How To Keep You and Your Children Cool in the Summer Sun

Hoorah the sun is here!! If there is one thing us Brits' love it's the summer sun. Ahh, what a change from the gloomy mornings, grey days and cold, dark evenings. However, what us Brits' tend not to be so good at is coping with summer! And we seem to pass this inability down to our children while we worry about how to keep our little people cool during extreme heat.

 

 

Extreme heat? Ok well it’s extreme for us Brits' anyway...

 

All too often we make decisions that, unbeknown to us, are so dangerous and potentially fatal. With that in mind I have compiled a list of Do's & Don'ts, Fun Activities, Night Time Cooling Tips and Tips for Babies.

 

Do's & Don'ts

  1. Keep Hydrated

DO Make sure your children have plenty of fluids to stop them becoming dehydrated. Ice lollies, bought or homemade, diluted juice and flavoured ice cubes are a great way to do this as well as drinking water.

Diluted juice on tap. Perfect for older children as they can access this themselves. 

For breast fed babies you won’t need to give them water too but they may want feeding more often.

 

Bottled fed babies and babies whom are being weaned onto solids will be able to have cooled boiled water in their usual bottle.

 

Fruit and salad are also great for older children to help keep hydrated.

 

DO NOT wait until your child tells you they are thirsty. By this time they are already getting dehydrated. Keep their fluids topped up all day.

 

  1. Sun Cream and Sun Hat

 

DO apply sun cream. According to the NHS children should be wearing a MINIMUM of SPF 15 sun cream, that said many manufacturers have a children’s range of sun creams with much higher SPF with better protection from UV rays.

 

DO make sure your child is wearing a sun hat. Hats with a large brim or a long flap at the back are ideal as they provide cover for their neck.

 

It is NOT recommended that babies under 6 months old should be in the direct sun light. Ideally we SHOULD NOT be outside in the sun during the hours of 11am and 3pm as this is when the sun is at its hottest.

 

  1. Light Clothing

 

Keep shoes on. Flip flops, sandals, jelly shoes or similar are ideal. The floor will burn.

DO Dress your children appropriately.

 

They DO NOT need layers on in the hot weather.

 

Fitted, tight clothing can be stressful for us grown-ups when we are hot yet we are able to adjust ourselves and get comfortable. For children this is more difficult and for babies impossible. Light, loose and floaty clothing is perfect.

We all like to kick our shoes off in the heat but DO NOT let your children run around outside with no shoes on. Floor coverings such as tarmac, paving slaps, concrete and decking will be too hot for the delicate skin on their little feet.

Allow young children to have as much nappy free time as possible.

 

  1. Sun Parasol

 

For those with little ones in pushchairs or pram’s, investing in a parasol is invaluable. It’s more than your monies worth. They keep your littlun out of the sun and still allow a breeze to get to them. DO purchase one.

 

DO NOT put a blanket, muslin cloth or any other type of covering over the pram or pushchair. The heat that generates underneath it matches that of being left in a car in the sun with the windows shut. It is incredibly dangerous.

 

  1. Paddling Pool

 

DO allow water play in a paddling pool. Children can have hours of fun splashing around with the water keeping them cool the whole time.

 

DO NOT put the pool in the sun. The water will get too hot for the children to play in.

 

Fun Activities

Here are 5 water-and-ice play ideas

  • Paddling Pool
    • Add ball pit balls to the water
    • Buckets
    • Fishing or hook a duck games are also great fun (these can usually be purchased in pound shops)
  • Sprinkler
    • Turn the sprinkler on the kids will love running in and out of it
  • Homemade splash pad
    • Put the sprinkler on some tarpooline (do you see what I did there ;)) and they have their own splash pad to slide around on.
  • Surprise Frozen Eggs
    • Hide small dinosaur toys, some plastic jewellery (almost anything goes) and freeze them.
    • Once frozen, help the children peel the balloon off and leave them to work out how to get the toy out.
  • Water Balloon Piñata
    • As well as the old school water balloon fun try tying a few full balloons to a piece of string, give the children a stick and, well, let them whack the balloons till the pop!

 

Evening Tips

Sleeping in the heat is borderline impossible. Then just as we get to sleep a child strolls in crying because they too are sticky and hot and can’t sleep.

 

Here are my 3 tips to a little more comfort at night:

  1. Take the duvet out of the duvet cover. Leave you and your children with just the sheet.
  2. Keep windows open. I know this can be a worry in children’s rooms so if you are able to lock them open this is what I recommend. If this is not possible, leave their bedroom door open and invest in a fan. Whilst some can give off a bit of noise this is normally more bearable than being too hot. Let’s face it, when kids are tired they will sleep through most noise.
  3. NO pyjamas. No shorts, not vest tops, just pants or a nappy will suffice.

 

 

I hope you have found these tips and pointers useful. If you think of anything I have missed or you have your own special way of doing things please feel free to share in the comments. Your thoughts and responses are greatly appreciated.

To My Darling Girl

Dear Noonoo's,

 

You came to me with your troubles today. It makes me sad to see you so down in the dumps but I was chuffed you came to me. You finally found it in you to see that I, as your mummy, can help make you feel better.

 

I should say that I love your relationship with Daddy. It's beautiful and makes my heart melt. I would never ever try to come between you both but I just want you to know that mummy's are pretty damn good in these crappy situations too so whenever you want to talk again, I'm all ears.

 

You told me you had been left out by the people you were playing with outside. And you cried telling me it's like they don't like you. It was only a few days prior to this you told me of little girl that hit you and asked if you wanted more! My god it makes me mad to see you like this, or your brothers and sister. I feel like a lioness with her cubs ready to pounce on any fucker, adult or child, that upsets my babies but you see the thing is, part of growing up is learning how to overcome difficult times like these. And you will get through them sweetheart I promise. I know you will because I did too, as did nanny and her mummy before her. It's just part of life.

 

Sometimes your friends will do things that annoy you and you will do things that annoy them but more often than not you will make up again. Sometimes life seems unfair. No, sometimes life IS unfair but by pulling through you will become that little bit stronger, giving you the extra courage to break down the next barrier you are faced with.

 

My job as your mum is to help you grow into a strong young woman, who is independent, who isn't a push over, who fights for what she thinks is right, who believes in her dreams and who can look fear in the eye and deal with it. But if I were to fight your every battle you wouldn't learn these things and my darling girl you are stronger than you think because you already are and do some of this!

 

I know kids can be cruel with things that they say, especially girls and there is no doubt you will find yourself saying nasty things to people too (that doesn't make it right by the way) but you have to learn when it's worth fighting and when it's better to walk away. Just know that whatever you choose to do, in any situation I have your back and I always will have. We can deal with whatever life throws at you together.

 

So, my point in writing to you is so that you know you can always come to me. You can come to me with whatever is on your mind, however big or small it may seem because together you and I will find the way. I will always do my best to turn your frown into a smile and I have a torrent of hugs waiting for you when you want them again.

 

I enjoyed our mummy daughter moment yesterday. It was magical for me. By the look on your face I did a pretty good job at turning things around for you too.

 

There is plenty more where that came from 🙂

 

Sweetheart, you are more like me than you will ever realise and I love you so much more than you will ever understand.

 

Forever and always

Mummy

xxx

 

 

So it’s time to declutter, but where to start?!

For a while now I have been feeling like I need to declutter but I had no idea where to start or what exactly needed decluttering; My mind? My possessions?

 

Or both?...

 

Anxiety

 

I am an anxiety sufferer. I'm no where near as bad as I once was which is down to being able to recognise the signs and triggers, but nevertheless I still suffer with anxiety. Mentally decluttering was a huge part of my recovery process at a time when I hit rock bottom. Carrying this on beyond recovery once I felt ok proved to be a new challenge.

 

Challenges are good though! They take us further than we thought we were capable of, they push our boundaries and encourage us to achieve. A challenge I set myself was a promise to myself that I would never sink that low again. I won't put myself or my family under that kind of pressure; I can't and won't affect them like that again. In order to achieve that my mind has to be clear. I have to keep it decluttered.

 

Just recently I have once again been overthinking, ruminating, worrying, judging myself, putting my appearance down and so on, so my mind has been far from clear. I'm not sure WHY I do this but what is important here is that I know I AM doing it. Whereas previously I did not know and in turn and I did not deal with things and eventually I hit rock bottom. I was ill, really ill. Suffering bad with anxiety and mild depression. I was, in my doctors words as unwell "as someone with all their limbs in plaster"...I couldn't do anything! But this time it is different, I know I am overthinking so I just have to find a way to deal with it.

 

Moving forward

 

After reading a post on Facebook all to do with Attaching ourselves to stuff that my beautiful friend Samantha Alice of Living365 Coaching wrote I felt inspired. Samantha is currently living her chosen freedom lifestyle and while traveling Thailand decided she had a rucksack full of 'stuff' she didn't need. So Sam made the decision to give it to charity. All the items in the bag can be replaced if need be but they are items that she just didn't need on her travels making them more of a hindrance than a benefit. Samantha wrote "The more stuff I let go of, the more space I feel I have, not only physically, but mentally too". Then it dawned on me...perhaps I needed to declutter some physical items in order to clear my mind.

 

Maybe the organised chaos that I am surround by is a life like reflection of what's going on inside my mind?!

 

OR maybe the 1001 things circulating my head is mirroring the physical clutter...

 

I had already started clearing out my daughters' wardrobes... there was no real thought process behind this, not a conscious one anyway. I had filled a bag to take to give to a friend and a bag to give to charity and it felt great (they still have way too much 'stuff' but nevertheless its a start). Then I moved on to my wardrobe creating another bag of clothes to give to charity.

Doesn't look like much but there are about 60 odd items to go here

 

It felt amazing! Like some kind of release, like a small pressure had gone.

 

My decluttering thought process had became a conscious one. We do not need hundreds of possessions to make us feel good but we do need a clear mind and by clearing 'stuff' you DO clear your mind. Therefore, I have started a much bigger decluttering project!

 

Now don't get me wrong I am not about to become a minimalist but I am aware I have a lot of stuff around me. So if I declutter the physical things, you know, the possessions that are not needed such as items of clothing and shoes that haven't been worn for years, or books that have been read once then left to collect dust on a book shelf, bits of paper and other general cr*p that is laying around the house then I will inadvertently declutter my mind too. Thus making me feel great!

 

Winning

 

Clearing my mind will enable me to make sense of the nonsense flying around my head.

 

It will make me feel like I can conquer the world and believe me, after a good nights kip and with a clear mind I will take any shite that is thrown at me. And I will deal with it! But you see, half my battle is I am always trying to get EVERYTHING done NOW. Take it from me, this doesn't work you need to go slow and things will happen faster. Therefore, I need to strip things back. Declutter the physical things. Taking small but productive steps.  Then everything else will  fall into place because it will have the space to do so both mentally and physically.

 

Just remember, we must not kid ourselves that suddenly we won't have bad days any more because we have cleared all our possessions!! As wonderful as that sounds it is totally unrealistic!

 

There will still be days where the kids drive us mad and where we feel exactly the way I felt when I wrote An Ode' To My Kids but because the mind is clear you will be able to deal with these days much easier...

 

There is plenty more that needs to be done but I have started my huge 'decluttering journey' ( I don't know if that's a thing but I'm making it a thing). Especially seeing as I counted 40 dresses that I put back in the girls' wardrobes never mind their tops, skirts, shorts, leggings etc!!!

 

Yes I hear you! What has she done exactly? Well, I have made a start, a small one granted but a start nevertheless and by doing it this way the whole process doesn't seem overwhelming.

 

I have set myself an achievable challenge and I will achieve it. One step at a time!

 

Here's to a clearer future 🙂

 

Update

Since I started writing this, as part of my 'huge decluttering journey', Mr B has made a start on the loft.

 

A while back we bought a conservatory off eBay then for one reason or another we changed our minds. So rather than getting rid straight away the bulk of it ended up in our loft! But what on earth for? Why?! Why not get rid straight away? What good is it doing up there?

What were we doing...saving it for a rainy day? My word!!

 

Anyway its gone now and so has a load more stuff we didn't even realise was up there. And you know what? It feels great.

Actually watching things leaving feels like another part of me is able to breathe. I had no idea that 'stuff' could hold you down so much, almost like an anchor!

 

 

So my overall message to you is this. If you have started to feel like you need to declutter and like a good clear out is needed, but you feel overwhelmed by the process when you look at how much 'stuff' you actually have, you need to take a step back.

 

Take a breathe. Choose a place to start. Anywhere. It doesn't matter where. Just go with what feels right and, well, start!

 

You do not have to conquer your whole house in one hit come on guys Rome wasn't built in day! You do not even need to do a whole room; I started with one cupboard. That way when you haven't cleared the whole room you can't be hard on yourself for not completing what you set out to do. I give myself small manageable chunks, if I do more great if I don't that's fine.

 

Your decluttering journey...

 

If this has helped you it would be fantastic to hear about OR you have something to add OR a similar experience to share please comment below with your response.

 

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