Keeping Cool about Hot Weather Sleep by Ann Caird

Summer weather is great fun for babies and children – they love playing outside and the fresh air and physical activity prepares their bodies for sleep; however those hot, sweltering, sweaty nights can really upset baby and children’s sleep.

Here are my top hot weather sleep tips to help you keep cool about hot weather sleep!

Prevent dehydration:

Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids;

Breastfed babies may require more frequent feeds, but avoid giving water to breastfed babies though as this may interfere with the feeding relationship and supply.

Offer your Formula fed baby some cooled boiled water in a bottle between feeds;

Older babies and young children will enjoy fruits, homemade fruit iced lollies, fruits, drinks with ice cubes etc which all help to keep children hydrated!

  • If its very hot keep your baby or child cooler through the day by sponging her with luke warm or cool water; the air movement over her damp skin will help to cool her (in the same way as perspiration/sweat does).
  • Keep your baby’s bedroom cool by keeping the curtains/blinds shut during the day.
  • Open windows and door throughout the house to encourage air flow throughout the house as much as you can during the day.
  • The ideal bedroom/sleep temperature for babies and children is 16 – 20 °C (61 – 68 °F)
  • Cool down the bedtime routine with a cool bath.
  • Use a fan in the bedroom to keep the air moving and flowing in the bedroom; but make sure its not directed directly at your baby or child.
  • Cut back on sleep wear; a good rule of thumb is to dress your baby for sleep in 1 layer more than you are comfortable in; try her in just a nappy and vest;
  • Dress her in light weight, breathable natural fibre sleep wear – manmade/synthetic fibres can be very sweaty as they keep heat in.
  • Beware of disposable nappies! The synthetic waist band can cause irritation and rashes in hot weather – very uncomfortable at night! Consider using cotton nappies during hot weather.
  • Naps!! Beware of prams, moses baskets and car seats… prams and moses baskets can be airless so make sure your baby is in the shade, and if you can use a fan to keep the air moving around him (not directed on him – Also make sure she doesn’t nap in direct sunlight in the car, pram or carseat.

More hot weather information for babies and young children:

Keep your child safe in the sun: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/safety-in-the-sun.aspx

Summer safety for young children: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Childsafety.aspx

Keeping children safe in hot weather: http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1955.aspx

Ann Caird © 2015

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to inform and not for medical diagnoses or treatment, this article does not replace medical advise. Please contact a health care professional if you have concerns about your child’s health

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Attachment Parenting’s accredited Positive Parenting course, suitable for parents, carers and anyone working with children, includes modules on sleep and a wide range of positive discipline topics in 10 flexible interactive modules.

 Ann Caird

Ann Caird

About the Author

Ann Caird is the founder of Nurturing Sleep, a holistic baby and child sleep consultancy. She has 30 years experience working with families, babies and young children in various roles including early childhood practitioner, postnatal doula, Happiest Baby Educator, and baby and child sleep consultant. She has 2 sleep certifications, as well as a BA (Distinction) in Child and Youth Studies and various childcare qualifications.

The main focus of Ann’s sleep work is the Emotional Wellbeing of babies, children and parents in relation to sleep. Her holistic approach respects the child’s feelings and emotions around sleep, and her goal is for babies and young children feel emotionally safe, happy and reassured in relation to sleep.

Ann has developed the Emotional Wellbeing foundation for baby and child sleep and now teaches and mentors sleep consultants internationally. Ann works with families with babies and young children up to the age of 5 years.

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