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How to Keep your Newborn Cool at Night in the Summer

It can be tough to keep your newborn cool at night. While they sleep, their body generates a lot of heat, and if the room is too warm or they are overdressed, they can become irritable and uncomfortable. In the extreme, they are at risk of dehydration and overheating. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to keep your baby comfortable and safe at night during the summer months.

Table of Contents

Why do you Need to Keep you Newborn Cool

It’s important to keep your newborn cool during the heat of the summer months. Babies can easily become uncomfortable and restless if their environment is too warm, leading to broken sleep and increased irritability. As parents that is the last thing we need for our babies!

Newborns, in particular, are more sensitive to changes in temperature and need a room that is kept at a comfortable level. Older babies, on the other hand, are more resilient and can tolerate warmer temperatures.

Newborns can’t regulate their own body temperatures, and depend on us to keep them at the right temperature. As such, they can overheat very easily, which can be dangerous for them, resulting in heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke and dehydration. Symptoms of overheating include sweating, fever, rapid breathing, and a racing heart rate. If your baby experiences any of these symptoms, it is important to cool them down and seek medical attention.

How to Monitor your Baby’s Temperature

The first step to making sure to keep your newborn cool is to regulate the temperature in the baby’s room, which can easily be done using a thermometer. The ideal temperature for a baby’s room is between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius (68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit).

In addition to checking the room temperature, you should also monitor your baby’s temperature by feeling their skin. Place your hand on their neck or back area – if their skin is hot, sweaty or red, this may be a sign that the room is too warm.

Other signs that your baby is too hot and you should seek medical attention are:

  • Restless and sweaty
  • Rapid breathing rate
  • Racing heart rate
  • Lethargic or unresponsive
  • Heat rash

Top 10 Tips to Keep your Baby Cool at Night

Using fans to keep newborn cool

Here are our top tips on how to keep your newborn cool and comfortable at night, to help everyone get a good night sleep:

  1. Close blinds and curtains during the day, but open the windows. This helps to prevent the sun from warming up the room too much. Black-out blinds are particularly helpful here.
  2. Use a fan or air conditioner. A fan can help circulate air and create a very welcome breeze (Pro tip: putting a frozen bottle of water or wet towel in front of the fan can help cool down the room quicker!). Installing a ceiling fan is also a great idea, and useful in both summer and winter – spin the blades counterclockwise to push cool air down in summer, and spin them the other direction in winter to draw warm air up. Added bonus: the gentle hum of the fan or air conditioner may provide some white noise and help your baby to sleep better!
  3. Give your newborn a lot of cool fluids to prevent dehydration. During hot weather, babies may need to increase their fluids, especially at night. Try to let go of any feeding regime you have, as it’s more important to keep your newborn hydrated. For newborns in particular, stick only to breastmilk or formuladon’t give water to babies under 6 months as it can be harmful to their kidneys.
  4. Offer a cooler bath than normal before bedtime. It’s been shown that a bath before bed can help to lower body temperature, leading to better sleep.
  5. Choose a cot mattress and/or mattress pad with cooling properties, or that uses natural materials. Some mattresses and pads now come with technology to help disperse body heat to create a cooler sleep surface. 
  6. A cold/wet flannel is a quick hack. If you notice that your newborn is starting to get too warm, a cool towel on their skin is a readily available and effective trick to quickly cool your baby down.
  7. Use cotton sheets. Using light bedding, such as cotton sheets, can help to keep your newborn cool at night. This has been scientifically proven to help with sleep, something to keep in mind for both babies and adults!
  8. Consider the coolest location for your baby to sleep. For example, as hot air rises, you might not want to have your baby sleeping in an upstairs room during a heatwave. Additionally, avoid placing your baby’s cot in a sunny location during the day as this will heat up their sleeping surface.
  9. Avoid excessive clothing or wraps. It is important to avoid dressing your baby in too much clothing or wraps, as this can cause them to become overheated. Instead, dress them in lightweight, breathable clothing. As mentioned above, cotton items are best.
  10. Use a cool mist humidifier. A cool mist humidifier can help to keep the air in your home moist, which can prevent your baby from becoming too dry and uncomfortable.

FAQs about Keeping Newborns Cool during the Night

Keeping baby cool with fan

What is the ideal room temperature for a newborn?

The ideal room temperature for a newborn is around 18 degrees (between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius is good). Having a thermometer in the room can help you to monitor this.

What should a baby wear when it’s hot?

When it’s hot outside, babies should wear light clothes that help them stay cool, preferably cotton. However, it’s hard to determine what is ideal as they regulate their temperature so differently than us adults. If it’s very hot (e.g. over 27 degrees Celsius), there is no problem in leaving your newborn in just their nappy, all day and night. If it’s not quite that hot, a simple short-sleeve or sleeveless vest will be sufficient. You can also add a 0.5 tog sleeping bag for added comfort, but be sure to monitor your baby during the night to be sure they are not overheating.

Can I still swaddle my newborn in the summer?

Yes, if your baby is usually swaddled during sleep time, then you should continue with swaddling even in the summer heat, or else it could interfere with their sleep. However, you may consider just swaddling their arms and body, while leaving your baby’s legs and feet free. Alternatively, if your baby is older than 8/10 weeks, you could try to leave one arm unswaddled. Both of these solutions could provide some of the same benefits of swaddling, while also helping to keep your newborn cool.

Conclusion

Babies generate a lot of heat when they sleep, and if their environment is too warm, they can become uncomfortable and restless. You can keep your baby cool by using light bedding, keeping the room temperature comfortable, and avoiding excessive clothing or wraps.

Be sure to monitor your newborn during excessively hot periods to avoid dehydration and overheating. Remember, do not be afraid to disrupt your baby’s sleep to check on them or change clothes if necessary to cool them down – their safety is your number one priority!

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