The best sleeping tips hot summer nights with Night Nannies.
This has been compiled by over 250 of our Night Nannies for the Mama Mio website.
What are your top tips on how to keep a baby cool on a hot summer night?
During the day keep the blinds or curtains in the nursery closed but windows open, this can help to keep the room cool
You could try cooling the normal temperature of the bath water to cool them down before bed.
Give your baby lots of cool liquids to prevent dehydration and keep him cool. If you are breastfeeding your baby you don’t need to give them water as well as breast milk. However, you may need to breastfeed more than usual in the night.
If you are bottle feeding you could give them cooled boiled water in between their usual milk feed. Check for good hydration you can do this by checking if the baby’s fontanelle is sunken.
Always have baby in a shaded area when out during the day and never clip a large muslin or blanket over the front of the hood to darken for sleeping as the air will not be able to circulate inside the pram which then gets hot and this can have devastating consequences. Air needs to be able to circulate around the pram at all times
It is important to regularly check the baby’s body temperature by placing a hand on their back/ neck area. If the baby is sweating they should be cooled by removing or opening clothing. A cool damp cloth may be used to gently wipe the baby’s head and neck during feed time if deemed necessary. Feed time should not be too snuggly so as to avoid overheating.
We know that babies love being swaddled to help them sleep but will this still okay for summer? Should parents change their babies sleeping clothes and layers?
Babies cannot self regulate their body heat so try and dress your baby at night in loose fitting cool cotton short sleeved or sleeveless vest. If it is very hot just a nappy will do. If your baby is a big fan of swaddling it’s really important to continue with it otherwise it will interfere with their sleep. You can contain tiny flailing arms whilst leaving tiny warm legs and feet uncovered. Cover your baby very thinly with a muslin swaddle or muslin sleeping bag, no blanket on top. If he is around 8/10 weeks old you can start to leave one arm unswaddled which helps enormously if very hot
What is the optimal sleeping temperature for a baby and if it is too hot what’s the best way to cool them down (fan/ air conditioning/ opening the window)?
The ideal room temperature should be around 18 degrees. Open windows to try and get a breeze going.
A fan directed against a wall will cool the room without blowing directly onto the baby. You could also hang a damp towel or sheet in front of the fan, not over it. This will keep the room even cooler.
Night Nannies recommend a Dyson fan for babies at night, they are great.
Air conditioning if not too noisy is an idea as the gentle humming of a quiet air conditioner could actually aid better sleeping in an unsettled baby.
What are some common problems that Night Nannies see with babies in the summer time and what are the best ways to remedy them? (i.e. sleeping problems, summer colds, rashes etc).
In the summer the most common problem that clients complain of is early waking. A really well fitted blackout blind can remedy this problem.
Summer can be hot an exhausting from breastfeeding mums too! Do you have any tips for mums who are breastfeeding during the summer months?
Some mothers breasts can swell and get rashes from the heat, this can be relieved with refrigerated cabbage leaves or cool compresses. Lansinoh hot and cold breast therapy is a must have.
For engorgement, warm compresses and warm bath and massaging breasts can really help the swelling.
Mothers should definitely drink more water to increase their hydration and milk supply.
Eat a healthy meal at least twice a day, eat lots of fruits as snacks and try and get some sleep in the daytime.
Newborns should not be too adversely affected by summer nights however older babies may be. Our advice is that nights may be a bit more disturbed than usual but it’s England- it won’t last for long!