Hi there! 🙂
We are coming up on the summer heat here in Oklahoma. This means that I have to get a little creative in order to keep my son cool in our family car, especially since there are no air vents in the backseat! Last year, he had very little control over regulating his own temperature because he was a newborn (and born a bit early). That was scary for me, and for most of that time, I had my husband ride in the backseat with him and take his temperature every few minutes.
Perhaps I was slightly paranoid (first time mom – it happens), but I am less worried about it this year. Not only because he is older, but also because I’ve found several ways to keep him cool in the car without another person constantly monitoring him.
Here are the things I do to keep him cool and safe in the car! I hope that you find them helpful for your little one as well. <3
#1 – Pre-cool the Car
This might seem like an obvious one, but before I had my son, I never did this. I just suffered through the heat until I got a few miles down the road and the air conditioning kicked in. For a baby, that heat can be miserable and even dangerous! If you know that you’ll be going somewhere, give yourself an extra five to ten minutes to get the car cool before putting your baby in. It’ll be more comfortable for everyone, and give you one less thing to worry about.
#2 – Check the Carseat Straps
This one is especially important. I cannot tell you the amount of times I nearly forgot to do this when my son was a newborn. He cried over everything, especially being put in the carseat (he was very colicky and screamed bloody murder about the carseat). Because of this, if he would’ve gotten burned, it might have taken me a few seconds to figure it out! Babies can get severe burns from the metal pieces of the carseat, so it is good practice to check them every time you put your baby in. Even on cooler days, those metal pieces can get pretty darn hot!
What I do to avoid burns from metal pieces of the carseat depends on how much time I have.
If it is a situation where there is an emergency (this happened several times when my son was very young), I put him in long sleeves and long pants before putting him in his carseat so that when I place him in the seat, the metal might briefly touch his clothing instead of his bare skin before I snap it into the buckle.
If I have all the time in the world, I pull out a rag (cloth diaper actually) and get it wet. I use it to surround the metal piece and in less than a minute, it is cool enough for me to touch without being burned. The rags I keep in my diaper bag are actually cloth diaper, but I have never used them for that. 🙂 You can find them here, I highly recommend them for all your baby needs: Cloth Diaper/Burp Rag/Amazing Piece of Versatile Material.
#3 – Use a Wet Rag
The same rag that I use for cooling down the metal piece of the carseat can also be used (with supervision) to dab a baby’s forehead. When my son was a newborn, we used this trick. He didn’t sweat and got overheated very easily, so I had my husband pour some water on one of the rags and put it on his head for a little while.
We were only able to do this when my husband was with us because otherwise there would be a risk of the rag slipping off his head and suffocating him or making him too cold. Don’t put a wet rag on your baby’s head unless there is someone else available to adjust it as needed and take it off when your baby has cooled down. We used a thermometer (this forehead one was the easiest: Braun Forehead Thermometer) to check his temperature to determine when we need to use the rag or take it off.
#4 – Bring Water
During the summer, especially if you are breastfeeding, you will need a LOT of water. Always always always overpack on water. I drink around 100 ounces a day, and sometimes that isn’t enough! If you should get stranded, you will be grateful to have it and it could save you and your baby’s lives. Depending on how old your baby is, you can give them a sippy cup with water or a few sips of yours so they don’t get dehydrated. It is so easy to get dehydrated and end up in a vicious cycle, prevention is key to keeping you and your baby safe.
#5 – Invest in a Noggle
Guys, I have to tell you, I love our Noggle! I think it is one of the best inventions ever. They don’t pay me to say that either, I genuinely don’t know how I would manage without it. I saved up some money (it cost me less than $50) and asked my husband if we could get it after last summer. We decided to go for it and it is some of the best money I have ever spent for my baby.
Our Noggle is a piece of hose that will attach to the air vent in the front of the car. You just follow the instructions and it will deliver the cool air right to your baby! I don’t worry about him overheating anymore. He is old enough to adjust it on his own if he gets cold or hot (it works for heating too) and he thinks the air blowing on him is really funny. 😉 My husband occasionally steals it from him in the backseat for a quick burst of cool air.
Our Noggle is a cute blue striped pattern, but there are lots of different colors and patterns to choose from! Purchasing a Noggle has been the single most helpful thing for keeping my kiddo cool in the car, and the great thing about it is he can use it for years! 😀 You can check out what a Noggle looks like in action and see the colors currently available here: Noggle
#6 – Have a Spare Key
Every year, there is a story about a baby who died from being in a car in the heat. I take these stories very seriously and as a result, have my keys on separate key chains in case of emergency and a routine in place to prevent it.
One key chain contains a keypad that unlocks the car, and the other contains the actual key for the ignition. I never put them in the same place. The key for the ignition is always on my body if we are outside of the car so that I can still get in even if the other key chain gets locked in the car.
I generally don’t put my son in the car until all of the groceries are loaded and I am only going to be walking to the driver’s side door. I never walk away from the car with him in it unless the cart return is within five feet of the door so that even if it does get locked, it is one less worry even though I have two separate ways to unlock it.
I like to be extra cautious, but when you have such previous cargo, I think it is more than worth it!
I hope these ideas are helpful to you in keeping your own kiddo safe and cool in the car during summer months this year. <3
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