Oh, Baby, It’s Hot Outside
In the UK, we’re used to complaining about the weather but the subject of our discontent is usually cold and rain rather than the heat. Whilst the return of better weather has been welcome during a year which has seen many of our activities curtailed, the recent heatwave can be less than comfortable for those who are pregnant and those with newborns.
Sleeping like a baby
Having a baby who is not sleeping is difficult at the best of times and the recent temperatures in the high 20s and early 30s have, for many, made it downright miserable for both mum and baby. While there’s every chance that we’ll soon be back to complaining about the rain, I’ve put together my guide to keeping baby cool and happy when the mercury rises:
- Where possible, keep windows, blinds and curtains closed until the sun goes down and only open windows for an hour or so – between 8 pm and 9 pm – to let in some fresh air without also inviting in direct sunlight.
- If you spend time in the garden, invest in a paddling pool for baby filled with an inch or two of water. During hot weather, always make sure that you stay in the shade as much as possible to avoid overexposure to the sun.
- If you can, take walks either very early in the morning or in the early evening when things tend to be a little cooler.
- Keep an eye on the temperature. The safe temperature for babies is between 16 and 20 degrees.
- Invest in a fan or cooling tower and switch on shortly before baby’s bath time (making sure that it’s not pointed directly at your child). Use water a couple of degrees cooler than normal to help cool your baby down.
- At nap times and bedtime, put the baby in a sleeveless bodysuit which will help to prevent over-heating. I wouldn’t recommend nappy only in children younger than five months as I know from experience how much fun it is to wake up to a nappy-less baby in the morning!
- Offer extra feed for breastfed babies and water for older children (six months and above) as this can help to promote sleep even during hot weather.
- Keep wet Cheeky Wipes in the fridge and gently use these to wipe baby’s feet whilst feeding at night-time.
- Try experimenting with soothing white noise such as the sound of waves or rain to help babies and children drift off to sleep.
- As with us adults, many babies and children tend to eat less during hot weather. While this is not a problem, keep an eye out for plenty of wet and dirty nappies and pay particular attention to fluid intake. Dream feeds can also be helpful with a fussy baby.
Pass it on
With the best will in the world, getting a baby to sleep during super-hot weather is a challenge so, if you’ve achieved it – well done you (and please do get in touch with your tips). If not, give my tips a go and, most importantly, try not to get too stressed – the colder weather will be back before we know it!