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Weather safety for babies and children

What do I do in hot weather?

Babies and young children are more sensitive to heat than adults, as their body temperature rises much more quickly.

NSW Health communicates:

  • Babies and children overheat and dehydrate quickly in hot weather
  • Breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby more often in hot weather
  • Offer older babies and children extra water drinks in hot weather, as water is the best drink
  • Dress babies and children in cool clothing and protect them from the sun with hats and sunscreen
  • Never leave children in the car, not even for a moment


Child and mom playing in water  

Is my baby too hot or too cold?

How many layers of clothes do newborns need?

Newborn babies need to be kept warm. So in cold weather it can be easiest to dress your baby in layers. Then you can take layers off when you're at the shops or in other warm places.

As a guide, dress your baby in the same number of layers you're wearing, plus one extra layer for warmth.

It's important that your baby doesn't overheat. So avoid wrapping your baby in bunny rugs and blankets. Lightweight muslin and cotton wraps work well because they're less likely to overheat your baby especially in the warmer weather.

Hats and beanies

Babies cool themselves down by losing heat from their heads and faces. Your baby can quickly overheat if he falls asleep wearing a hat or beanie. So it's important to keep your baby's head uncovered when he's asleep so that he doesn't get too hot.

Take off your baby's hat or beanie when you go indoors or into any closed or warm space, like a car, so that they don't overheat.

Baby's temperature

Your baby's hands and feet might feel cool. A good way to find out how hot your baby really is, is by feeling his/her back or tummy.

If you use a baby carrier or sling, your baby will be warmed by your body heat as well as by his/her clothes and wraps.

Never use electric blankets or hot water bottles to warm your baby up during colder weather.

Baby sleeping bags

A correctly sized sleeping bag is the best way to keep your baby's head and face uncovered, as well as to warm your baby. If your baby needs extra warmth, you can put a single, lightweight blanket over the sleeping bag. Just make sure the blanket is firmly tucked in and doesn't go past your baby's chest.

Red Nose recommends that you use a sleeping bag that has head uncovered when he's asleep fitted neck and armholes, but no hood.


Raising Children Network resources: