Struggling to get your little one to settle in this warm weather? Here are some top tips to help your baby sleep in a heatwave.
With temperatures in the UK now soaring, it’s no wonder many parents are desperate for tips to help their baby sleep in a heatwave. The longer days and warmer weather will impact your baby’s sleeping pattern.
How to Help Your Baby Sleep in a Heatwave
The lighter evenings mean more hours of fun for you and your family. But at bedtime it can be challenging to convince your baby it to settle for bed. It is proven that rooms with a temperature between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius are best for children sleeping.
But when it is hotter outside you will need to regulate temperatures inside. A few alterations to your baby’s room can easily help them to keep cool at night throughout the summer.
Child development expert at For Aisha Emily Salter and paediatric sleep consultant Lucy Wolfe, brand ambassador for Baby Elegance, reveal their top tips for helping ensure your baby stays cool and sleeps better during the summer and in the upcoming heatwave.
Take a Cool Bath
Typically parents are told that a warm bath is a good idea before bedtime to help your child sleep. While this is true, a cooler bath is much better in warm weather as it will help to reduce your child’s body temperature before bed.
Aim to bath your child right before putting them to sleep to ensure they are as cool and comfortable as possible.
Cover up or Strip Off?
Naturally, when we’re warm we like to wear less clothes to feel less hot. However, when it comes to sleep it’s actually better to wear very lightweight cotton pyjamas as a little bit of sweat helps to cool the body down naturally, without overheating from warm clothing.
The optimum temperature for a child’s sleeping environment is between 16-20c, so bear this in mind when dressing your baby or child for sleep.
Remember Feeding Times
We all know the feeling of needing a nap after a big meal or hitting the buffet! Try to feed your child a little later than normal and if they are of weaning age, encourage them to snack on something before bedtime.
The best foods for a great night’s sleep include anything that contains tryptophan, an amino acid that supports the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Use Frozen Fans
Fans are our go to cooling agent, but an electric fan tends to just blow warm air around the room the longer you leave it on. Instead, place some frozen water in bowls around the room to keep cool air moving all night long.
Think About Bedding and Clothing
Dressing your child correctly is important to avoid over-heating. Allow them to sleep in their nappy and vest if necessary. You could also consider using a light 0.5tog sleeping bag instead of a vest. This will help them regulate their body temperature.
Before you settle your baby be sure to remove any unnecessary bedding from their cot. This will allow air to circulate around them. Having 100% cotton bedding will help keep them cool and sleep better in the summer. On the hottest nights they may only require a fitted cot sheet.
Regularly check your baby’s temperature during the day and night by placing your hand on the skin of their tummy or the back of their neck. Be careful as their hands and feet will often be cooler. Look out for them sweating too. If they start to perspire remove some layers of clothing as appropriate.
Keep the Room Cool
Keep your child’s room cool during the day by opening windows in nearby rooms. By leaving doors open you can create a through-breeze. This will allow air to circulate around the house and their room and help them sleep better.
Try and keep blinds and curtains shut during the day. This will prevent natural light entering your baby’s room and therefore their room will not be warmed by the sun. Which will make it cooler and more comfortable for when it comes to settling your baby for bed during the summer months.
If the natural breeze is not helping, you could set up a fan in their room. Placing a bowl of ice or frozen water bottle nearby will encourage cooler air to filter through the room. Setting this up earlier in the day will mean the room is cool when it is bedtime. Doing this beforehand is also beneficial as the noise from the fan will not disturb them while they are trying to sleep.
Another technique to try in the summer is to hang damp sheets and towels at the window and over furniture. As they dry the cool water will evaporate and chill the air.
Keep a Routine
Make sure that your child is taking on enough fluid throughout the day to avoid dehydration. You can expect them to demand more night feeds too and don’t discourage this.
Take care if your child falls asleep while you are out and about this summer, especially if they are snoozing in their buggy or pram. These environments can quickly become hot and have poor circulation. Similarly, with a car seat as car temperatures rise rapidly so it is best to limit time sleeping on the move. Try and get into the routine of having naps at home.
- This is How Much Sleep a Newborn Needs
- How to Keep Your Baby Cool in Hot Weather
- How to set a Successful Sleeping Routine