My son was born the day after Christmas in the Midwest, so for months I fretted extensively about whether he was warm enough, especially when we were in the car. But now that summer has rolled around, the temps are so high that those days feel like light years ago — I find myself feeling guilty any time I put the poor guy in the car. In an effort toward safety (and just plain old comfort) I've done some research on how to keep your baby from sweating in the car seat, because I'm sure I'm not the only one who's noticed that the statistics on babies dying of heat stroke are downright scary.
It turns out, there are a lot of things we can do to keep errands and road trips safe and pleasant for our little ones. Not only are there common sense tactics I'd already put into place, but there are plenty of life hacks and genius new products out there as well. With the help of a combination of things on this list, my baby (and yours) is sure to have a safe and virtually sweat-free summer. (Which means less overall whining from the backseat and less stress from trying to point your AC vents towards the back.)
1. Cool The Car Down Before Putting Her In
Yes, its the most obvious piece of advice out there, but it can be easy to forget to plan ahead. Before leaving the house, go out to the car and get the air conditioning cranked up for five minutes before loading up the baby. It's a simple step, but makes a huge difference.
2. Park Your Car In The Shade Or Garage
Again, pretty obvious advice here. But the difference between a car parked in the shade or the sun can be pretty significant, according to a study published in the U.S. Library of Medicine, and in the heat of the summer you'll need all the help you can get. And don't just think about it when you're at home — look for shady places, or even better, parking garages, when you're out running errands as well.
3. Plan Your Day Strategically
I know, I know, you're already planning your day around those sacred nap times. But your baby's comfort and safety while riding in the car can be seriously impacted by the time of day you're running around. Try to do any necessary driving before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. if you possibly can, Reader's Digest noted.
4. Put An Evaporative Cooling Towel On His Lap
File it under "coolest invention ever" — these evaporative towels stay cool and moist without dripping or making a total mess. They're the perfect way to ensure your baby's temp stays regulated while you drive all over town.
5. Put A Carseat Sunshade On The Window
The popular sunshades simply stick by suction cups to your baby's window, keeping the harsh sun rays out of their eyes and off their skin, and are readily available at most retailers of infant supplies.
6. Get Your Windows Tinted
If your car windows aren't already tinted, having a baby might change that since the protective film blocks damaging UV rays that will otherwise hit the baby's eyes and skin, according to the website Your Mechanic. Not only will your baby be more comfortable, but her risk of sun damage will be significantly lowered as well.
7. Try A Portable Fan
There are plenty of clip-on varieties on the market today that could serve to cool baby down while riding in the car, but caution should be taken when considering where to install it, since you don't want it close enough for the baby to actually grab. Clipping it onto the top of a nearby seat belt could work, but if someone is in the backseat near him and could hold it towards your baby, that's even better, since it would reduce the risk of the fan becoming a projectile object in the case of an accident.