As much as we love and long for warm, sunny days, it can become hot inside the car presenting challenges to parents with small babies and toddlers.
Babies’ car seats are usually heavily padded and deep to protect the baby from side, rear and front impacts making them hold a lot of heat. Sometimes babies refuse to be tucked into their car seats. They also may become irritated and extremely uncomfortable when the car overheats.
The following tips will save you from having a sweaty and screaming baby in the rear of your car.
- One of the ways of blocking sunlight from getting directly into the car is by getting the windows tinted. The tint not only prevents glare and heat but also serves as a UV radiation blockage. Hence protecting your baby’s delicate skin and eyes. However, you need to consider window tinting laws, which differ according to states to ensure you comply with the regulations. Tinting the window has an added advantage of holding the glass together in the event of breakage due to impact. You would generally get this done by a professional, but when I looked on Amazon I found that it is possible to get window tinting DIY kits, so if you’re feeling brave, you could try this yourself at home.
Car Window Shades
- These fabric mesh shades stick on the inside of the window, and provide protection from the sun’s glare and the heat. Choose a decent one, as cheap shades don’t last long and fall off the window after only a few times. The Enovoe Car Window Shade comes highly recommended. Alternatively consider a shade that covers the whole window like this Universal Car Rear Side Window Sun Shade as seen here, this comes in 2 different sizes depending on the size of your vehicle, and it easily slips over the door, ensuring the sun cannot find a way in.
- Most people prefer leaving the shades on when the car is parked. They can, however, be installed on the window next to your baby even when the car is in motion. There are baby seat shades that you can purchase to wrap the seat to keep it cool. Ensure it covers the whole seat including metal buckles. These are relatively inexpensive, and will ensure the seat stays cool when it is not in use.
- A noggle is a lightweight, flexible fabric duct that is attached to the A/C vent at the front of the car to divert air to the rear seats. The noggle cools the baby and provides air conditioning instead of having to open the windows. This method has become increasingly common especially in cars without the back air vents. The noggle is used for both front and rear facing baby seats. Parents can then channel the air accordingly for the baby’s comfort. Most interestingly, the noggle can be used during the cold season as well to keep the baby warm.
- You can get a USB fan that clamps on to headrest and rotates. This is a great way of getting cooler air directed on to baby.
- For a cooling towel, you need to dip it in cold water. Then squeeze out excess water to avoid wetting the baby’s clothes then place it on the baby in the car. It is safer to put it on the baby’s hips as they may chew on the towel if placed too close to the face. Alternatively, you can wipe the baby’s face, hair and neck occasionally using the damp cloth. Other parents prefer using a dry towel to wrap ice and place them on the baby seat before riding in the car. Carrying a spraying bottle with cold water in the car is also helpful. You can then sprinkle it on your baby to cool them.
- When traveling with your baby in the car on a hot day, you should consider dressing them in lightweight and loose clothes. Consider clothes made of cotton as it absorbs sweat and allows breathing. Natural fibers and linen are equally good in absorbing excess moisture. Choosing bright colors for the day also helps a great deal. Dark shades tend to absorb light, which translates to more heat. Dressing your baby in layers is more convenient. It allows you to adjust accordingly with changes in weather as you travel.
Baby Seat Adjustments
- Most baby car seat comes with an adjustable sunblock, which you can pull up to shield your baby from the sun. You should take precaution to ensure the baby has adequate air circulation under the shade. Another alteration that you can make to the seat is to buy a cooling seat liner. The liners are mesh fabrics that help in ventilation. For a baby seat with dark colors, you can add a brightly colored seat cover. This helps to prevent heat from being absorbed.
It is advisable to schedule travel plans in the morning if possible. Before the weather becomes too hot for your baby to bear. Cooling the car in advance by leaving the A/C on for a while before using the vehicle is also helpful for the baby and yourself. Parking the car under shade is an added advantage