We can all experience trouble sleeping well with the heat and although we shouldn’t complain when we’re lucky enough to get some warm weather, it can certainly have an impact on your child’s sleep.
I have put together a list of suggestions and considerations to ensure that you keep your child cool during this warm season.
Children will sleep much better with a room temperature in the region of 16 degrees Celsius and 20 degrees Celsius. When it is very hot outside, you will need to take extra measures to regulate the bedroom temperature.
- To begin dress your child appropriately to avoid over-heating, strip down to nappy and vest if necessary and consider using no vest but a super light weight sleeping bag or a cotton pillow case, safely folded down for younger children.
- Remove any unnecessary bedding from the cot, to allow air to circulate freely; remove padding, bumpers and also waterproof sheets if you are using them. A cotton sheet along with the mattress is adequate bedding.
- Aim to keep the room cool during the day by ensuring that you open windows throughout your living accommodation to allow for a through-breeze.
- Ensure that you pull down room darkening shades and/or curtains early in the day to prevent the sun heating up the room.
- Consider using a fan in the bedroom before bedtime, but make sure that it is out of reach when your baby is going to sleep. It may be helpful to place a bottle of frozen water in front of the fan to prevent re-circulating warm air around the room,
- If the room is super hot, hanging wet/damp sheets or towels at the window or over chairs will help to cool the space down as the water evaporates.
- Have a cool bath close to bedtime to help regulate the body temperature ahead of sleep time.
- Be careful about sleeping your child on the go. If you are using prams and buggies for sleep, be aware that this environment can become hot and airless rapidly. I would avoid sleeping in the car also. The temperatures inside a parked car can rise very quickly, even with the windows open, so a word of caution in this regard and transfer your baby from the car whenever possible.
- Make sure that your child is well hydrated during the day.
- Check your baby regularly to see if he or she is too hot. Look for sweating or feel the baby’s tummy –hands and feet will usually be cooler, which is normal. If your baby is hot, remove clothes as you feel appropriate.
- Enjoy the beautiful weather!
Lucy Wolfe, CGSC, MAPSC, is a paediatric sleep consultant and mum of four young children. She runs a private sleep consulting practice where she provides knowledge, expertise and valuable support to families across the country. See www.sleepmatters.ie , t: 087 2683584 or e: firstname.lastname@example.org