During the summer, it’s natural to want to be outside as much as possible, even if you’re pushing a stroller. But that can get uncomfortable, and potentially even dangerous when temperatures rise and things really heat up — which is why having a stroller fan (or two) can make your outing much more comfortable for your baby.
Babies aren’t great at regulating heat. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns that whenthe heat index is over 90º Fahrenheit, babies should stay indoors. But even temperatures below that can be hot and uncomfortable when you’re strapped into a stroller. Stroller fans are affordable solutions to this parenting problem that help cool your baby down by circulating air around their sweaty little selves.
- Attach Style: Bendable Arms
- Run Time: 4 to 18 hours, depending on speed
Looking for a fan with a clip instead of arms? Here’s a great option. Yes, it looks a little like Wall-E, but that only adds to its charm. It’s powerful, lasts a long time, and best of all? It’s dead quiet. Parents say that while it gives off a dull whirring, it’s nothing that would interfere with your child’s rest.
- Attach Style: Clamp
- Run Time: up to 6 hours, depending on speed
The main reason parents love this stroller fan, and the reason I’m including it, is that it’s very safe and very easy to attach. It could have a bit more power and run time, in my opinion, but the fact that fingers aren’t getting hurt at all on this one and that it’s a universal clamp is enough to win fans.
- Attach Style: Bendable arms
- Run Time: 4 to 6 hours, depending on speed
- Misting Element
If you’re looking for a next level refreshment, this is the fan for you and your children. It features a misting function that’s very light but noticeable and refreshing. The easy-to-fill basin holds 60 milliliters of water, and it lasts about an hour, according to reviewers who are big fans of these fans (sorry — we couldn’t resist squeezing a pun in there!).
- Attach Style: Bendable arms
- Run Time: 4 to 14 hours, depending on speed
- Light and Aromatherapy Element
While you shouldn’t use the aromatherapy diffuser around your baby for safety reasons, the LED light is positively mesmerizing to babies. It’s the perfect one-two punch to get a good nap going — a breezy outdoor setting and a lighted fan. It’s hypnotic, and parents who use this fan say that it works, especially for cranky babies at twilight who are fighting sleep.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
When you’re buying a stroller fan, you want to consider a few things: how it attaches to the stroller, is it bladeless or does it have blades, how long the charge lasts, and bonus features.
- How Does It Attach? Most stroller fans have octopus-like arms that wrap around the handle of the stroller to face baby. However, a few fans have clasps or lobster-style clips.
- Bladeless or Bladed? Bladeless fans, like the Skip Hop, are safer stroller fans for baby’s fingers, but don’t always have the oomph that traditional, bladed models like the HomeFairy offer. Regardless of the blade style you choose, we recommend that every fan be kept out of your baby’s reach.
- Run Time: How long can you run the fan on one charge? If you’re going to be out for a while, do you need to bring a backup or a charger? Just as most things go with parenting, plan for success and think about this before you head out for the day!
- Bonus Features: Some fans have a mist feature that your baby might find lovely (or hate, it could go either way), and others light up so that you can see baby in dim evenings. While these features aren’t necessary, they are nice to have.
We included the best of every type of stroller fan on our list. However, it’s important to note that they are not a solution for hot weather, and that you should still always look for signs of heat stroke or overheating in your baby. According to Children’s Health, the signs you should look for are:
- Elevated body temperature, between 100˚ and 104˚
- Cool, clammy skin even in hot weather
- Goosebumps in hot weather
- Fainting, dizziness or overly lethargic behavior
- Headaches (grabbing at head/ear and crying while doing it)
- Increased sweating
- Super angry
- Increased thirst
- Muscle cramps or being overly stiff
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Read on to find the coolest of stroller fans for every kind of summer stroll.