By Janelle Kent, Certified Sleep Consultant at Fais Dodo Sleep Solutions
Since the snow has melted and Mother Nature has cranked up the temperature, I’ve been asked by many parents how they can help their little ones sleep comfortably when it’s a lot warmer in their rooms.
The ideal room temperature for most babies and toddlers to sleep in is between 18°C and 21°C but usually closer to the 18°C mark. Those of us who don’t have air conditioning and see the temperature rising in our children’s rooms wonder how we’re going to keep them sleeping safely throughout the warmer months.
There are many things you can do to try and help your little ones sleep through the heat. The list below is not exhaustive, nor will every tip work for every family and child, but it gives you somewhere to start!
1-Open the windows in the morning and evening (if bedtime isn’t too early) when the air is cooler to help circulate the cool, fresh air in the house.
2-Keep windows, blinds and curtains closed tight during the day to keep warm air out and the sun from finding its way in.
3-Install a ceiling fan—it can work wonders even in a warm room.
4-Use a portable fan. It’s best to point the fan at a wall to move the air around—we don’t want it blowing directly on babies or toddlers.
5-Hang a damp cloth in front of a fan (not on the fan) to blow cooler air.
6-Lower the temperature of little one’s bath water a bit to cool them off before bedtime. (This also implies that littles are relaxed and not running around, heating themselves up right before bed.)
7-Give lots of cool liquids (or nurse more frequently) throughout the day to keep little ones cool and hydrated.
8-Dress little ones appropriately:
- If the temperature is 21°C, a 1.0 TOG1 sleep sack and long-sleeve onesie will work for most little ones.
- If the temperature is 23°C, a 1.0 TOG sleep sack and a short-sleeve onesie will work for most little ones.
- If the temperature is 24°C to 27°C, a 0.5 TOG sleep sack and a short-sleeve onesie will work for most little ones.
Blankets follow the same idea as the sleep sacks, so you will want a thicker blanket if it is cooler, a thinner one if it’s warmer.
Some babies and children are warmer and need fewer layers. If you are unsure if they are too warm or too cold, the best way to check is by touching their hands and feet or the back and neck area. If they are warm to the touch, they are overdressed. If they are cold to the touch, they are underdressed.
It may take a little while to figure out how each unique little one is most comfortable in warmer temperatures, so don’t worry if it takes a few tries to sort it out.
How do you beat the sleep heat?
TOG is a rating used to describe the warmth of a sleep sack. The lower the TOG, the more lightweight it is. Most sleep sacks will have the rating on the packaging or even on the tag inside of the sleep sack where you would find washing instructions.
Janelle Kent, director of Fais Dodo Sleep Solutions, is a certified infant and child sleep consultant based in Calgary, Alberta. She believes that quality sleep is paramount to family units thriving. With extensive professional experience working with children and three little ones of her own (a 4-year-old and 2-year-old twins), Janelle is passionate about helping children and families get the sleep they need and deserve. Janelle offers a variety of sleep support packages, and her services are offered remotely via phone and email consultations.