How do I help my baby sleep in the hotter weather?


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The Met Office recently issued an amber warning to weather forecasts as a relentless heatwave makes its way to the UK. The alert comes as temperatures hit the highest of the year, and warned to keep children out of the sun as much as possible - easier said than done during the summer holidays we know!

So you may be wondering what you should be dressing your baby and young children in at bed time. We’ve got some top tips here, and don’t forget to check out our video where we give you loads more info for keeping your little ones cool.

What is the ideal bedroom temperature?

A bedroom temperature of 16-20 degrees is ideal but during these hotter spells it is sometimes just not possible to keep bedroom temperatures below 20 degrees.

So what can I do?

While it may be difficult to keep the room to that temperature range, there are things you can do to help keep the room and your baby as cool as possible.

  • Use a room thermometer– this way you have an accurate way of reading your baby’s room temperature.
  • Windows, blinds & curtains– keep blinds and curtains closed during the day to keep as much of the heat out of the room as possible, leave windows open overnight to allow the cooler air to circulate.
  • Safe bedtime clothing – if you use a sleeping bag make sure you have various togs. A toddler’s first duvet should be no more than 4.5 tog but in hotter weather they may just need a thin blanket, sheet or nothing at all over them. Below is a rough guide on how to dress your baby according to the room temperature:
    • 27 degrees +: vest and nappy, or nappy only
    • 24 - 27 degrees: short sleeved vest and 0.5 tog sleeping bag or a sheet
    • 21 - 23 degrees: short or long sleeved vest and 1 tog sleeping bag or one blanket
    • 17 – 20 degrees: baby grow and 2.5 tog sleeping bag or two-three blankets
    • below 16 degrees: baby grow, vest and 2.5 tog sleeping bag or four or more blankets.
  • Bath temperature– you can give you baby a cooler than normal bath before bed, make sure it isn’t too cold as this can shock their system.
  • Increase fluids – breastfed babies shouldn’t need any extra fluids, however they may need extra feeds. Formula fed babies should be offered cooled boiled water in excessive heat. Young children should be given water on demand and offered regularly.
  • Use a fan – this will help circulate the air, make sure it is not pointing directly at your baby though.
  • Keep checking – make sure you regularly check the temperature of the room and your baby. To check your babies temperature, feel their chest, back of neck or tummy and not their arms, legs or extremities.
When should I be worried?

Sweating is normal and a natural way for our bodies to cool us down, some babies will be sweatier than others, check to see how hot they feel rather than relying on sweatiness as an indicator of their temperature. If you are concerned or want a more reliable indicator use an in ear thermometer.

The higher temperatures can also make your baby sleep more soundly than usual; the heat can make us all lethargic so this isn’t anything to worry about unless you have problems rousing your baby or they are displaying unusual behaviour.

*This information has been checked and approved by our in house Health Visitor, Maggie Fisher.