Keeping your baby cool in a car seat is more than just to keep them happy – it keeps your baby safe as well.
A hot baby isn’t a fun baby, and it leads to them feeling uncomfortable sitting for long car rides. However, the real problem is that babies cannot regulate their body temperature properly.
So, a baby in a hot car will struggle to bring his body temperature down into the appropriate range. Overheating increases the risk of SIDS, but babies also have an increased risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
That’s why parents need to make a big effort to keep their baby cool in the summer while traveling in a car seat. Let’s take a look at some of these tips and tricks.
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11 Ways to Keep Your Baby Cool in a Car Seat
1. Get a Light Colored Car Seat
One of the first things you can do to keep your baby cool in a car seat is to pick a light colored car seat. Dark colors, like the clothes you wear, attract and absorb more light, leading to more heat.
Also, if you’re in the market for a new car, look for a vehicle with light-colored seats. The same thing applies – less heat is absorbed.
2. Cool Your Car with the AC
One thing that I like to do is turn on the AC before we get into the car. Many new vehicles have remote starters, so you can get the interior cooled down before heading out to run errands when your baby.
Of course, one of the easiest ways to keep your baby cool in a car seat is to keep the AC going, especially if you can direct the air towards your baby with the air vents.
3. Open All Your Windows As Soon As You Get In
As soon as we get into the car, I always roll all of my windows down. It takes a few minutes before the air conditioner produces cold air; it typically blows hot air for the first few minutes.
So, roll down the windows, let out the stuffy, hot air, and give your car time to create that cold air before closing the windows again. It only takes a few minutes, but it makes a difference!
4. Block The Sun Out
Tinted windows are a must to keep your baby cool in a car seat, but there are a few ways to block the sun from getting in your car’s interior. The most common choices are tinting windows or getting a sunshade for your car.
Let’s take a look at both!
Tinting Your Car’s Windows
The best option is to get window tinting for your car’s vehicle if you don’t already have it. It blocks some of the harmful UV rays and keeps the interior of your car at a cooler temperature overall.
Some estimates say that car window tinting reduces the interior temperature of your vehicle by up to 70%. That being said, make sure you check your state’s laws and opt for a legal window tint.
The other option is to buy sunshades to put on your vehicle’s windows. You’ll find all sorts of options to try, but the two most popular picks are mesh sunshades and solar or reflective cover covers.
Mesh sunshades attach to your vehicle’s side windows and blow out the sun while you drive. You can use these to block light that might get into your baby’s eye when driving.
Reflective car covers go in your front window and reduce the sunlight that enters, keeping your car cooler while parked. These fold out accordion style and are an easy option.
5. Dress Your Baby Appropriately
Since babies cannot regulate their temperature well, it’s important to always dress them appropriately based on the weather that day. It may be tempting to add extra layers to your baby, but be careful.
Your grandma might tell you that your baby always needs a hat and three layers, but that advice is outdated. If your baby is hot and clammy or sweaty, then chances are your baby is too hot, and you need to adjust how your baby is dressed.
Remember, natural fabrics are the best in the summer time. Pick breathable fabrics like cotton and linen rather than synthetic fabric.
6. Use Cooling Towels
If you really need to cool down your baby in a hot car, one of the best things to have on hand is a cooling towel. These help to bring your body temperature down and prevents overheating.
I love these for sports for my older kids as well!
It’s important to remember that cooling towels should only be used over car seat harnesses, not underneath them.
My favorite cooling towel is the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad. It’s reusable and stays cold for hours – it’s a worthwhile investment. I find all sorts of ways to use mine!
7. Use Freezable Seat Mats
On hot days, consider using freezable seat mats like the one from Cool Carats. These mats keep the seat cool when you’re not in the car, like when you go into the store.
You cannot use these mats when your baby is in the seat! They can be placed in your baby’s car seat before heading out for the day, but your baby can’t sit on top of the mat.
8. Try a Noggle
Another thing that you can buy to keep your baby cool in a car seat is the Noggle. You attach it to your car’s air vent, and it blows cold air into the back seat, allowing the AC to reach your kids better.
The Noggle installs in seconds and require no tools. It also works with both heat and air conditioning, and it’s easy to remove.
9. Park in Shady Areas
I always try to park in shady areas, if possible, in the summer. It’s not always possible, especially when you hit up the grocery store. Parking in the sun could cause your car to turn into a sauna, and when you’re trying to keep your baby cool in a car seat, that is counter productive.
Look for the shady areas!
10. Keep Your Baby Hydrated
Don’t forget that it’s quite important to keep your kids hydrated, including your baby, in the summer and hot months. Babies who are six months old and above can safely have a cup of water, and you might consider some other hydrating drinks like coconut water or homemade fruit water.
If you have an infant under six months old, breastfeeding on demand is essential; offer milk whenever your baby is hot. Formula contains enough water for babies, as does breast milk, so they receive all the hydration required!
11. Leave Windows Slightly Open
One of the easy things you can do is leave your windows cracked. This allows heat inside of your vehicle a place to escape.
Your car will still feel hot, but trapped heat is worse. I typically always leave my windows slightly cracked in the summer time to help with the temperature.
Never Leave Your Baby Alone in the Car!
It’s important to talk about this, even though it seems like an obvious statement. Leaving your child unattended in the car is a big no-no, especially on hot and sunny days.
Every year, infants and child die in hot cars, either from being left accidentally or on purpose.
It may seem like no big deal to leave your baby in the car for a few minutes, but evidence shows that the temperature inside of a vehicle increases by nearly twenty degrees in only ten minutes. So, leaving your baby in a car for any amount of time is downright dangerous.
Use these simple tips to keep your baby cool in a car seat. From starting the AC ahead of time to grabbing cooling towels, don’t make all the trips and drives you take miserable for everyone! All you need is a few of these easy tips.