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How hot is *too* hot for baby to go outside?

3. Don't use blankets as sun blockers.

how hot is too hot for kids

Summer can be so fun, but it can also be so, so hot—and this year, thanks to COVID-19, taking the kids to an enclosed indoor public space with air conditioning is not recommended by public health officials. So parents are spending more time on outdoor and backyard activities this summer even as the temperature rises.

We mamas are feeling the heat, but the CDC warns infants and children are more at prone to developing heat-related illness than adults are.

A heat wave doesn't have to mean an end to all summer family fun, but there are a few important steps parents should take to prevent heat-related illness and injury in little ones.

1. Schedule around the sun

If you've got little kids who have to get outdoors, or you just like to take your baby for a walk in the stroller, you still can if you pick the right time of day. The CDC recommends limiting outdoor activity to when it's coolest, like morning and evening hours. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) takes it a bit further and cautions against outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.. Basically, midday is a great time to head inside for lunch and a nap.

Beach days are a blast, but check the weather report and the COVID-19 recommendations first. The hottest day of the year might not be the best for beach-going, and crowds aren't recommended in most areas right now.

2. Sunscreen for the whole family

When you do go outside, make sure to slather on the sunscreen first. The CDC recommends an SPF of 15 or more (along with a hat and sunglasses) 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposures. The AAP recommends shade and adequate clothing as the first line of sun defense for babies under 6 months old, but even those little ones should get a small amount of sunscreen on areas like the face and the back of their hands.

3. Don't use blankets as sun blockers

When the sun's rays are intense parents naturally look for ways to keep the sun off a baby's delicate skin, but experts warn the common practice of draping a blanket (even a very thin muslin one) over a stroller or car seat can increase a baby's temperature drastically.

An experiment conducted by a Swedish newspaper found that if it's 71F (22C) outside when a stroller is covered with a blanket, the inside of the stroller can reach a scorching 94F (34C) within about half an hour.

So instead of draping a blanket over the stroller parents can make use of canopies that attach to the stroller but don't trap the heat, and should seek shade for the baby as much as possible.

4. Keep everyone hydrated

According to the World Health Organization, babies under 6 months old do not need water, but older children should be offered plenty on hot days, says the CDC. Bottle fed babies may require more frequent formula feeds in order to stay hydrated in the heat, and breastfeeding babies may want to nurse more than usual during hot weather. That means mama will need to make sure she's well hydrated, too.

With lots of water and a few more indoor activities, we can make it through the heat wave and plan for some more fun in the sun when the temperatures are a little less intense.

[A version of this post was originally published June 29, 2018. It has been updated.]

We've got what you need to safely beat the heat, mama. Shop some of our simple summer favorites.

Bebe au Lait muslin sun hat

Bebe au Lait muslin sun hat

Keep the sun off their face with this oh-so-soft muslin sun hat. It's made from a blend of bamboo and cotton that protects without overheating.

$14

Vivaiodays turmeric broad spectrum sunscreen

Vivaiodays turmeric broad spectrum sunscreen

A formula our kids never complain about having to wear, this non-nano zinc oxide and turmeric sunscreen goes on and absorbs easily. It's suitable for even the most sensitive baby skin but works fabulously for big kids and adults as well.

$24

Welly water bottle 

Welly water bottle

Staying hydrated seems easier with this gorgeous bottle. Not only does it look pretty (#priorities) but it comes equipped with a built in infuser that's perfect for naturally flavoring water with lemon or cucumber.

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Pre-order Motherly’s Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box today 🎉

A curated box of the pregnancy products you'll want.

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The Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box

pregnancy box

The Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box is available for ordering—but supplies are limited and the preorder window is almost over. Order now so you don't miss out. Boxes will ship in just a few weeks. We will send you updates as the ship date gets closer.

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Motherly's Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box FAQs

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The Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box is an exclusive set of products designed to help you on your journey to becoming a mama. We handpicked pieces to help you prepare, stay well and celebrate your anticipation. What's in the box is a surprise, and we know you are going to love it!

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12 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$189

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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