The current soaring temperatures can be a problem for babies and young children, especially when it comes to getting to sleep.
As Saturday (June 17) was the hottest day of the year so far, and temperatures continue to stay high, it's essential to know how to ensure your child gets a full night's sleep.
Particular attention should be paid, of course, to the health of babies, so getwestlondon has rounded up some helpful tips on how to help your little ones stay cool and get the rest they need, thanks to The Sleep Nanny, Lucy Shrimpton.
Risks of overheating
Your baby is likely to become restless if feeling too hot or too cold so they may let you know. They may be more difficult to settle to sleep than usual or wake more frequently due to the discomfort of the temperature.
Newborns are at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) if they overheat so check your newborn does not have a moist head or neck which are signs of sweating. If the face is redder than usual or they have a rash or you notice rapid breathing, these could be signs of overheating.
1. Dress your baby appropriately for the room temperature
If the room is very hot, for example over 25 degrees for most of the night, just a nappy and thin cotton vest may suffice. If the room is between 20 to 23 degrees, a shortie baby grow or shorts and t-shirt pyjamas perhaps with socks or just a nappy and a 1 tog sleep sack.
If your baby is too young for any kind of bedding and it is too hot for a sleep sack, simply dress them in suitable clothing for the room temperature so that no covering is required.
2. Create a breeze
During the day, open all windows on the same floor to create a blow-through and pull curtain two thirds of the way across to block out hot sun but still allow the breeze through.
3. Ventilate your home
Open your loft hatch if you have one to allow heat to escape up through the roof.
4. Use appropriate bedding
Use only cotton bed sheets and avoid any waterproof mattress covering as this will hold heat and make your baby sweat.
5. Give them a quick, refreshing bath
A luke-warm bath or slightly cooler bath than usual might help to refresh your baby before bedtime and relieve any clamminess. Make it a quick bath so that they do not get too chilly.
6. Get a room thermometer
...so that you know what temperature you are dealing with. This will take away the guesswork and give you peace of mind that you have dressed your baby suitably.
7. Put ice in baby's room
Large bottles of frozen water (1litre plus), placed in the baby's room may help to cool the air as they melt overnight.
8. Give electric fans a helping hand
Electric fans will often just blow the warm air around but place a large bowl of ice or some frozen water bottles in front of the fan to cool the air that circulates the room.
9. Keep baby calm
A calm baby will remain cooler than a frustrated baby so try to maintain a calming bedtime routine and offer reassurance and comfort if they are agitated. A cool flannel or cold compress dabbed gentle on your baby may help to cool and calm him.
10. Keep some water refrigerated
Your baby may need to drink more than usual. Cold water is great so for young babies it is worth cooling some boiled water and refrigerating it for night time use. Breastfed babies will stay hydrated on breastmilk.
11. Consider moving rooms
If you cannot keep your baby cool in their own room, consider moving them to a cooler room in the house temporarily.
12. Set them up for the whole night - not just evening
Remember, no matter how hot it is at bedtime, the temperature will drop in the night so don't put your baby in his cot in just a nappy if it will drop below 25 degrees in the night. You might like to check on them before you go to bed to see how the temperature is.
13. Accurately check baby's temperature
Hands and feet do get colder than the rest of the body so it is natural for these to feel a little colder to the touch. If you are unsure about your baby's temperature, feel the back of their neck or use a thermometer.
14. Put yourself in their shoes
Babies will be comfortable dressed for temperatures as you would dress yourself. So ask yourself how hot it feels and what you would be comfortable in when you are considering how to dress your baby.
Just remember, you can pull the covers over you but they cannot, so imagine you are going to bed without any bed covers.
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