Are you wondering how to keep your baby cool at night?
While the English summer is seriously playing hot and cold with us, many of us have got our fingers crossed for a return of the warm, sunny days. However, with that comes wakeful, sweaty nights which is bad enough for adults but for babies and toddlers who simply don’t understand the ever-changing temperatures, it can be a nightmare.
We’ve called on the expertise of sleep consultant, Lucy Shrimpton, Founder of The Sleep Nanny to share her words of wisdom on how you can help your little one sleep through the hottest of nights.
Create a breeze
So long as it’s safe to do so, open as many windows as you can to help create a natural breeze for you and the baby. If you have a loft hatch, open it as heat escapes through the roof and when it’s cooler, you might appreciate a cool breeze from above.
Close curtains and shades long before you put your little one to bed
To keep your baby cool at night, try to make the bedroom your little one is sleeping in as cool as possible by closing curtains or using blackout blinds throughout the day. Keeping the natural sun out will keep the temperature lower but make sure you leave room for a breeze to come through from the open window.
Make sure they have drunk plenty of fluids before bed
As with adults, babies need to drink more in the heat so make sure you’ve got a steady supply of cold water in the fridge ready for them. Breastfed babies will need to stay hydrated on breastmilk so make sure that mum is fully hydrated and ready too.
Make sure you know how warm the bedroom is
Invest in a room thermometer so you know if the room your little one is going to sleep in is too hot. If you think it’s just far too warm for them, think about moving their crib to another room in a cooler part of the house. This can make all the difference in keeping your baby cool at night.
However, try not to stress too much because it’s bound to be hotter in the room than you like so you just need to dress your little one accordingly.
Put your teether in the fridge
If your baby is teething, keep the teether in the fridge and give this to them at bedtime to help keep them cool at night. You can always remove it from them once they’re asleep but it will help.
Give them a refreshing bath before bedtime
A luke-warm or slightly cooler than normal bath will be so refreshing for your little one and wash off any daytime clamminess and sun-cream. Just make sure it’s a quick bath and they seem to be enjoying it so they don’t get too cold.
Invest in a decent fan for them
Babies generally like the gentle rhythmic noise of the fan, as well as the cooling air it gives out so point a fan in their direction. When it’s very hot, a good idea is to place a large bowl of ice or some frozen water bottles in front of it to cool the air that circulates around the room. Just make sure the air isn’t too cold and set the fan on a timer if you’re worried it might be.
Dress them in light clothes
When it’s very hot, just let your baby sleep in a nappy or a thin cotton vest. If the room is between 20 and 23 degrees, a shortie baby grow or shorts and t-shirt pyjama set will be fine. Just remember that it will get cooler during the night so don’t be tempted to dress them too lightly, and do check up on them during the night to see they’re not feeling too hot or too cold.
Keep baby calm
An irritable baby or toddler is more likely to get hot and bothered. Try to keep your baby as calm and relaxed as possible. Create a relaxing bedtime routine that is just like any other evening. If you sense they’re getting upset by the heat, use a cool flannel or cold compress dabbed gently on your baby’s face and back to calm them down. If you sense that bedtime is a bit of a rush as you’re late from a day out enjoying the weather, it will make for a hot and flustered parent and baby. So, allow some time and take the bedtime routine slowly. This will also help to transition them into ‘night time’ mode.
Cold flannel to dab on the wrists
A cold flannel on the wrists can do wonders. Even now my kids love to take one of those cold compress/bruise soothers to bed for an extra sense of coolness.
Spend some time in the cool just before bedtime
Even before your bedtime routine starts, spend a little wind-down time in a room with a breeze where you’ve got windows or doors open and shades are closed. Having this cooler, downtime just before bed can make all the difference.
Written by The Sleep Nanny® is the founder of a new, award-winning online sleep programme called Dream Maker, aimed at new parents struggling to help their children sleep through the night –Sleep Nanny
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