No matter how old your baby is, hot nights can lead to your little one overheating, which is not only dangerous but will also leave you with an upset and frustrated baby. Babies are unable to regulate their own body temperature, which means they solely rely on their parents to help control this and keep the air around them cool. As the summer approaches, there is an increase in direct sunlight and hot air, which is why it is vital to ensure you keep your baby cool during both the day and at night. Luckily there are a number of ways that parents can maintain a cooler room on a hot summer night so that they are left with a happy, healthy and calm baby. Here are Babogue's top tips on keeping baby cool at night.
Why is it So Important to Keep Babies Cool?
The hot sun will warm air around the baby's room during the day, leaving the room hotter, above the recommended temperature for both young and older babies. The baby's room should always be at a temperature within 18 to 22°C (64 to 71°F), but during the hot weather, the room temperature could rise above this, which can be dangerous and uncomfortable for your baby. A baby overheating or sleeping in an incredibly hot room can lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) which is why it is so important that young children and babies are checked on frequently and the baby's room cool throughout the night. The baby's temperature can be checked throughout the night by feeling the back of their neck or back gently with your palm. If the baby feels too hot or sweaty, remove layers immediately and try to get the temperature of the room down. A room thermometer can be a great help during the summer, to ensure you are keeping baby cool at night. A calm and cool baby will be able to fall asleep much easier, making the bedtime routine a nicer time for everyone.
What Can I Do to Regulate My Baby's Room Temperature?
A cool room and calming bedtime routine will keep young babies and children safe and happy, which is what we all want for our little ones. There are a number of ways to keep your baby cool through the whole night and ensure warm air is minimised, where possible.
Open Windows with Blinds Down During the Day
The best way to help keep your baby's nursery cool for the night is to keep windows open during the day with blinds down or curtains are drawn. This keeps air moving throughout the room but blocks out the sunlight from getting in and raising the air temperature. Blackout blinds are perfect for hot summer days because they will do a great job at keeping hot air out of your baby's nursery. If your baby's crib is usually by the window, it is a good idea to move it away from anywhere that could potentially be hit by sunlight, as this will warm the mattress and sheets.
Make Use of Electric Fans and Air Conditioning
If you use air conditioning in your home, it can be an ideal way to regulate the temperature for your baby at night. The sound from the air conditioning can also be calming and help babies to sleep! It is important to make sure the air filter is regularly cleaned for safety.
A ceiling fan is the next best thing to air conditioning and will keep the air circulating around so the room doesn't become too hot. An electric standing fan is a great alternative to a ceiling fan, but shouldn't be placed facing directly to your baby as this can be dangerous and decrease their body heat too much. If you are going to use an electric fan, face it towards a wall in the nursery so that it can circulate the air but won't be blowing directly onto your little one.
Ensure Your Baby is Wearing Breathable Materials
Breathable materials are vital during the summer, as young babies are unable to regulate their own body heat. Suitable clothing at night includes pieces that can be easily removed or unzipped so that if your baby does feel too hot, they can easily be cooled. A thin cotton vest or one tog sleep sack is perfect for summer nights - don't be afraid to remove the sleeping bag if your little one feels too warm or is sweating, but remember to remove it from the crib completely so it does not pose a risk.
Do Not Cuddle Baby While Feeding
If the air is warm and it is a hot night, make sure you do not cuddle your baby too much while feeding. Breastfed babies will be close to you, but try not to put your arms around them too much or do anything that could end up increasing their body temperature. If you are bottle-feeding, ensure bottles are cool so that your little one can take in colder liquid that will hydrate them and help to avoid overheating.
Try a Refreshing Bath Before Bed
Whether bath time is part of your bedtime routine or not, a refreshing bath will work wonders at bringing your baby's temperature down before bed. A bath will also keep your baby calm and will allow them to remain cooler during the nighttime. Once your baby has come out of the bath, check their temperature and dress them accordingly so that they aren't too warm and are comfortably dressed.
Opt for a Crib Mattress with Cooling Technology
A mattress with cooling technology contains breathable fibres which take in excess moisture that is then evaporated. The mattress will essentially draw out the heat from your baby's body, ensuring that they are safe and cool throughout the nighttime. A cooling mattress can work wonders for young children during the summer and will give you more peace of mind at night.
There is a range of things we can do to prevent babies from overheating during the night, but don't forget about other safety requirements that are essential to reduce the risk of SIDS. These include:
- Check on your baby and their temperature frequently throughout the night
- Do not allow loose blankets or clothing in the crib, as items can cause suffocation
- Ensure your little one is on their back while sleeping
- Feed newborns with breast milk or bottle milk every 2 to 3 hours
- Never leave your baby unattended
- Do not face an electric fan directly onto your baby
Your baby's health and safety is the most important thing, which is why you must do what you can to stop them from overheating during the summer.
Help Your Baby Get More Sleep with Babogue
Here at Babogue, we offer a sleep series and one-to-one consultations to help you and your family get a better night's sleep. Erica Hargaden at Babogue is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant and a mum of three who understands how necessary sleep is for babies and the rest of the family. Erica has helped over 2500 families across the world to sleep better, so if you are struggling with your child's sleep look no further than Babogue. Find out more about our Sleep Series online and get in touch for a consultation on your children's sleep quality.