Summer Sleeping: 7 Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Better
Summer arrives and temperatures soar. Not only do we have much hotter weather, but we also experience frequent heat waves that become almost impossible to bear. This, of course, affects rest and the ability to fall asleep and to sleep without interruptions; and it happens not only to adults, but also to children. In fact, they’re especially vulnerable at this time of the year and that’s why we want to share with you some tips regarding summer sleeping for babies.
If it’s exhausting for grown-ups to try to sleep in such heat, imagine what it’s like for a child that’s only a few months old. They’re not aware of what’s happening or why, they only know that they feel uncomfortable. Nor do they have the autonomy to be able to cover or uncover themselves, take off their clothes, or get up to put the fan on. For the same reasons, we must be very attentive to help them rest at night and make sure they’re as comfortable as possible.
Take note of the following recommendations to help your baby sleep better during the summer nights.
1. The ideal temperature for summer sleeping for babies
One of the main issues is to determine what temperature is the most suitable for your little one to rest without problems. Although it may seem a bit cool, in reality, an environment that stays between 68 and 75 °F would be perfect. Now, during summer nights, this is quite difficult to achieve, but we can resort to several methods.
The important thing is for the room to cool before the child arrives so that they find it comfortable at bedtime. This way, keep the blinds down and the windows closed during the day to prevent heat from entering. In the evening, when it starts to cool down, open them and ventilate a little.
You can also use a fan or air conditioning without any problem. It’s best to run them for a while before putting your baby to bed and turn them off when they arrive. You can also use a humidifier to prevent the environment from drying out and affecting your baby’s mucous membranes.
2. Choose good pajamas and bedding
It’s essential to use light and breathable fabrics in both baby clothes and bedding. Preferably, opt for cotton or fine wool and avoid synthetic fabrics. In addition, try not to overdress your little one, as an excess of clothing can be overwhelming or uncomfortable. Keep in mind that, except for newborns, children are just as cold or hot as you are.
Thus, a onesie is usually more than enough for this time of year. Even if your baby’s very hot and it’s a particularly warm night, sleeping only in their diaper can be a good option. Likewise, avoid covering them with the sheet, as this can weigh them down and prevent them from falling asleep.
3. Hydrate them well during the day
Adequate hydration is essential to combat the heat, so during the summer months, be sure to give your baby enough breastfeedings or offer plenty of water if they already drink.
During the night, they may wake up thirsty, so offer them fluids, even if they don’t ask for them. If your little one is older and more independent, you can leave a bottle near the crib or bed for them to drink from if they need it.
4. Maintain routines
Not only does the heat affect a summer sleeping, but changes in routines do as well. Inevitably, we all tend to flex our schedules during the summer season and change our daily activities. This can affect the sleep of the little ones, preventing them from sleeping properly. Therefore, it’s important to maintain order in their daily life.
Respect their rhythms and routines and make sure they go to bed at the same time every day. Likewise, don’t abandon the rituals before bedtime, as these help babies to calm down and prepare for sleep. Even giving them a warm bath before bedtime can be an excellent idea.
5. Take care of some hygiene habits when it comes to summer sleeping
There are certain sleep hygiene habits that should be followed year-round but are especially important during the summer. In addition to maintaining a regular schedule, avoid exposure to screens or intense light stimuli before bedtime and help your baby understand that it’s time to sleep.
To do this, you can lower the blinds and reduce the ambient light for a while before putting your baby to bed. The longer daylight hours in summer can confuse little ones and keep them active until later.
6. Help them with breastfeeding
There are interesting studies that have found that breastfeeding can help children to fall asleep and sleep well. And this happens, among other factors, because the nighttime milk that the mother produces contains a higher load of melatonin (a hormone that induces sleep). To benefit from this effect, the baby needs to consume at night the milk that is secreted during the night.
7. Adjust the temperature during the night to promote summer sleeping for your baby
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that throughout the night, there may be fluctuations in temperature. Therefore, it’s advisable to be attentive and check whether your baby’s hot or cold in order to make the necessary adjustments. For example, turn the fan back on or, on the contrary, cover your baby with a blanket.
To check your baby’s temperature, it’s best to touch the back of their neck or their chest. If you notice that your baby is sweaty or too hot, try to take some of the above measures to help them be more comfortable.
Taking care of your baby’s sleep at night helps them enjoy the day better
In short, your baby’s sleep in summer can be affected by the high temperatures, the hours of daylight, and the change of routines. And, although we can help to some degree, it’s possible that during these months, they may not rest as well as usual. So be patient and understanding. You may both be more tired and irritable than usual.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Cohen Engler, A., Hadash, A., Shehadeh, N., & Pillar, G. (2012). Breastfeeding may improve nocturnal sleep and reduce infantile colic: potential role of breast milk melatonin. European journal of pediatrics, 171(4), 729-732.
- Zamora, T., Pin, G., & Dueñas, L. (2014). El Papel de la matrona en la higiene del sueño del futuro bebé. Introducción al sueño y claves principales en la prevención de riesgos durante el sueño del bebé. Matronas Profesion, 2014, vol. 15, num. 1, p. 28-31.