Surviving a hot summer when your baby or toddler needs to sleep!
Unless you've been living in an air conditioned apartment for the last few weeks, you may have noticed its getting HOT.
Summer has arrived with a boom, and temperatures and humidity levels have been causing havoc on everyones sleep.
In order to successfully fall asleep our body temperature actually needs to lower in order for us to fall asleep. By up to a full degree sometimes!
So if you, or your baby to toddler are hot and uncomfortable, your body is already struggling to cool you down enough just to be comortable let alone fall asleep!
This creates fussy babies, toddlers who resist bed time, tantrums, extra demands for feeds due to thirst, grumpy parents, and stressed out house holds!
There are some obvious solutions like ducted air conditioning, portable air conditioning units, and things like that, but these optiosn are VERY pricey! Not to mention, you probably can't get this organised until next year at this point.
What else can you consider or try?
- Fans to circulate the air, things can feel cooler with a simple fan. If the temperature drops overnight and you don't want to stay up to turn the fan off, just get a plug in timer and set it for 11pm or 3am, when ever you think it will be cool enough to not need it.
- Fans blowing behind a big bottle of frozen water, this can blow cooler air around the room, and maybe.... feel like air conditioning air!
- If you have thermal backed curtains, leave them closed in the day as they'll actually keep the heat out! You can open the windows for fresh air and keep the curtains drawn.
- If you usually bath your baby at say 5.30pm and bed time isn't 7pm, try moving the bath closer to bed time! Lower the temperature of the bath itself to help your baby or toddlers temperature drop in preparation for sleep.
- Clothing: Switch your babies PJ's for just a singlet or onesie, if its very hot they might be in just a nappy and you'll need to go in later and pop something on them in their sleepy state. Most babies will easily let you dress them while they're asleep. They will stir but go back to sleep, don't panic. If its your toddler, the same thing applies, you'll find they easily go back to sleep.
- If you have a child around 2 years or older, my favourite trick is a cold fannel which I wet and pop in the fridge at dinner time. I give my toddlers and school age kids this to fold in half and place over their forehead and maybe eyes like an eye mask. It cools them down, and helps them relax as they have to keep still for it to stay on their head! Nothing worse than a thrashing toddler making themsleves hotter and more frustrated!
If your baby sleeps in a sleeping bag, over the summer you probably want to switch to a 0.2 tog - 0.5 tog cotton or bamboo or muslin sleeping bag for day naps, and maybe even night sleep depending on how hot it is where you are.
Your baby might sleep with just a nappy, or a single layer under the bag.
Toddlers and big kids, single sheet over the top and probably PJ bottoms with no tops or switch to a singlet, again depending on how hot it is.]
Go in before you go to bed, and assess if your little ones need their covers pulled up, or a blanket added.
Give your baby or child some grace...
If they're suddenly fighting naps, unsettled at bed time, or waking in the early parts of the night. They might just be super hot and uncomfortable. You're probably just as hot, so you're likely to be feeling grumpy and short fused. Try a cold flannel yourself!!!
Having a plan like a cold flannel in the fridge, and keeping mentally cook is the key to good sleep in a heat wave. Once your baby or toddler gets upset, they'll cry, get hotter, cry more and things will be tricky! If you're ready with a pre thought out solution (even if its bonus cool shower with mum at 8pm), things will settle down faster and everyone will sleep better.
Emma is the owner and founder of Baby Sleep Consultant, she is a certified infant and child sleep consultant, Happiest Baby on the block educator, has a Bachelor of Science, and Diploma in Education. Emma is a mother to 3 children, and loves writing when she isn't working with tired clients and cheering on her team helping thousands of mums just like you.
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