Summer has finally arrived and while a lot of us are embracing the novelty of the new hot weather, for many new parents it adds a whole new dimension of difficulty as they struggle to keep their babies cool.
Lucy Shrimpton, Parenting Expert and founder of The Sleep Nanny® (www.sleepnanny.co.uk) shares her top pieces of advice that are quick and easy to implement:
Give them a refreshing bath
A luke-warm or slightly cooler than normal bath will refresh your baby before bedtime and relieve any daytime clamminess. Just make sure that it’s a quick bath so they don’t get too cold.
Create a breeze if you can
During the day, open all the windows on the same floor to create a natural breeze that should make the rooms cooler. If you have a loft hatch, open it so that the heat escapes through the roof.
Use cotton bed sheets
Cotton bed sheets are the best in hot weather. Avoid waterproof mattress coverings as they hold onto the heat and make your baby sweat more.
Close curtains and shades
Keeping that natural sun out will help to keep your home cooler but make sure you leave enough room for the breeze from the window to come through.
Get a room thermometer and dress your baby appropriately
It’s important to know just how hot the room your baby is sleeping in is. This will take away guesswork and give you peace of mind that you’ve dressed your baby in the right kit.
If the room is very hot, for example over 25 degrees like it has been the past few nights, dress your baby in just a nappy and a thin cotton vest. If the room’s between 20 and 23 degrees, a shortie baby grow or shorts and t-shirt pyjama set will be fine, with just socks and a nappy and a one-tog sleep sack.
If your baby is too young for any kind of bedding and it’s too hot for a sleep sack, simply dress them in suitable clothing for the room temperature so that no covering is required.
Remember to set them up for the whole night, not just the evening. The temperature will drop over night so be prepared. Check on their temperature regularly so you know they’re not getting too cold if you’ve let them sleep in just their nappy
Invest in a decent fan
Babies generally like the gentle rhythmic noise of a fan – as well as the cooling air it gives out so make sure your baby has a fan pointed at them. 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 that the air you’re circulating isn’t too cold!
Keep baby as calm as possible
An irritable baby is more likely to get hot and clammy so try to keep your baby as calm and relaxed as possible. Create a reassuring bedtime routine that is just like any other night-time. If you sense they are getting upset by the heat, a cool flannel or a cold compress dabbed gently on your baby may help to cool and calm them.
Keep your baby hydrated
Your baby may need to drink more than usual so make sure you’ve got a steady supply of cold water in the fridge ready. Breastfed babies will stay hydrated on breastmilk so just make sure that mum is also keeping plenty hydrated too.
Consider moving rooms
If the room that your baby sleeps in is in a particularly hot part of the home, consider moving them to a cooler room to help them sleep. That’s the same for older children who might be struggling – they will see it as an adventure!
Check their temperature
The best way to check your baby’s temperature is to feel the back of their neck or use a thermometer. A baby’s hands and feet do tend to get colder so this is much more accurate.
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 – www.sleepnanny.co.uk/dream-maker/
The program doesn’t take a one size fits all approach; using knowledge garnered from parents, the Dream Maker will give families a bespoke course to suit them and their child’s needs. Neatly packaged in an online portal, it is full of expert guidance and support, sleep diagnostics and sleep training. It focuses on overcoming challenges, night weaning, nap training, and advice on staying on-track for the long-term. And, alongside the portal, clients are supported via an online private group, Q&As, as well as one-to-ones for certain packages.