Sleeping in the Heat
It will soon be very hot in many parts of North America! The air conditioning is on in our house (and I’m grateful for that), but the rising temperatures have got me thinking about how to keep your baby sleeping in the heat and what you can do to keep them safe and comfortable.
Tips For Keeping Babies Sleeping Well In Hot Temperatures
Just a few small adjustments to your baby’s sleep environment can help them be comfortable in the heat and keep your little one sleeping well, no matter what the thermometer says.
Use cotton bedding and pajamas. Steer clear of synthetic materials as they can be big heat trappers and make for uncomfortable nights. If you use a mattress pad under the sheets, consider removing it during the extreme weather, eliminating that extra layer of padding and potential warmth.
Use a fan in your baby’s room but take care not to point it directly at him or her. Another “old school” alternative is to put bottles of frozen water in the room at bedtime. As they melt, the water will evaporate and act as a coolant to the room.
Take advantage of the room-darkening curtains you already have up. Most room-darkening shades also serve a thermal function—keeping cold air out during the winter and hot air out during the summer. Keep them drawn during the day during these bursts of heat and help keep the room a bit cooler.
Even if you don’t normally bathe every night, consider doing a brief one each night during a heat wave, with lukewarm to cool water. It’s super refreshing for baby and sets them up comfortably for being put down at bedtime.
Check baby’s temperature before you go to bed. Remember that the best way to assess baby’s temperature is by feeling the back of his or her neck. If she feels sweaty to the touch, remove a layer or two.
And of course always remember to keep baby (and yourself) hydrated during the day.