When it comes to sleeping during a heat wave, it’s hard enough for us parents to keep cool and get a good night’s sleep, never mind for children and babies. Follow my useful guide to help your child sleep well and to keep them as cool as possible.
The recommended room temperature is 16-20 degrees centigrade but sometimes it’s just not possible to keep a room cool enough, especially when the temperatures are soaring outside. Despite this, I'd still recommend investing in a room thermometer so that you can accurately work out what layers to add or remove. They’re handy for the rest of the year too.
Try cooling a room by:
- Adding a fan (point it away from children and ensure safety of any wires);
- Use wet or damp towels on the radiator to cool the ambient temperature;
- Keep a window open, if it is safe to do so (I tend to open the blinds and curtains and windows once they’re asleep and shut them when I go to bed);
- Use a hot water bottle filled with cool water
What to dress your baby in
In terms of what to dress your child in, remember that it's always better for your baby to have less layers (they'll tell you if they're cold) than too many. The best way to check is to put your hand on their back or chest to feel whether they are too hot or too cold (don't check their feet or hands as it's usual for them to be a bit cooler at their extremities). (You know your child - my son is ALWAYS hot and runs hot so he needs less layers than my girls who feel the cold a little bit more.)
As a guide:
- 20 degrees – long sleeved PJs and 2.5 tog sleeping bag or short sleeved vest, long sleeved PJs and 1 tog sleeping bag.
- 21-22 degrees – long sleeved PJs and 1 tog sleeping bag
- 23 degrees – short sleeved PJs and 1 tog sleeping bag
- 24-27 degrees – short sleeved PJs and 0.5 tog sleeping bag.
Other tips to help with sleep during a sleep wave
- During a heat wave, ensure that you keep your child well hydrated – making your own lollies can help them to up their fluid levels.
- Keep children out of the sun to avoid bringing their cool temperature up and keep them cool using paddling pools where possible.
- You can use prams with breathable covers or in the shade for naps so that they can get some breeze over them.
- Add a cool bath to your bedtime routine (not too cold as that will shock their bodies). This will help to cool their core temperature and will also wash off any sun creams which will make them feel hot and sticky.
- Avoid using heavy creams or oils during baby massage before bedtime as this may make them feel more hot and sticky.
Whether you love it or hate it, you’re all prepared to keep cool and sleep in the hot weather.