As summer arrives, your baby may have trouble sleeping in the heat – which is perfectly normal! Many parents worry about the temperature of their baby or toddler on a hot day and, whilst it is definitely something to pay attention to, it doesn’t mean all past baby sleep solutions need to be disregarded.
To help parents help their baby sleep when it’s hot, our baby sleep coach has gathered some of our best summer sleep solutions for your baby or toddler!
How To Dress Baby For Sleep In The Heat?
Dressing your Baby for bed when it’s hot is not as complicated as it may feel. We have a simple Pinterest pin you can save to reference in the future or you can check out our breakdown below:
Under 16 Degrees Celcius – Vest (long sleeve if possible), Sleepsuit, 2.5 tog or higher sleeping bag and socks
17 – 19 Degrees Celcius – Vest (short), sleepsuit, 2.5 tog sleeping bag.
20 – 22 Degrees Celcius – Vest (short or long) and 1 or 1.5 tog sleeping bag
23 – 25 Degrees Celcius – Nappy and a 1 tog sleeping bag
25 Degrees Celcius or higher – Just a Nappy if your baby will or the lightest sleeping bag you can find. Tommee Tippee do 0.2 tog sleeping bags or 0.5 togs are widely available online.
How To Keep Baby’s Room Cool In Hot Weather?
It can be a real struggle for parents to keep their baby’s room at the ideal temperature during the summer months. There are many factors at play – how can you keep your baby cool at night in summer without having them wake up cold if the temperature drops?
Luckily we have gathered top tips to help you out:
Buy a Room Thermometer – if there is one essential item for a baby’s nursery after a cot, let it be your room thermometer. Being able to monitor your baby or toddler’s room temperature will enable you to make informed decisions about how to dress the baby for sleep in all weathers. Bonus Tip: A lot of modern baby monitors have thermometers included, ensure you check this with an alternative thermometer before relying on it as these tend to be at a higher temperature. Remember, heat rises so you want the thermometer as close to level with where baby is sleeping as possible.
Keep the blinds and curtains closed and the door open for the babies room during the day. Whilst you may feel like to help baby sleep better in the heat you should have the curtains wide open to let in as much air as possible, sunlight coming into the room will make it warmer. Keep the windows open but the curtains closed to avoid this sunny side-effect, as recommended by the lullaby trust site.
Use a fan to circulate air around the room but ensure it is not pointing at the baby. A lot of babies actually enjoy the white noise that a fan emits so you may find that it helps soothe the baby to sleep. Great tip – use a bowl of ice or freeze a large bottle of water and place it in front of the fan, this will make the air circulating cold.
Use air conditioning if available, there are many portable air conditioning units you can buy. If using an air conditioning unit, cool the room before you put your baby to sleep. Use it for the duration of their sleep, set the temperature for 16 – 18 degrees and make sure the unit is in a suitable position so it’s not blowing cold air directly at the baby. If the room is cooled to lower temperatures, remember to dress your baby accordingly.
Some babies won’t settle in the cot with distractions going on, so if you need to close the door of the baby’s room to get to sleep, wait 5 or 10 minutes after they have dropped off and open it up to let air from the rest of the house flow through.
If you are having doors and windows open whilst your baby is asleep, don’t forget to use a doorstop or heavy item so that a wind-induced door slam doesn’t wake up your baby!
You can also hang a wet towel over the chair, the evaporating water will cool the air
Fill a hot water bottle with ice and place it in their cot if they are over 1 year old.
How To Check If A Baby Is Too Hot Whilst Sleeping?
The best way to check your baby isn’t overheating when it’s hot at night is to go in and gently place a hand on their chest and their back. A lot of babies’ backs of their heads will get warm – this is completely normal and common in both children and adults alike! So if you focus on the chest you should get an idea of how hot they are.
What To Do If Baby Is Hot Whilst Sleeping?
If you do find that your child is too hot at night, whilst you will want to avoid waking them up if you have finally settled baby to sleep, it’s worth working to make the room cooler. If you want to introduce a fan that is particularly noisy, we would recommend starting the fan off in a different room a bit further away but pointing in the direction of the baby’s room and then after 5 minutes bringing it closer whilst ensuring it isn’t pointing at the baby. This will gradually introduce the fan-noise to them without starting them. If you place a frozen water bottle or bowl of ice in front of the fan it will keep the circulating air cooler.
Try to keep them on their back, whilst this is a normal safety issue a lot of parents find that when older their baby likes to sleep on their stomach. This is still okay to do but ensure that their cot sheet is tight-fitting and will not go over their face. Similarly, try to avoid using blankets that may end up covering their face. If your child requires a blanket and won’t use a gro bag or sleep without covering, then ensure it is a cellular blanket as these have breathable holes in them.
Whilst you will be keeping your baby’s blinds closed (but window open in the heat) you may feel this doesn’t allow for much of a draft. Try propping open the doors in multiple rooms with the windows open in order to create a cooler house overall and a gentle draft of fresh air.
How To Settle Baby To Sleep In Heat?
You will likely find that the heat will either wipe your baby out so they sleep easier, or make them hot and bothered so they take longer to fall asleep. Check out these 3 tips:
Return to baby every 20 minutes if they are struggling to sleep in order to offer them a drink of cold water if they are weaned. Try not to engage in conversation during this time for the risk of waking them. If your baby isn’t weaned then try to have a bottle (or breast) handy to top them up with fluid every half an hour.
Give baby a cooler bath close to bedtime, this will help to lower their body temperature before bed.
Try not to have a baby in an overly cold room for their bedtime routine. If they have been downstairs in a room with a cooling fan, in just a nappy then when they go to bed they are going to feel warmer instantly!
Whilst it may feel uncomfortable and warm for you, try not to be sleeveless if holding them for a feed before bed. Having the skin on skin on the back of the neck when it is hot outside is just going to contribute to them feeling sweaty and clammy.
Try to be patient! It can be frustrating when your baby won’t go to sleep, but it is natural for it to be a more difficult sleep process when the weather is warmer.
What Else Can I Do To Help My Baby In The Summer?
Aside from sleep, the day to day challenges of having a baby or toddler in the summer months can be quite daunting. If you want to read about the best ways to help baby when travelling check out our blog for helping baby to sleep whilst travelling here.
Let us know if this has helped you or if you have any further questions about getting your baby to sleep when in the heat, in the comments section below.
Have you downloaded your freebie yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.
For more advice on how to help your baby sleep and find a baby sleep solution that works for you and your family, you can check out our 1 : 1 consultation services or our new baby sleep guides which come with free access to my Sleepy Village Facebook community for easy access to get your questions answered.