Posted in Blog, Friends, Mother, Shawna

Keeping (baby) cool

Last summer, when the Seattle temps hit the triple-digits, I did what any concerned, sleep-deprived new mama might do. I went to Fred Meyer for four hours and wandered the air-conditioned aisles with my baby strapped to my chest.

Tiny Q kept cool, and I got some groceries, cute baby clothes and all of the greeting cards I would need for the next year, but still, it wasn’t the greatest way to spend the day, especially when I had to find a spot to nurse. Twice. I was desperate, though.

This year, with temperatures rising (it’s supposed to hit 95 degrees in Seattle on Thursday!), I’ve got better plans. I thought I’d share some of my HOT DAY ideas with you.

Hit the theaters

This might be a slightly better idea for those with teeny babies who will just snooze in your arms the whole time. I never did this before Q got mobile, and I really wish I had. Your best options are special baby and tots screenings, or to attend an area theater with a cry room.

Every Thursday at 10 a.m., the Lincoln Square Cinemas in Bellevue hosts a presentation specifically designed for parents and babies called “Mother’s Days Thursdays.” This Thursday, the 8th, the movies are Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Winter’s Bone, and Toy Story 3 in 3D. The theater also has in-seat concession service.

Kirkland Parkplace Cinemas holds special “baby’s day at the movies” screenings every other Friday at 9:45 a.m. for parents and tots. Babies and toddlers are free. According to their Web site, there is a “Baby’s Day at the Movies” scheduled for July 9. Double check with the theaters for times and screenings before you go.

Here on this side of Lake Washington, there are several theaters with special baby rooms that are soundproofed from the rest of the theater. Each seats a limited number of people, so you’ll want to go early, but the good news is you could go to any screening in that auditorium, making things a little less frantic if baby decides to take an uber nap or bless you with a major blowout just as you’re trying to leave the house. More on theaters with cry rooms: Varsity, Guild 45th, Metro Cinemas.

Sip an iced coffee–slooooowly

Hey, lounging around the coffee shop all day should not belong exclusively to UW students and the self-employed. There are lots of kid-friendly coffee shops in Seattle that will let your little one play while you catch up on your people watching.

Engage in retail therapy–or just pretend to

Predictably, all the area malls are air-conditioned. Some, like University Village and Bellevue Square, also have great play areas for kids and great nursing areas, too. Nordstroms has those wonderful women’s lounges designed for nursing mothers. So does Babies R Us, and most area consignment and new baby shops have chairs that they reserve for the purpose. Just ask a clerk and they will point you in the right direction.

If you’re at U Village, the Kids Club also has a great nursing room, which is quiet and distraction-free. Bellevue Square also has a great nursing spot– the seats on the third floor that overlook the Kids’ Cove play area (above Center Court). Maternity and kids clothes shops are also really accommodating, and used to women seeking shelter.

Plan your course of action: Check out kids shops at Bellevue Square, kids shops at Alderwood, kids shops at U Village, kids shops at Redmond Town Center kids shops at Southcenter, and kids shops at Northgate.

And don’t forget the mega-shops like Ikea or Target where you could easily kill four hours without even realizing it.

Support the arts

The Seattle Art Museum is always cool (right now they’ve got Andy Warhol and Kurt Cobain exhibits, among others), as is the Children’s Museum at Seattle Center. Or you could check out EMP, the Wing Luke Museum, the Museum of Flight or the Pacific Science Center. Both the Children’s Museum and the Pacific Science Center have sections designed especially for older babies and toddlers.

Take a cue from the fish

Those not-quite-warm enough pools that we curse during the winter months can be quite refreshing when the barometer rises.

Get your cool for free

Lots of newer area libraries and community centers are air-conditioned (Ballard branch library and the Northgate Community Center, to name a few). Just call your local branch before you go to make sure.

OK, that’s all I’ve got right now. Also be aware that babies often nurse more during hotter days, so it’s more important than ever that you stay hydrated, too! If your baby seems too hot or lethargic, take a cool (not cold) bath or shower together, or give her a wet wash cloth or a frozen teether to play with.

Be sure to let us know what you’re doing to keep (you and baby) cool!

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  1. Cafe O’Play on Blakeley outside UVillage is another option though I expect they’ll be crazy busy!

    Our favorite thing to do in hot weather in my neighborhood is to pull out the wading pools, under a shady tree then make popsicles (since the stores run out amazingly fast when it gets hot).

  2. Amy Duncan says:

    This is a fabulous list – thank you!! I really enjoy your site.

    Bad news though, Jenne – Cafe O’Play went out of business a few months ago. 🙁


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