Hot weather, cold weather and everything in between - these things are sent to test us aren't they?! You think you've got your baby's sleep cracked and then along comes a heat wave and everything goes to pot! Well to stop this from happening and help everyone get more sleep in hot weather we approached some of our trusted baby sleep experts to give you their insider tips and knowledge and help you know what's normal behaviour and what you can do to secure a good night's sleep.
Create a dark sleep space and cool room (18-21) and make sure a light and breathable sleep sac is worn with just a little onesie underneath. We love Aden and Anais muslin! Janey at Wee-sleep.com
Here's a fun fact for you: all of us (little ones and adults alike) tend to sleep more deeply when the temperature is cool. The optimum temperature for sleep will vary from person to person, of course, but a good temperature to aim for is right around 68 degree Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). It can be hard to keep room temperatures that cool in the summer, but as fall temps cool off, you may find that your baby begins to sleep more deeply and soundly. Nicole at Baby Sleep Site
Babies are unable to regulate their own temperature and so it’s really important we monitor this for them. Follow safe sleep guidelines and avoid hats, remove socks and if possible, use bamboo or full cotton clothing for breathable fabrics for sleeping in. Breastfed babies will need to feed more in high heat, and bottle-fed babies may need a drop of water every now and then between full feeds. If your baby is needing cuddles but is finding it too hot to be in arms, lay down next to them on a flat firm surface, face to face and gently rub their back, This should allow them the closeness they need to settle, whilst allowing air to flow between you. Allow their breathing to become calmer, deeper and more settled, indicating a deeper sleep before gently scooping them into their safe sleep space. If little one is in just a nappy and prefers to cuddle upright into your chest as they nod off, place a muslin between you to avoid becoming hot and sticky. Fern at The Big Sleep Co.
My biggest piece of advice for helping a baby sleep in hot weather is to dress them in nothing but a diaper and possibly a thin sleep sack. Room darkening shades are also a must to keep out the hot sun! And of course, if you're napping your baby on the go in hot weather, your SnoozeShade will be a lifesaver. Eva at My Sleeping Baby
Babies in the 0-6 month age range will likely still need a layer of clothing on when they're sleeping. A thin, breathable onesie or sleep sack should do the trick. Running a fan will help keep your baby cool and has the added benefit of providing some white noise. Make sure baby is well hydrated. A decrease in tears, wet diapers, and a dry mouth are all signs of dehydration. Dana at Sleepsense
Lastly some more general tips that will help us all to sleep better during a heatwave:
- Do not cover prams and buggies with muslins/blankets. This heats them up like a greenhouse effect. A Snoozeshade is breathable and air permeable.
- Don’t overdress baby.⠀
- Offer water regularly for older babies, a small amount of water for FF babies.⠀
- If it is very hot in your baby’s room they can just sleep in a vest or nappy.
- Close the curtains during the day to keep the sun out. Turn on a fan before bedtime. You can put big bottles of frozen water in front of the fan (a mini air con solution!) You can also hang a wet towel over a chair. The evaporating water cools the air. ⠀
- Make sure there is good airflow in your baby’s room (this trumps black out!) much more important that they don’t overheat.
- If using a fan, place it well away from baby so that they cannot grab it. Do not have it blowing directly onto baby. ⠀
- As part of your bedtime routine, lukewarm baths are good. Make sure they aren't too cold, as that will boost circulation (your body's way of keeping warm). When we go to sleep at night our body temperature needs to drop to go to sleep (this will happen naturally). Having a bath before bed can help this process - as the water evaporates from our skin it cools us down.⠀ ⠀
- Place a cool (but not frozen) flannel on baby's forehead to cool them a little if they are struggling. ⠀
- It’s very common for our sleep to be disrupted by the heat and for little ones to wake up early.
Rosey at Just Chill Baby Sleep
Hopefully the advice we've compiled on helping your baby to sleep better during hot weather have been helpful, but we would love to know if you have any more suggestions!