Although the warmer weather was welcomed with open arms after weeks of rain showers, the UK's heatwave can be uncomfortable and distressing for little ones.
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As temperatures soar, parents may be finding it difficult to get babies and young children to settle in the warmer weather. Lucy Shrimpton, Parenting Expert and founder of The Sleep Nanny® shares her expert intel on how to help your baby sleep in a heatwave.
10 tips to help your baby sleep in a heatwave
Run a refreshing bath
Although there's nothing like a long hot soak, a lukewarm or slightly cooler than normal bath will refresh your baby before bedtime and relieve any daytime clamminess which can cause irritation and itching in the night.
Increase airflow in the home
During the day, open all the windows on the same floor to create a natural breeze that should make the rooms cooler. If you have a loft hatch, open it so that the heat escapes through the roof.
Use cotton bed sheets
Cotton bed sheets are the best in hot weather. Avoid waterproof mattress coverings as they hold onto the heat and make your baby sweat more.
Dreamskin® Pure Cotton Bedding Set, £19.50, Marks & Spencer
Close curtains and shades
Although it might seem counterintuitive, shutting the blinds on a hot day is the best way to prevent your home from heating up. UV can travel through glass too, so always make sure your baby is topped up with SPF during the warmer months.
Child's Farm Sun Lotion, was £12, now £9.11, Amazon
Get a room thermometer
It’s important to know just how hot the room your baby is sleeping in is. This will take away guesswork and give you peace of mind that you’ve dressed your baby in the right kit.
"If the room is very hot, for example over 25 degrees like it has been the past few nights, dress your baby in just a nappy and a thin cotton vest," revealed Laura. "If the room’s between 20 and 23 degrees, a shortie baby grow or shorts and t-shirt pyjama set will be fine, with just socks and a nappy and a one-tog sleep sack."
NOKLEAD Room Thermometer, £11.99, Amazon
Remember to set them up for the whole night, not just the evening. The temperature will drop over night so be prepared. Check on their temperature regularly so you know they’re not getting too cold if you’ve let them sleep in just their nappy.
Invest in a cooling fan
Babies generally like the gentle rhythmic noise of a fan – as well as the cooling air it gives out so make sure your baby has a fan pointed at them. A good idea is to place a large bowl of ice or some frozen water bottles in front of it to cool the air that circulates around the room. Just make sure that the air you’re circulating isn’t too cold!
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Keep baby as calm as possible
An irritable baby is more likely to get hot and clammy, so try to keep your baby as calm and relaxed as possible. Create a reassuring bedtime routine that is just like any other night-time. If you sense they are getting upset by the heat, a cool flannel or a cold compress dabbed gently on your baby may help to cool and calm them.
Keep your baby hydrated
Your baby may need to drink more than usual so make sure you’ve got a steady supply of cold water in the fridge ready. Breastfed babies will stay hydrated on breastmilk so just make sure that mum is also keeping plenty hydrated too.
Make sure to keep your baby hydrated in hot weather
Consider moving rooms
If the room that your baby sleeps in is in a particularly hot part of the home, consider moving them to a cooler room to help them sleep. That’s the same for older children who might be struggling – they will see it as an adventure!
Check their temperature
The best way to check your baby’s temperature is to feel the back of their neck or use a thermometer. A baby’s hands and feet do tend to get colder so this is much more accurate.
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