10 ways to help your baby or child sleep in the heat

Sunny warm weather can make sleep for babies difficult

Working out how to get your baby to sleep is not an easy task at the best of times but with temperatures soaring, you have the added worry of keeping your baby sleeping safely and not overheating. The Lullaby Trust recommends an ideal room temperature of 16-20°C for sleeping babies but on warm sunny days this is not always achievable. An uncomfortably warm room temperature can cause babies to become irritable and more restless causing disrupted nights. The following tips may help you all sleep better and keep the house as cool as possible.

1.  Choose the correct clothing and bedding

Getting the right balance between vests, baby grows and sleeping bags isn’t always easy. Babies are generally not used to sleeping uncovered so just leaving them in a nappy can make them unsettled. Use tog ratings as a guideline for what to dress your baby in. 0.5 tog sleeping bags can be light enough to keep your baby cool on a warm night whilst keeping your baby covered.

Here is a rough guide of how to safely dress your baby depending on the temperature:

27°C and above – vest and nappy or nappy only

24-27°C – short sleeved vest and 0.5 tog sleeping bag

21-23°C – short or long sleeved vest and 1 tog sleeping bag

17 -20°C – sleepsuit and 2.5 tog sleeping bag

Below 16°C – sleepsuit, vest and 2.5 tog sleeping bag

2.  Create a breeze to cool the house down

Open all the windows first thing in the morning to create an airflow through the house. However as soon as it start warming up keep the bedroom curtains and blinds closed to prevent direct sunlight from getting in as this will keep the room cooler. If it’s warmer outside than inside, keeping the windows closed is also a good idea.

open window to cool the house down

3. Aim to keep the bedroom as cool as possible

You can try to cool the air in the room using bottles of frozen water in front of an oscillating fan making sure the fan is not blowing directly onto your child.

4. Make sure your baby has enough fluids

You may find that your baby needs more frequent quick feeds through the night to keep them hydrated when it’s hot. Breastmilk is as hydrating as water so no additional water is needed for fully breastfed babies. Formula fed babies can be offered cooled boiled water (if under 6 months) or tap water (if over 6 months).

Drinking from a bottle on a warm sunny day

5. Make sure all sleepwear and bedding is 100% cotton

Natural fibres help wick away moisture, are quick drying and keep your baby cool and comfortable throughout the night.

6. Watch the room temperature

In the UK temperatures can change rapidly so check regularly as your baby may need an extra layer in the early hours. It can be difficult to judge the temperature in the room, so use a room thermometer in the rooms where your baby sleeps.

7. Check if your baby is too hot or too cold

The Lullaby Trust recommends the best way to check whether you baby is too hot or too cold is by feeling their chest or the back of their neck. If the skin feels hot or sweaty, you can remove one or more layers of bedding or clothing. Don’t rely on feeling their arms or legs as these often feel cooler to the touch.

baby sleeping in hot weather

8. A refreshing bath before bedtime

A tepid bath (not cold) before bed can help refresh and cool your baby down and settle their body temperature to help them fall asleep at bedtime.

Baby having a cooling bath as bedtime on a hot day

9. Do not cover prams or buggies

Prams and buggies SHOULD NOT be covered with blankets, muslins or any cover that stops air circulating to block out the sun. This is extremely dangerous and can easily lead to overheating.

Baby sleeping in pram or buggy on a hot day

10. Postpone bedtime

And lastly, consider postponing bedtime a little until the room is a little cooler.

I hope these tips help you and your little one sleep better in the heat. If you would like personalised advice and support with your little one, please get in touch with me or head over to my free Facebook support group or Instagram pages for regular sleep tips and advice.