Cluster feeding a baby in a room that’s 25C plus is not a comfortable experience.
Now that summer is finally turning up the heat, I thought I would share the top tips you need to know for keeping cool when breastfeeding your baby.
Offer the breast frequently
During heatwaves your baby may switch to shorter and more frequent feeds. Just go with the flow and remember that it won’t last forever (especially in the UK where rain is always just around the corner).
Your baby doesn’t need water
Your baby may be demanding more feeds, or you may worry that they’re getting dehydrated in the heat. A baby under six months can get everything they need from your breastmilk.
Breastmilk contains a balanced ratio of food and water to meet all your baby’s needs. It is a living fluid, ever-changing to suit your baby and even in response to the weather!
Baby’s over six months who are weaning can have water with their meals, but try not to cut back on their usual breastfeeds and if they demand extra, give it to them.
Put something between you
Ordinarily skin to skin contact is great for breastfeeding. But when you’re both hot and sweaty that closeness isn’t so pleasant.
Try different feeding positions such as feeding when lying down in bed so you’re not holding them. Putting a thin sheet between you can also help to keep you both cool.
Use a lukewarm flannel
Have a bowl of water that’s lukewarm and use it to dab your baby during feed. This can distract them from feeding so just see how they react to it!
Invest in a fan
All of that close contact is bound to make you both feel a bit uncomfortable in hot weather. Have a decent fan on the go. Try to find one that’s easy to move from room to room.
If you do have one near where your baby is sleeping, remember not to have it pointed directly at your baby as being caught in the breeze can make them chilly.
Check the nappies
This is the most reliable way of checking whether your baby is getting enough fluids. They should be wetting nappies every few hours. You can check by either holding the nappy to feel it’s weight or giving it a sniff.
There are lots of tips for keeping your baby cool during a heatwave over on the NHS website.