Summer heat.
June 30, 2011

I recognize that TECHNICALLY summer just started a few days ago and that all this warm weather I’ve been calling summer was REALLY spring and what-not, but apparently southern California didn’t get the memo that summer is just beginning.  I know this because right now, we’ve reached the part of summer where walking outside feels quite a bit like what it must feel like if the sun sits down on your face.

I’m not complaining because I, for one, like the heat.  Some people talk about southwestern summers the way they talk about a tyrant: oppressive, suffocating, exhausting.  I don’t agree, but I understand.  Sometimes I want to get to a wedding in a nice dress without a gallon of sweat under my armpits or I want to get into the car and not feel like touching the wheel will give me third degree burns.  But for the most part, I relish the heat.

Or I did.  Until I had a baby.

As a mother, this part of summer terrifies me.  I watch my daughter like a hawk – fretting about her hydration and forcing her to keep her shoes on (a couple months ago, she burned her feet THROUGH HER SHOES on a rock in our front yard) and watching her skin for the signs of heat rash or sunburn.  I obsess about shaded playgrounds.  I hate driving places in the heat – worrying about overheating, about the temperature of the buckles and straps in her car-seat, about keeping the car parked in shady locations.

We have a few tricks up our sleeves to deal with weather like this and I was wondering: as we’re headed into this part of the summer, what do you do to handle the heat?

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  1. By on June 30, 2011

    We go to the pool and hang out in the shaded baby pool.

    I just try to avoid taking her outside too much when it’s super hot. Fortunately I live in a place where the super hot part of the year isn’t very long. So a few weeks of staying inside during the hottest part of the day is a workable solution for us.

  2. By on June 30, 2011

    We broke down and got air conditioning when my son was 4 months old. We swaddled until he was 8 months and it was necessary!

  3. By Ashley on June 30, 2011

    We live in the Southern US, and the best tip I’ve heard for a hot car comes from my mother-in-law. Take a cool, wet wash cloth out and give the buckles and steering wheel a good wipe before putting baby inside.

    Also, get a baby washcloth wet and roll it up like a scroll and freeze it. We were given these on a trip to Key West and it’s just the thing to cool down your hands and whatever else you touch it to. My daughter (also 2 years old) will hold it and suck on it and it really cools her off.

  4. By Kj on June 30, 2011

    I feel this way about my dogs! I live in Seattle and we had a 1-2 week heat wave last summer and it was over 90 degrees. The thing is barely anyone here has air conditioning. So leaving my dogs at home all day while we go to work freaks me out, and I go home at lunch to check on them. We set set up fans and crack the windows. I have this gel bandana thing that I freeze and it has velco so I put it on my dog’s neck. I have a german shepard mix whose very fury and a basset hound whose very fat.

  5. By Bree on June 30, 2011

    We drive as little as possible, when we do its with yet receiving blankets in each car seat for the kids to keep cool with. My two year old loves to put them on her head as we drive. We dont go out until later in the day, when its not as hot out. Luckily my kids are tan skinned, so they dont burn like I do (in the shade I burn in 20mins) We like to visit indoor malls/shopping centers and play in the ac. Frozen iceblock treasures are fun when its hot out too.

  6. By on June 30, 2011

    Pool! My grandmother has one and lives minutes away. It’s a life saver. But Jude also loves when I run the hose on a steady trickle, fill up his baby pool and let him go to town.

    There’s a creek near our house… The beach is a responsible drive… Etc.

    Trips to local creameries are a good excuse to treat for Ice cream every now and then :) Museums are a nice option on the really hot days.

    Since my husband and I committed to really only using any AC in the months of July and august when the hot/humid weather is at it’s peak here, I’ve really adjusted to the heat… For example we do campouts in the living room on really hot nights since our second story is a good ten degrees hotter.

    But like you said tots don’t always deal with it as well… So, I’ve gotten creative.

  7. By Ellen on June 30, 2011

    Ada is 8 months old and here in Texas I’m still trying to figure this out.  Living and working on a farm means we are outside all of the time and can’t always stay inside during the hottest part of the day (the upper 90s-100s for a few weeks now.) 

    When I’m working by myself I strip down to my underwear and jump in one of our ponds when I’ve been building fence or something—kind of hard to do with a baby though :D

    Otherwise we do our best to stay in the shade and do a lot of work after dark.

    I can totally relate since our summer weather has been going on since April—so much for spring!

  8. By tara pollard pakosta on June 30, 2011

    we head to the pool….
    shade when the mosquitoes are out.
    otherwise it’s indoors in the AC !!!

  9. By Sandra on June 30, 2011

    To cool down fast, we use a pool, if available.

    To keep cool in the car, we always put waterbottles into the icebox at home. When the water is frozen, we can take the bottles with us in the car, and when the ice slowly melts, we always have ice cold water with us.

    A bottle lasts approx. half a day up to a day, even in a very hot car. The ice slowly melts and like this, you always have cold water with ice with you. We leart this in Corsica a few years ago - On Corsica, you can buy such frozen water bottles in every supermarket.

    Since then, we never go out without a frozen water bottle in summer :-)

  10. By Alicia S. on July 01, 2011

    I like the idea of taking a wet cloth in the car with the kids. Our ac busted in our car recently and since it’s not an absolute necessity I don’t want to worry about getting it fixed, but as a family of 5 we do a lot of driving for errands alone - much less playdates and such, so I was wondering if anyone had any tips for helping to keep the kids comfortable in the car too.

    I’m so nervous about taking my three kids to their great-grandmother’s pool this year because now that I’m a sahm, I’d be by myself with an infant and a toddler if I took them throughout the week—which terrifies me around the water. So we’ve had to get a little creative too, especially because we LOVE being outside.

    We’re also going to a creamery this weekend, and I’m really excited, because we’ve never been before :-)

  11. By Jeneva on July 01, 2011

    Like you I get all kinds of paranoid about the heat and the kids. I get annoyed that it seems like 90% of the playgrounds around don’t have any shade cover which means they can’t go down slides. On the hottest days we either go to a pool or go to an indoor playground (if the kids absolutely NEED to get out of the house).

    Also, I would set up sprinklers for them to run around in. This year we have a water table so we have been playing in water and ice. I freeze fruit in water and let them figure out how to get the fruit out. Water play is always great over here!

  12. By Sarah Christensen on July 01, 2011

    Jeneva - I am constantly complaining about the shade cover at playgrounds.  Do the people designing them not have children?!

  13. By Heidi on July 02, 2011


    I wanted a pool for the longest time, but now that I’ve since come to appreciate the beauty of our public pool.

    It’s only a bicycle ride away, provides hours of cool entertainment AND requires no maintenance. I can’t WAIT to take my kid there.

    (I secretly hope he’ll be one of those ripped kids on the swim team.)

  14. By on July 02, 2011

    Not only do the people designing our playgrounds not have children—they never even go to the playgrounds they design. It seems so counter-intuitive, doesn’t it….





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