Keeping your baby cool during sleep

It is important for babies to be nice and warm when they sleep but if they are too hot, this can also cause problems. The risk of cot death is increased if the baby is too hot and being hot may also cause them to be disturbed during their sleep. If it is warm outside, it can be difficult to keep your sleeping baby cool, but there are some steps you can take; these are outlined in the article below.

What temperature should my baby’s room be?

Ideally, your home should be kept at a temperature of between 17 and 20 degrees; the optimum temperature for babies is thought to be 18 degrees. If it is hot outside, your home may be warmer than this you can cool your house down by using a fan; these are fine for babies but make sure the fan is not pointed directly at your baby. If it is cold outside then your home may feel a bit cool; put your radiators on and set the thermostat to 18 degrees; if you don’t have a thermostat, you can buy an indoor thermometer, which will tell you the temperature; you can then adjust your heating as necessary.

How should I check if my baby is too hot?

It is very common for babies to have slightly chilly hands and feet so don’t panic and wrap them up in lots of layers; instead test the temperature of their abdomen. If they feel very hot then take a layer off; if they feel slightly cool, add a thin layer. If your baby feels very hot, you should check their body temperature using a thermometer; their temperature should be around 37 degrees (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit); if their temperature is more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit more than this, you should give them some over the counter pain relief (ibuprofen or paracetamol); check with your pharmacist or GP first; if symptoms persist, arrange to see your GP.

What kind of bedding should I use for my baby?

Children under the age of 12 months should not sleep with a duvet; instead your baby should sleep with a sheet and a blanket if it is cold outside. Babies should never sleep right next to a radiator or with an electric blanket.

Tips for keeping cool in the summer

If it is hot outside it can be difficult to keep your home cool; here are some tips to help keep your baby nice and cool while they sleep:

  • Use a fan to circulate the air but take care not to point the fan directly at your baby.
  • Take away unnecessary bedding; if it hot outside your baby does not need blankets; simply cover them with a loose sheet (take care not to cover their face).
  • Strip them off: babies do not have to wear a full sleep suit every day; if it is too warm in the room, strip your baby down to their vest or even just their nappy.
  • Open windows and doors to let fresh air circulate through the house
  • Keep curtains in your baby’s room closed and take care not to place your baby in direct sunlight while they sleep; keep an eye on the temperature in your baby’s room by buying a nursery thermometer (the room should be between 17 and 20 degrees)
  • You may find that your baby feeds more than usual when it is warmer; breastfed babies do not need to drink water but bottle-fed babies may benefit from having sips of water throughout the day.
  • You may wish to give your baby a lukewarm bath to cool them down; make sure the water is not too cool though.

You should never leave your baby sleeping in the car; if they fall asleep in their car seat, carry the seat into the house and place it in a cool, safe place while your baby continues to sleep. Keep a close eye on them if they fall asleep in their pram; often it can get quite hot sleeping in a pram so you may wish to transfer your baby to their cot or Moses basket once you get home.

Guide to Sleeping for Mother and Baby:

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