Beat the Sleep Heat
Since the snow has melted and mother nature has cranked up the temperature I’ve been asked by many parents about how they should help their little ones stay comfortable during sleep when it’s a lot warmer in their rooms.
Ideal room temperatures for most babies and toddlers to sleep in is between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius, but usually closer to the 18 mark. For those of us who don’t have air conditioning and see the temperature rising in our children’s rooms we wonder how we’re going to keep them sleeping safely throughout the warmer months.
There are many things you can do to try and help your little ones sleep through the heat. The list below is not exhaustive, not every tip will work for every family and child but it gives you somewhere to start!
- Open windows in the morning and evening (if bedtime isn't too early) when the air is cool to help circulate the cooler, fresh air in the house
- Keeping windows, blinds and curtains closed tight during the day to keep warm air out and the sun from finding its way in
- A ceiling fan can work wonders even in a warm room
- A portable fan can also help. It's best to point the fan at a wall to move the air around as we don't want it blowing directly on babies or toddlers.
- Hanging a damp cloth in front of a fan (not on the fan) can help blow cooler air
- You could try cooling the bath water temperature a bit to cool them off initially before bedtime
- This also implies that littles are relaxed and not running around and heating themselves up right before bed ;)
- Lots of cool liquids throughout the day to keep them cool and hydrated, or nursing more frequently to keep up hydration
- Dressing little ones appropriately:
- If the temperature is 21, a 1.0 TOG sleep sack and long sleeve onesie will work for most little ones
- If the temperature is 23, a 1.0 TOG sleep sack and a short sleeve onesie will work for most little ones
- If the temperature is 24 – 27, a 0.5 TOG sleep sack and a short sleeve onesie will work for most little ones
- Blankets follow the same idea as the sleep sacks so you will want a thicker blanket if it is cooler, a thinner one if it's warmer.
* TOG is a rating used to describe the warmth of a sleep sack. The lower the TOG, the more lightweight it is. Most sleep sacks will have the rating on the packaging or even on the tag inside of the sleep sack where you would find washing instructions.
* Some babies and children are warmer and need fewer layers.
* If you are unsure if they are too warm or too cold the best way to check is to touch their hands, feet and/or back/neck area. If they are warm to the touch, they are overdressed. If they are cold to the touch, they are underdressed.
* It can take a little while to figure out how each unique little one is most comfortable with the warmer temperatures so don't worry if it takes a few tries to sort it out.