Crickey it's warm this evening!! As I write this the weather is rather hot! Chatting to a lovey friend with a very little baby it's got me recalling how tough it is as a new mummy tucking baby up for bed, when you are so scared of baby overheating and the weather outside is so hot! Even if this lovely weather subsides, many of you may now be planning holidays and wondering/worrying already how baby will sleep.
Of course mummies are wise to consider the risks of overheating. The Lullaby trust, who work to promote safer sleep for babies, highlight room temperature at length on their website https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/baby-room-temperature/
In fact 18 degrees is considered a comfortable temperature for baby’s room. So how do you keep baby comfortable, when the weather is so warm outside …..?
1. Dress your baby sensibly
Generally your baby only needs only one more layer than you.
“As a rule of thumb, no matter what the season, your baby will probably be at her most comfortable wearing just one layer more than you are. So if you’re going out in just a dress and thin cardigan, she’ll feel comfy in a vest, babygro and lightweight cardi or jacket.” http://www.kidspot.com.au/health/baby-health/newborn-care/how-to-dress-your-baby-for-summer
2. Think about bedding
Choose lighter sheets, or bedding appropriate for summer time use. As a very general guide:
24 degrees C: Sheet only or 0.5 tog sleeping bag
21 degrees C: Sheet plus one blanket, or a 1 tog sleeping bag
18 degrees C: Sheet plus two layers of blanket, or a 2.5 tog sleeping bag
16 degrees C: Sheet plus three layers of blanket, or a 2.5 tog sleeping bag plus a blanket
Taken from Baby Centre: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/baby/buyingforbaby/cotscribsbedding/bedding/#6
3. Windows and ventilation
If it is possible and safe to ensure the room remains ventilated, do so and use a room thermometer to help you judge the temperature.
You may find black out blinds help to cool a room and also help baby understand night time (when it is still so light and bright outside). There are even temporary ones you can take on holiday.
If baby’s cot is positioned close to the window, remember key safety tips:
No dangling cords from blinds
Not in direct sun light – as this will increase risk of overheating
Extreme caution once baby is old enough to stand and pull up that they cannot access open windows
4. Settling a hot sweaty baby
Swaddling is one of the age old calming techniques often passed down by grandmas to their granddaughters!
Designed to help baby control those first early jerky limbs and to pacify their startle reflex, whilst giving them the snug feeling of the womb, it really can be a useful tool for parents.
But in hot weather, a swaddle may be too much.
So If you are in need of other ways to calm and comfort you can try:-
Tiger in the Tree pose – Great for helping cut stimulation and also avoiding stimulating baby’s startle reflex (which tends to happen when baby is laid onto their back).
How to do it: Support baby over your arm, cupping their head in your hand (this gives them a feeling of containment similar to that experienced in the womb). You can feel slightly more secure by placing your free hand onto baby’s back to gentle rub or pat!
This can be really useful for babies with Colic too, as the pressure on the tummy is so soothing but caution if your baby has reflux.
Rocking – Harness the power of rhythm …. Not only will motion remind your baby of the womb (it is in fact one of the five S’s Dr Karp advocates in his book Happiest Baby on the Block, for soothing ….. in this case it represents ‘sway’), but will also help to regulate their own internal rhythm and systems. Try rocking to a pace of 60 beats per minute!