Has your little one struggled to sleep well during the warm summer months? Read on to discover our top tips for helping your child to sleep in the heat.
How much sleep do babies need?
Every baby is different, but a good sleep routine is something all children can benefit from. The amount of sleep you baby needs will change as they grow and, whilst your newborn will sleep for as much as 18 hoursi, children aged 6-12 months should sleep for up to 12 hours at night, with 2-3 day daytime napsii.
Helping babies to nap in hot weather
Much like adults, babies can struggle to sleep in the heat but a change in their sleep routine can result in a tired, fractious infant, and may also result in a disturbed night sleep for them and their parents. The good news is that there are some things you can do to help infants to sleep soundly in warmer weather.
Make their bedtime breezy
According to the Lullaby Trust a comfortable sleeping environment for most babies is 16-20°Ciii. If the room is too warm, try these top tips:
- Keep blinds closed and bedroom windows open to create a cool spot to snooze in
- For particularly hot rooms, consider cooling the room with a fan or, placing your baby down for their nap in a travel cot or Moses basket that is in a cooler area of the house
- Lose the layers and let your little one sleep in light cotton clothing, or, just their nappy
- Switch to a summer sleeping bag made from breathable natural fibres. Muslin absorbs moisture and is ideal for keeping the body cool
Remember: Your baby’s temperatures can fluctuate so it’s important you check they do not overheat whilst they sleep. The Lullaby Trust recommends feeling the back of your baby’s neck or their tummy, if your baby feels warm, consider removing a layer of their clothing or beddingiii.
Make nap time a walk in the park
Getting a breath of fresh air by taking your baby for a walk in their pram can help them drift off to sleep but, before you head out into the heat, make sure you follow these top tips:
DO: Make sure you have your sun lotion on and, if your baby is bottle fed, be sure to prevent dehydration by carrying water for both them and for you
DO: Dress you baby in light cotton clothing and ensure the hood of the pram is up and keeping them cool. If tucking a blanket around your baby use a blanket made from a light, breathable fabric, such as muslin
DON’T: Shade your baby’s pram by placing a blanket or muslin over the pram. According to research this can increase the temperature inside the pram, creating an uncomfortable environment for your babyiv. Instead, keep the pram hood up and keep the pram in the shade as much as possible
DO: Check on your baby regularly to ensure they are not in direct sunlight and are not getting too hot
DO: Plan your route. Babies should be kept in the cool and out of the sun as much as possible. To minimise exposure to direct sunlight, be sure to plan your route and, if possible, factor in some shady rest stops, such as a park or café
Make time for massage
Gently massaging your baby’s skin after bath time is thought to help infants to have a better night's sleep.
How do you help your baby to sleep in the heat? Let us know by using #GreenYourRoutine on social.