday, its feels so good to get into a cool pool when the sun is beaming on the caravan all day. Penny loves the water so much that its a good activity for her too, I always know she'll enjoy herself. We bring along a little rubber duck for her to chase around the pool this keep her entertained for ages. I put her in just a swimming nappy, a sun hat and plaster her head to toe in a waterproof suncream factor 50+. It's definitely doing its job as I am yet to deal with a hot AND sun burnt baby. God help you if your experiencing that, a hot baby is intense enough for me. Only flaw here is that I forget to put suncream on myself, hence I'm the one using the aftersun...woe is me.

4. Eating & Drinking Cool: I have given Penelope as much food from the fridge as I can, you know to keep her cool from the inside? She had cold meals throughout the last two days. For example a baby salad-type-dinner she had today was made up of: Cucumber sticks, tomatoes, cheese chunks, apricot yogurt, a cool ham sandwich I made preciously to put in the fridge to cool, strawberries and grapes, she enjoyed this and I think she appreciated the fact it was not her usual hot dinner. Its times like this I am glad Penny is a keen water drinker because its SO important for a child to drink plenty on a normal day let alone in hot weather. She always drinks well, but the last two days I've been offering her water pretty much constantly. Okay, so the nappies have been heavier and have needed changing more often but I'd rather that be the case than light ones meaning dehydration. It's helped keep her cool, and kept her energy up too.

5. Cool Garden Activities: I've been using our little garden alot too, we've sat outside in the shade with a big blanket simply with some toys hoping to catch a nice breeze, she loves sitting and crawling about the grass in her nappy. Today I filled up a large bowl with cool water and popped in some waterproof toys for her to play around with. Also I filled up different sized bottles with water and we ended up having a water fight and got totally saturated! All in good fun but have a towel at the ready for yourself as I was fully dressed, opps, it was time to strip some more.

6. Bedtime Baths: Usually Penny likes her baths before bed on the warmer side, a comforting thing perhaps I think. But today I was under the impression that wouldnt go down to well as after missing her afternoon nap and starting to loose her patience with the day, it was all about being comfortable before bed. Having a warm bath was not a good option to go for. I did a cool sink bath as we don't have a bath in the caravan but Penny always loves this anyway so it worked out well. We have a sink waste divider as I would call it and I just turnt the tap to cold so she could splash herself and play. It got rather out of hand after a while as she figured out the tap swiveled and took it apon herself to drink from it like an animal. Dirty so and so.

7. Sleeping: This has been by far the toughest hurdle I've faced, yesterday & the night before was an absolute nightmare. She didn't nap a wink all day,  and was thrashing around all night waking up here and there. Tonight however I'm feeling pretty darn confident with myself. I prepared the bedroom to a cooler environment. I put the fan in the bedroom circulating the room, kept the curtains closed all day, quilts came off the bed. I put her to bed in just a nappy and gave her her comforter blanket just to the side of her. I gave her a larger bottle 9o just before bedtime and read her a story as usual. She went to bed a little earlier than normal and went to actual sleep ALOT earlier than she has done in the last few weeks. I'm talking she doesn't usually settle until 9.30pm most nights. The heat has knocked her for six and for the first time in a long time shes set up for a good nights kip, so tonight was a triumph, hooray.

Hazards!?
I want to also address some of the main hazards I've come across the last few days too. In obvious terms heat means everything in direct sunlight is very hot. I have been keeping my eye out for potential burn risks. Some that I discovered were a bit of a surprise even to me if I'm honest. An adults heat tolerance is higher than delicate baby skin so although it may not be to hot for yourself it may be too hot for your little one. It can be an innocent mistake as a first time parent you perhaps are not used to thinking about such precautions. I am a complete worrier and happen to be cautious about everything around me. They may be obvious to some but for other maybe not so I feel it important that I mention these risks.

What I found:
  •  Concrete pool sides, when having fun in the pool its likely yourll want to play 'jumping in' with your little one, I've been swimming the last few days and I've checked before I attempted to put Penny's little bottom on the sides, its been to hot for my hands and therefore far to hot for  baby bum bum. I gave it a good splash of water and a minute or two later it was cool enough to play.
  • Swimming pool metal barriers, the baby pool here is raised slightly above the adult pool and has a metal barrier bar to prevent falls etc for safety reasons BUT under blazing heat the metal becomes literally sizzling hot and for little hands wanting to grab hold of it could seriously burn hands, not too clever for a baby pool if you ask me. Safe to stay after a very close shave with Pennys hands we changed pools.
  • Hot buggies, being in a caravan there is limited space for the larger baby items, including the buggy. I have kept it in the shade and I have used a buggy shade cover at all times. When out for lunch or placing it by the pool where perhaps there isn't shade available, its very dangerous when putting your baby back in, as plastic, metal and material can become very hot.
  •  Hot flooring, I don't tend to put Penelope in shoes just yet as I believe she is that little bit to young. I will do so when she has established walking but until then its socks or nothing. Therefore I've been extra cautious about where her little toes venture too. Plastic, concrete, wood, and other such surfaces that are under direct sunlight get boiling hot and can cause burns on the feet. I've been picking up and replacing Penelope all day because of this danger. I've found it to hot for my own feet so wouldn't want Penelope anywhere near it.
Although this may just be the start of alot more heat to come, I feel prepared and ready to tackle it after what I've learnt so far. I know i'll pick up new tips and tricks as I go but it's encouraging to know that after just two days I have already learnt so much. Pffft, Mr Sunshine, I can handle you, but I do hope you decide to retreat behind a lovely overcasting of cloud tomorrow, have a day off. This mama needs to give her brain a break hehe.

Thankyou for reading, hope you you enjoyed that read. IF you have any snazzy tips, tricks or advice for me to try out for Penelope or even how to de-boil my own skin then, please leave a comment.

 
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2 comments:

  1. Great tips in there. :-) It was such a difficult day yesterday. I also found that the car heated up so much and the metal part of the seat belt was scorching. It helped to put the air con on for a little while and leave the door open for a bit to get some air circulating. I love sun but I am not a fan of the heat. x

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    1. Thankyou lovely, it was so intense wasent it! Yeah it hits you in the face alsmot asif you've opened an oven door. I've seen buckle burnt thighs on my facebook feed lately, theres so many dangers out there. I have to say im glad i dont live in a country where its hot the majority of the time. I wouldnt cope at all. xxx

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