In mid-April, my husband Matt had a business trip planned for Arizona and suggested that me and our daughter Gracelyn come along. His business trip was for two days, but we extended the trip to five days so we would have extra days to explore and vacation. I cleared my work schedule and away we went!
Of course it was a smidge more complicated than that. Gracelyn, our toddler, was at a stage where exploring everything was her favorite thing to do and she is constantly on the go. To add to it all, I was in the first trimester of this pregnancy. I did lots of research on how to fly with a toddler but what I should have spent more time researching was what the temperature would be like in Arizona. Going from Minnesota to Arizona in April was a bit of a temperature shock. I knew Arizona was hot, but didn’t plan for it to be that hot.
I’m already a bad gauge of how to dress others for the temperature. I’m rarely ever cold and when I’m pregnant, I’m always warm. Always. I packed shorts and tank tops for myself and packed an array of clothes for Gracelyn, for the expected cooler nights in Arizona and hotter days. What I didn’t expect was it to be above 87 degrees every day we were there. It was supposedly uncharacteristic of Arizona to be that warm in April (or so we were told by several natives) and my first-trimester hormone-induced mood swings did not appreciate it. But, it did prep me for how to survive the summer heat while pregnant. Find my tips below.
1) Cold beverages are your friend. And ice cold water is your best friend. In the Arizona heat, I always had two water bottles with us at all times. Both were filled to the top with ice first, then I added cold water. Thank the Lord for that delicious ice (you know the kind you can chew on and not hurt your teeth) and it’s availability throughout our hotel. I strongly suggest always having a water bottle on you. And sip, sip, sip throughout the day. Water is the best option. I stayed away from sugary drinks as they tended to make me feel more dehydrated.
2) Do outdoor activities earlier in the morning or later in the evening. While my husband was in his meetings, Gracelyn and I visited the pools. By 9 a.m., it was already 85 degrees so hanging out by the pool was a great option. As the day got hotter, we’d migrate indoors for food and naps or to do indoor activities, and then went back to the pool or went for walks as a family while the sun was setting. It kept us out of the extreme heat during the middle of the day and everyone was happier.
3) Pack a second shirt for yourself. If you tend to run on the warmer side, like I do, you might sweat a lot, like I did. One day in particular, we went to the zoo. By the time we left around 11 a.m., it was 93 degrees and my shirt was feeling pretty gross from sweat. Thankfully, I had a second shirt packed in the diaper bag and was able to change. Also, wear loose fitting clothes. You’ll be surprised at how wearing loose clothes will keep you cooler and not feeling like you’re suffocating.
4) If you don’t have air conditioning at home, find somewhere with AC to hang out, especially on really hot days. Our hotel room had AC, but a toddler gets bored of playing within the same four walls after about an hour. We took trips to Target, the mall, or even to the hotel lobby, just to change things up. The stores we went to had AC and there was plenty to keep Gracelyn occupied while I followed her around.
5) Ice cream helps to keep you cool. It’s no secret that I am an ice cream fanatic, especially when pregnant. Whoever thought to create these wonderful, delicious, cold treats deserves a thousand high fives from each person they meet. When it was hotter than hot, we treated ourselves to ice cream. I may or may not have kept some places in business by how often we visited them.
If you’re pregnant during the summer, I sympathize with you. But remember, summer is only a season; fall is just around the corner, and we can do this! Hopefully my tips will help you stay cool. If all else fails, apply that sunscreen and take a splash in the kiddie pool. No judgement here!