Tips on how to keep young children cool on hot nights

Families across the UK have been enjoying the bright, hot days of summer, slapping on the suncream, tucking into choc ices and throwing the halloumi on the barbies.

Which all makes for happy, smiley faces… until it’s time to go to bed.

The hot nights can be a real worry for many parents with young children and it’s important to keep babies cool in the sweltering heat, ChronicleLive reports.

Children often become restless if they are too hot or too cold, finding it more difficult to settle. They are also more likely to wake more frequently due to the heat.

Overheating puts newborns at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) so the advice is to check your tot does not have a moist head or neck, which are signs of sweating.

If their face is redder than usual or your baby has rapid breathing or a rash, these could be signs of overheating.

The Sleep Nanny, Lucy Shrimpton, has shared 14 ways to help our little ones in this hot, hot heat.

1. Get a room thermometer

This is so you know what temperature you are dealing with. This will take away the guesswork and give you peace of mind that you have dressed your baby suitably.

2. Dress your baby right for the room temperature

If the room is hot, for example, over 25C for most of the night, just a nappy and thin cotton vest may be all your infant needs. If the room is between 20-23C, a shortie baby grow or shorts and T-shirt pyjamas perhaps with socks or just a nappy and a one-tog sleep sack.

If your baby is too young for any kind of bedding and it is too hot for a sleep sack, simply dress them in suitable clothing for the room temperature so no covering is required.



3. Create a breeze

During the day, open all windows on the same floor to create a blow-through and pull curtains two-thirds of the way across to block out hot sun, but still allow the breeze through.

4. Ventilate your home

Opening your loft hatch if you have one to allow heat to escape up through the roof is a good idea.

5. Use appropriate bedding

Use only cotton bed sheets and avoid any waterproof mattress covering as this will hold heat and make your baby sweat.

6. Give them a quick, refreshing bath

A luke-warm bath or slightly cooler bath than usual might help to refresh your baby before bedtime and relieve any clamminess. But make it a quick bath so they don’t get too chilly.

7. Put ice in baby’s room

Large bottles of frozen water (one litre-plus) placed in the baby’s room may help to cool the air as they melt overnight.

8. Give electric fans a helping hand

Electric fans will often just blow the warm air around but place a large bowl of ice or some frozen water bottles in front of the fan to cool the air that circulates the room.

9. Keep baby calm

A calm baby will remain cooler than a frustrated baby so try to maintain a calming bedtime routine and offer reassurance and comfort if they are agitated. A cool flannel or cold compress dabbed gentle on your baby may help to cool and calm them.

10. Keep some water refrigerated

Your baby may need to drink more than usual. Cold water is great so for young babies it is worth cooling water and refrigerating it for night-time use. Breastfed babies will stay hydrated on breastmilk.

11. Consider moving rooms

If you cannot keep your baby cool in their own room, consider moving the child to a cooler room in the house temporarily.



Tips on how to keep young children cool on hot nights

12. Set them up for the whole night – not just evening

Remember, no matter how hot it is at bedtime, the temperature will drop in the night so don’t put your baby in their cot in just a nappy if it will drop below 25C in the night. You might like to check on your little one before you go to bed to see how the temperature is.

13. Accurately check baby’s temperature

Hands and feet do get colder than the rest of the body so it is natural for these to feel a little colder to the touch. If you are unsure about your baby’s temperature, feel the back of their neck or use a thermometer.

14. Put yourself in their shoes

Babies will be comfortable dressed for temperatures as you would dress yourself. So ask yourself how hot it feels and what you would be comfortable in when you are considering how to dress your baby.

Just remember, you can pull the covers over you but your baby cannot, so imagine you are going to bed without any bed covers.

For more information and tips from The Sleep Nanny (Lucy Shrimpton) visit www.sleepnanny.co.uk or follower her on twitter @lucysleepcoach.

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