Learning how to maintain the right temperature for a baby is something that many parents struggle with at the beginning. Generally, we are told to dress baby in one additional layer that you are wearing yourself. But it’s still possible to overdo it, especially in warmer temperatures, which puts babies at risk for overheating – a known risk factor of SIDS. Being too warm at night can also disrupt your baby’s sleep, so what do you do during those hot summer nights? Here are some tips for helping to keep baby feeling cool and comfortable for a better sleep.
Use a breathable crib mattress
The type of crib mattress you put a baby to sleep on makes a world of difference to how well the baby will sleep. A breathe-through crib mattress allows for ventilation to keep baby cool at night and during naps. The SafeSleep Breathe-Through Crib Mattress by Secure Beginnings features a patented airflow design that lessens the risk of overheating.
Use a summer swaddle
Some swaddles are made of a thicker, warmer material that is best used during colder months. You don’t want to use this same type of swaddle during the summer because it will be too warm for your baby. A light and breathable swaddle like the Summer Woombie is ideal because it is made of 100% organic cotton and vented for ultra-breathability.
Adjust the room temperature
Before putting a baby to sleep, make sure the nursery is at a comfortable temperature. The recommended temperature is 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, but all babies are different so check on your baby to make sure he/she is comfortable. You can use an air conditioner or a fan to keep the room feeling cool, but make sure the air is not blowing directly towards the baby.
Check on baby
If you think your baby may be too warm, check for signs like crying, being fussy, or heat rash. Place your hand behind baby’s neck – if it feels warm or damp, you should remove a layer of clothing or adjust the room temperature.
Don’t give baby water
Your instinct when you see your baby sweating may be to offer water, but babies younger than six months should never drink water. Instead, give them more breastmilk or formula to keep them hydrated. In warm weather, you may find baby wants to feed more often to quench his thirst.
Keep curtains closed
It can be tempting to open the curtains during the day to let the sunlight in, but that will also make the room warmer. It’s best to leave the curtains closed to keep it cool and dark. If the light is still coming into the room, you might want to consider getting blackout curtains which will block light, absorb noise, and insulate against heat.
Give baby a bath
Make bath time part of baby’s sleep routine and keep the water slightly cool (not cold) during hot days. This will cool down baby so he will be able to sleep comfortably afterward.