5 Tips to Help Babies and Toddlers Sleep in the Heat

Whether you're at home or heading on holiday, it’s important that little ones are comfortable during the hotter days and nights. Here are five super helpful tips to help keep babies comfortable in the heat so that everyone gets some sleep!

Offer plenty of fluids during the day (and night if needed!)

Offering more fluids to your baby during hot weather is crucial to prevent dehydration. Babies are more susceptible to dehydration than adults and may be unable to communicate their thirst effectively. If you are breastfeeding, offer more frequent feeds during the day (there is no need to give water as breastmilk is just as hydrating).

If you are formula feeding, offer a little cooled, boiled water, but try to keep it to a minimum and not just before a feed. For older babies and toddlers, keep a water cup within reach and offer it frequently! Keeping them hydrated during the day may help avoid them waking thirsty overnight, but don’t panic if your baby wakes to feed more often. Once the warm weather passes, this phase should also pass.

Keep them cool during pram and contact naps

If your baby naps in the pushchair, don’t drape a blanket or cloth over when they are sleeping. The air trapped inside heats up much faster than it does outside and can lead to overheating. Consider investing in a pram shade if the bright sun is a problem. If your baby naps on you, this can get very sweaty in the hot weather! One way to keep both of you cool is by placing a damp washcloth/muslin between you and the baby whilst they sleep
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Proactively plan how you’ll keep their bedroom cool

Open your baby’s bedroom windows first thing in the morning when it is coolest outside and create an airflow by having as many windows open as possible. As the weather starts to warm up, close the windows, draw curtains and pull down blackout blinds. When your baby goes to bed, use a fan in their bedroom (don’t point it directly at them). It can also help to pop a bottle of frozen water or a bowl of ice in front of the fan to cool the air as it blows through.

Give them a lukewarm bath right before bed

Use water that is slightly cooler than you would normally use in their bath (you want it slightly lower than their body temperature). Avoid using cold water, as this may cause discomfort. Keep the bath quick to avoid their body temperature dropping too much. Even if you normally give them a bath before bed, it can still help to sponge your baby down with lukewarm water to cool them down before bed and promote a better night's sleep.

Make sure to dress your baby appropriately overnight

Choosing the right clothing for your baby during hot weather is crucial to prevent overheating.
Choose lightweight, breathable and loose-fitting clothing made of natural fibres like cotton. Avoid synthetic materials as these can trap moisture and heat. Use lightweight blankets or low-tog sleeping sacks (0.5 or 0.2 tog) – and don’t be scared to put them down in just their nappy alone if it’s very hot. It’s also important to avoid swaddling when it’s hot.
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