Hot weather means your baby could toss and turn at night, get angry and be unable to sleep. What can you do to improve the situation so that they can have a restful night's sleep even in warm temperatures? You will have many questions: How do I keep my baby cool? Can I leave the window open? Can my baby sleep with only one layer on? Do I have to wake my baby to give them water?
To help your baby sleep, you have to lower their body temperature. However, babies are not capable of regulating themselves as they are too young. So, how can you do this?
Give them a cool bath before bedtime to reduce their body temperature. Do make it quick so that they don't get chilly.
Refresh the room before putting them to bed. Ideally the temperature of your baby’s bedroom should be 19 degrees and it is a good idea to have a room thermometer so that you can check this. “Ideally,” 19 degrees, because it’s complicated to achieve such a temperature when it's 30 degrees outside. Close the windows and keep curtains closed in the morning when the outside temperature starts to rise. At night, if the outside air is more breathable, open the windows and ventilate. Otherwise, place a bottle of ice water in front of a fan.
Avoid air conditioning and fan. Although this cools the air, it dries the air and mucous membranes leaving the air dry and babies need moist air to breathe correctly. Avoid running the fan all night, even on low, because it’s easy for children to feel the cold and they could end up catching a cold.
Use a spray water or mister. This will lower the body temperature of your child. Preferably use a spray water from a distance, and on their body rather than on the head. You can also slightly dampen a washcloth (not soak) and place it on their legs, arms and neck to cool them down.
Use a muslin cotton baby sleeping bag. At Slumbersac we offer a range of 0.5 Tog and 1.0 Tog muslin cotton Summer sleeping bags. These sleeping bags are light and breathable and reduce the risk of overheating as it allows air to flow and absorbs perspiration. It regulates your baby’s temperature all night leaving them with a peaceful night’s sleep.
Give milk at room temperature. If you are not breastfeeding, do not heat the milk bottle and instead give your baby their milk at room temperature. The body temperature will then not increase.
After six months, you can wake them to give water and avoid dehydration. If you give them water during the day, make sure it’s always in very small quantities. Otherwise, they will feel full and will eat less.
It's likely that the hot weather will last a short period of time and we will soon return to the good old British weather.