There’s nothing better than long, summer nights – a little more sunlight throughout the day does wonders for the mood! Sometimes though, the warmer evenings can make it a little more challenging for your little one to sleep. Humid, sweaty and uncomfortable nights often lead to restless sleep and cranky babies!
So how do you know if your baby is too hot, or worse overheating? Signs to look out for include:
Restless sleep patterns
Warm or clammy to the touch
A rapid or weak pulse
Unresponsive or looking unwell
The most serious concern is that overheating can raise the risk of sudden infant sleep death (SIDS). Studies show that an overheated baby is more likely to go into a deep sleep from which it is difficult to wake.
Here are a few things that you can do to help keep your baby sleeping comfortably:
Keep baby's sleeping environment cool
An easy way to keep your little one’s room cool during the warmer months is to keep it dark during the day. Keeping the blinds closed or shutters drawn will prevent the sun from warming the room too much during the day – making it harder to cool down towards the evening.
If you haven’t already got one, invest in a thermometer for your baby’s room – these can be stand alone, or are sometimes already incorporated into other devices, such as a baby monitor or house thermostat. If you see that the temperature is still quite high a few hours before bedtime, you can spend some time cooling it down before your baby is ready for their night sleep.
Air conditioning, ceiling fans, or an open window with a slight breeze can also make a big difference in keeping their bedroom cool and making it a much kinder sleeping environment.
Keep your baby hydrated
Little ones need extra fluids in warm weather to ensure they stay hydrated. During Summer especially, it’s important to offer your baby breastfeeds or bottle feeds regularly throughout the day, and older babies and toddlers over six months of age should be offered cool, boiled water too.
A good indication that your child is getting enough fluids throughout the day is to check that they are producing consistently wet nappies – so be sure to check them regularly too!
Choose natural fabrics
Choose garments that are made of natural fibres such as cotton, organic cotton or bamboo cotton as these are naturally breathable and will reduce the chances of babies overheating or coming down with an irritating heat rash.
Synthetic materials such as polyester does not 'breathe' and can actually cause babies to sweat and overheat.
Layer your baby’s clothing
In Summer, less is more! Dress your baby in lightweight, loose clothing that promotes good airflow. Babies regulate their temperature through their head and face, so ensure these are not covered in any way with hats, beanies or blankets – this will keep baby in line with safe sleeping practices, as always.
If your baby is using a swaddle or requires the comfort of a sleeping bag, a singlet or just a nappy may be all they need underneath their swaddle or sleeping bag. Try leaving a foot or an arm unwrapped – even leaving one or two limbs uncovered can make a big difference when your little one is feeling particularly warm.
Invest in warm weather TOG rated sleeping bags
Here at Baby Loves Sleep, we know how tough it can be keeping your little ones cool in the hot Australian summer! That’s why we created our Summer 'Cool' range of newborn baby swaddles and baby sleeping bags, made with an ultra light organic cotton fabric that has tiny air holes to promote air flow through the fabric keeping your baby's body temperature cool and constant as they sleep.
If you think your baby has overheated, here are some ways to safely cool your baby down:
Remove your baby's clothing.
Give your baby a cool bath (not cold), if you can't give your baby a cool bath, use a cool wash cloth to wipe their head instead.
Take your baby into a cool room (use a fan to promote cool air circulation).
Give your baby a drink or a breastfeed to try and rehydrate them.
If your baby has a temperature, it is best not to give your baby any medicines to reduce their fever - these will not reduce a temperature caused by heat exhaustion or heat stroke, and may make things worse.
Call or visit your paediatrician or doctor - if your baby's temperature does not come down in one or two hours after doing the above.
Call 000 (emergency) - if your baby is hard to wake up or can't wake up.
If you are unsure what to do, always check first with your doctor or paediatrician for the right advice when it comes to your baby.
What are your top tips for keeping your baby cool in Summer?
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