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How to Keep a Baby’s Room Cool in Summer
The majority of people in the UK welcome the sunny weather. It’s a time to do fun things outdoors, such as relaxing at the beach, camping in the forest or reconnecting with friends on a boat trip or rooftop bar. But, sadly, heat and sleep are not friends.
During the day, the sunny weather is great, but at night, the heat feels uncomfortable, especially for babies. When babies overheat, they become restless and have trouble sleeping. Of course, hot weather is uncomfortable for adults too. Want to ensure that hot weather does not wreak havoc on your baby’s sleeping patterns? Keep reading!
What Is the Best Room Temperature for a Baby’s Room?
Keeping your baby’s room cool and comfortable is the best way to create a safe environment for your little one. The recommended room temperature for your baby’s nursery is between 15 to 20°C (59 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit). To monitor the temperature in the baby’s room, we recommend buying a room thermometer.
Use one of the following thermometers:
- Philips Avent Bath And Room Flower Thermometer
- Dreambaby Crocodile Bath And Baby Thermometer
- Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Bath And room Thermometer
- Babymoov Well-being Night Light
These devices are multi-functional. They measure humidity and temperature. In fact, you can use these thermometers to make sure the baby’s bath water is not too hot or cold. One of the best thermometers is the Gro-Egg.
As a popular thermometer, it changes colour as the temperature changes. If the temperature starts to increase, it glows orange. If it goes above 20°C, it turns red. Above 24°C, the thermometer will display a digital sad face. By doing so, it indicates that the room temperature is uncomfortable.
How to Help your Baby Sleep on a Hot Summer Night
If you don’t have a room thermometer, use your fingers to check if your baby is too hot. Touch your baby’s head, neck or chest to check for dampness. Also, check for the following signs:
- Baby is sweaty
- Baby is irritable
- Baby’s skin is red
- Baby has a rapid heartbeat
- Baby seems dizzy or confused
To ensure your baby sleeps, follow these tips.
1. Purchase Blackout Blinds
Sleeping during the day (in summer) is never easy for babies because of the sunlight. However, blackout blinds stop up to 99% of the light from entering a room. Therefore, switching to blackout blinds helps to create the ambience of the night.
Besides blackout blinds, you can purchase blackout film for windows in your baby’s room. The product comes in a roll, and you can cut to the size of the window. The film static clings to your window and blocks out the sunlight.
Before purchasing the blackout blinds or film, measure your window(s).
2. Ensure Your Baby Is Well Hydrated
Another way to ensure your baby sleeps comfortably at night in summer is to make sure he is well hydrated. Babies cannot tell you if they are thirsty. If your baby starts to be more irritable or floppy, it’s a sign of overheating, and you need to give him extra fluids.
Water stabilizes body temperature, ensures proper blood circulation and maintains electrolyte balance. We recommend giving your baby extra fluids before bedtime. During the day, offer extra feeds. Let your baby feed as much as he wants at night. A full belly triggers the brain to get ready for sleep. This results in deeper and better sleep.
3. Get a Tower Fan
Air conditioning is effective in cooling your home. A properly functioning air conditioning unit can cool a four-bedroom home by – 12.2°C 10 degrees Fahrenheit in three hours. Sadly, not every homeowner can afford air conditioning.
Don’t panic. You can get a tower fan. A tower fan distributes the maximum amount of air in the room while eliminating unnecessary noise. Thanks to its sleek tower design, the fan allows air to be efficiently distributed in the room. Remember, do not leave your baby in the full blast of the tower fan. The strong breeze will interrupt his sleep.
4. Give Your Baby a Warm Bath
The baby’s skin is 20% to 30% thinner than yours, and it’s super sensitive to heat. So on hot summer days, we recommend giving your baby a warm bath. I know this is contrary to popular opinion, but a warm bath decreases the body temperature far more effectively than a cool bath. This is because it triggers melatonin, a sleep hormone and lowers body core temperature.
Keep the bath time short. This helps you avoid letting the water cool down and become icy cold. Use a warm, clean washcloth and get the temperature of the water a few degrees cooler and keep the water levels low. You can allow your baby to splash for two to five minutes. Using a clean towel, pat your baby dry. This will cool the baby’s skin before bedtime.
5. Strip Your Baby Down to the Nappy
If your baby is wearing a sleepsuit and vest on summer nights, it may get too hot and uncomfortable. To ensure your baby sleeps comfortably, strip him down to the nappy. Use light bedding or a sleeping bag but make sure you’re using the right one for the season.
In hot weather, your baby will only need a low tog sleeping bag or sheet. This is true even when you co-sleep with the baby. Make sure your own bedding is well away from him. Keep checking your baby in his room to know if you can add or remove layers of clothing.
6. Pop Your Baby’s Sheets Into Your Fridge
Besides stripping your baby down to his nappy, you can also ensure the beddings are cool by sticking them in your fridge. Take a plastic bag, pop the sheets into the bag and stick it in your fridge. An hour before bedtime, take out the sheets and put them on the bed.
This method is only recommended for babies over 6 months. Babies aged 6 months and below have difficulty regulating their body temperature. As such, they will react to the cold sheets. Your baby may start sneezing, wheezing or even have a running nose.
7. Shut Your Windows and Curtains
On hot summer days, you want to keep the heat outside. If the room thermometer starts rising above 24°C, consider closing the curtains and shutting the windows. This will help to keep some of the heat out. If you keep the windows open, your home will keep heating quicker.
This is because warm air will blow from outdoors. If your baby nursery windows are facing the sun, close the curtains and shut the windows.
8. Use a Damp Flannel
Another way to cool off your baby on hot summer nights is by using a damp flannel. Use the damp flannel to dab them gently. It will decrease the body temperature and result in the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
9. Fill a Hot Water Bottle With Crushed Ice
Once you fill your hot water bottle with crushed ice, pop it into the baby’s bed before bedtime. Before placing your baby to sleep, remove the hot water bottle. You can also tuck the hot water bottle under the baby’s blanket. We recommend putting it under the fitted sheet or at the foot of the bed. Make sure you only fill the hot water bottle with small pieces of ice.
10. Switch Sleeping Bags With a Muslin
The lowest tog sleeping bag for babies has a rating of 0.5. This is a lightweight version similar to a swaddling blanket. If you want to keep your baby cool on hot summer nights, then a tog sleeping bag with a 0.5 rating is perfect for your little one.
If your baby gets hot even after using the sleeping bag, consider switching for a muslin or a thin cellular blanket. You can always change back if you’re worried your baby will be cold.
11. Move the Baby’s Cot to a Cooler Room
Moving your baby’s cot to a different room that’s cooler can ensure better sleep on hot summer nights. Before moving the cot, prepare the room. Keep the blind cords out of the baby’s reach, add window guards to prevent the baby from falling out of the window and a working smoke detector.
12. Remove Mattress Covers
Waterproof mattress covers protect the mattress from poo and vomit. However, they can make your baby sweatier in hot weather. To ensure your baby sleeps soundly, consider removing the cover.
13. Take a Short Drive
Taking a short drive can help a baby who is struggling to sleep. This is because the car has air conditioning creating a cool and comfortable environment. The movement of the car also lulls the baby to sleep. Once the baby is in a deep sleep, drive home and transfer him to his bed.
I hope that these tips help your baby sleep better in hot weather. Remember, keep your baby hydrated, use a tower fan, keep the windows shut, give your baby a warm bath, and move the cot to a cooler room. Don’t forget that your baby may get thirsty at night. This means frequent wake-ups and extra feeding. Do not restrict this.