How to Keep Baby Cool At Night During a Heatwave
As another summer rolls around, many of us are braced for the impending heatwaves to come. If it’s anything like the last few years, we know one thing’s for sure – children can easily get overheated, especially at night time.
As parents, we’re always looking for ways to keep our little ones safe and comfortable, especially in the warm balmy nights. When temperatures soar, it can be particularly challenging to ensure that our toddlers stay cool, especially at night when they need a restful sleep.
Here are a few practical tips you might find handy to keep toddlers cool during hot summer nights. As always, use your motherly/fatherly instinct and contact your GP or care provider immediately if your child displays any signs of heat related illness, which you can read more about at the NHS here. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heat-exhaustion-heatstroke/
How to Keep Toddlers Cool in a Heatwave at Night
During a heatwave, it's crucial to create a comfortable sleeping environment for your toddler. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
- Optimal Bedding: Opt for lightweight and breathable baby-safe bedding materials, such as cotton sheets and lightweight blankets. This allows for better air circulation, helping to keep your little one cool. The Lullaby Trust advise keeping your baby’s room at a temperature between16-20° and open the bedroom door or window if it’s safe to do so. Monitor the temperature with a room thermometer
- The Right Nightwear: You may want to dress your toddler in light, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton. Consider reducing layers, and in hot weather you may opt for no bedding.
- Windows, Blinds and Fans: Be mindful that closing blinds and curtains during the day may help to keep your child’s from getting too hot. You can also use a fan to help circulate air, just be sure to keep it out of reach from your child and ensure it isn’t directly pointing at them.
- Are they clammy? If you’re unsure about your child’s temperature in the night, the Lullaby Trust advise checking your baby’s chest or back of their neck to see if they are too hot. If their skin does feel clammy, it could be a sign that they are getting too hot.
Best toddler foods for hot weather
Don’t worry if your child wants to eat less in this weather, it’s more important that they are eating the right kinds of food, specifically those that help them stay hydrated. Because, yes – food is just as important as drinking in the hot weather.
Five foods that have high water content that kids enjoy include; cucumbers, watermelon, strawberries, oranges and pineapples. These can be served intermittently as snacks, or alongside a main meal in their favourite kids plate.
Lets not forget ice lollies and frozen fruits made into a smoothie – delicious in this weather!
Tips to Cool a Toddler Down with a Fever
Unfortunately, toddlers can get a fever, especially in the hot weather. Ensuring your child is well hydrated with plenty of fluids can help to prevent this. Fluids such as water and diluted fruit juice can help, some parents also use homemade ice lollies. In terms of liquid intake, NHS Scotland advises to aim for six to eight cups of mugs of water a day. For children under five years old this should be a 120-150ml cup, and for those older than six, it should be a 250-300ml cup.
You can also try a cool compress, damp, to your toddler’s forehead, chest and armpits to reduce body temperature and provide relief. Don’t forget that opening windows and positioning a fan by an open window can help with airflow too.
It’s important to be aware of any signs of overheating in babies and toddlers. If your child is excessively sweating, rapidly breathing, irritable and has flushed skin, seek medical advice.
Where to Go in the UK During Heatwave
When the heat becomes too intense, it's a good idea to seek out cooler locations. Explore local options like parks with shaded areas, indoor play centers, or splash pads, swimming pools and wet play where your toddler can cool off and have fun.
Broken sleep with a baby and toddler is quite commonplace, but it may be even more challenging during the hot muggy nights. Using these tips and being prepared for a heatwave can help ensure a more comfortable and restful sleep for everyone.
None of the information in this feature constitutes professional advice. Please always seek professional advice from the NHS (dial 111), or your local GP or caregiver.