Birmingham is enjoying some long-awaited sunshine this week, with the city set for temperatures of more than 80F .
However, while this has been something to celebrate for many of us, parents with babies or young children may be having a hard time getting them to sleep in the stifling heat.
Signs over overheating include youngsters becoming restless and unable to sleep, reports the Mirror.
Babies are at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome if they severely overheat, so check if they are sweating on their head or neck or if they have a redder face than usual.
Rashes or rapid breathing are signs of overheating.
So check out these 14 tips on how to keep your children comfortable at night so everyone can get a good night’s rest.
1. Appropriate clothing
If the room temperature climbs to 25C or hotter during the night then just a nappy and thin cotton vest is likely to be enough for your baby.
Temperatures of around 23C may require a shortie baby grow or shorts and T-shirt pyjamas perhaps with socks or just a nappy and a one-tog sleep sack.
For very young babies who do not use bedding, suitable clothing for the room temperature is fine so that no covering is necessary.
2. Keep it breezy
Open windows on the same floor during the day so air can circulate and pull curtains two thirds of the way across to block out hot sun but still allow the air in.
A good tip is to open the loft hatch to allow heat to rise up and escape through the roof.
4. Use the right bedding
Cotton bed sheets are good and waterproof mattresses should be avoided as they hold heat.
5. Try a refreshing bath
Bathing your baby in lukewarm or slightly cooler water may be refreshing and relieve clamminess. Make sure the bath is brief so baby does not get chilly.
6. Use a room thermometer
This means you know exactly what temperature you are dealing with and stops you guessing the right course of action.
7. Ice ice baby
Placing large (one litre or larger) bottles of frozen water in the child’s room can cool the air as they melt overnight.
8. Give electric fans a helping hand
The ice bottles can also be used with an electric fan to stop them simply blowing hot air around. Place either a large bowl of ice or the bottles in front of the fan to cool the air.
9. Keep baby calm
A calm baby will remain cooler than a frustrated baby so try to maintain a calming bedtime routine and offer reassurance and comfort if they are agitated. A cool flannel or cold compress can be dabbed gentle onto their skin to help calmness and cooling.
10. Keep cold water to hand
Babies and young children may need to drink more than usual so put some bottles in the fridge for us at night time. Breastfed babies will stay hydrated on breastmilk.
11. Consider moving rooms
If you cannot keep your baby cool in one room, consider moving them to a cooler room temporarily.
12. Set them up for the whole night
Remember, no matter how hot it is at bedtime, the temperature will drop in the night so don’t put your baby in the cot in just a nappy if it will drop below 25 degrees in the night. A temperature check when you go to bed is a good plan to see if any adjustments need to be made.
13. Accurately check baby’s temperature
Hands and feet do get colder than the rest of the body so it is natural for these to feel a little colder to the touch. If you are unsure about your baby’s temperature, feel the back of his neck or use a thermometer.
14. Put yourself in their shoes
Babies will be comfortable dressed for temperatures as you would dress yourself. So ask yourself how hot it feels and what you would be comfortable in when you are considering how to dress you baby.
Just remember, you can pull the covers over you but baby cannot, so imagine you are going to bed without any bed covers.
15. … and for adults
Keeping a few things in mind before you go to bed can save you time and effort in the long run.
Leaving house windows open to catch the breeze is not always a safe option and it’s not always very helpful as warm air can drift in, making your room hotter.
Keeping your curtains or blinds closed in the windows of east and west facing windows prevents sun rays from warming up your rooms.
Putting tin foil up at your windows is also another option as it reflects the sunlight away, keeping it cool inside.
Windows that face the shade are the ones that you want to keep open as these will provide a breeze without letting any sun rays heat up the room.
Head, hands and feet
These are the areas of the body that lose the most heat, that’s why you keep them covered in the winter.
To keep cool, spash cold water on your face, hands and feet before going to bed.
Put your feet in hot water for a few minutes before sleep as this will set off your body’s inner thermometer and keep you cool as you fall asleep.
Use a hot water bottle and put ice cold water in it, putting this under your pillow or between your hands will allow heat to be lost from your body more efficiently.
Keep your clothes on or off?
Some claim that keeping your pyjamas on will help move sweat away from the body and hence keep you cool, however others claim that stripping off and a fan trained on them all night is what works best.
To find out what works for you, try and test a few options, although common sense would say that having less on will keep you cooler.
If you have to keep wrapped up, switching to natural cloth such as cotton for your sheets and pyjamas will allow your skin to breathe and make you sweat less than synthetic fabrics.
Make use of your freezer
Freezing your sheets and pillow before heading to bed is bound to keep you cooler, although a bit extreme for many.
If you don’t fancy an icy experience, or your freezer is already stack full of ice cream, putting your socks in to chill is always an option.
Showering hot or cold?
Common sense says that a cold shower before bed will reduce your body temperature so that you can get to sleep.
Science says that having a hot shower before bed will set off your internal thermometer and force a reduction in your body temperature.
A warm shower gives you the best of both worlds, keeping sweat at bay in humidity whilst keeping your body temperature at a comfortable constant.
Heat rises, so if you’re really struggling you might consider shifting your bed downstairs, or temporarily relocating to the sofa.
Any room that is dark and unused will be perfect to sleep in during this weather. Test out a few rooms in order to figure out which is the coolest and most comfortable.
In order to cool down, you also need to chill out. Making sure that you relax before bed and following a constant bed routine will ensure the heat doesn’t get to your brain as well as your body.
Although there is no proof that the heat does make you feel more on edge, ensuring that you’re in a relaxed frame of mind before bed will make you more likely to cool down faster.
Go easy on the booze
When the sun’s out there’s a huge temptation to bring out the beers. A couple of drinks won’t affect you, but drinking too much alcohol before you go to bed will mean that your sleep is more disturbed.
Alcohol also dehydrates, so stick to the water and caffiene-free hot drinks which will keep you hydrated and encourage a reduction in body temperature.
Turn your gadgets off
Gadgets produce heat, a lot of heat, as well as lights and sounds that can disturb an otherwise peaceful slumber.
Try and keep gadget use to a minimum before bed, in order to increase the chances of a restful night.
Keep computers and laptops off, especially those with large hard drives that produce a lot of heat and noise.
Make sure that your phone is on a quieter setting and is out of reach so that you cannot distract yourself and keep your brain awake and frustrated.
If the heat is driving you mad enough to reach for your wallet, investing in an air con unit, a fan or even heat reducing gadgets like ‘Chillows’ may be worth a try.
Some even suggest that sleeping in a hammock rather than your bed can make your night more restful. Getting one made out of natural fibres is recommended as being the best option.
If that doesn’t work, then you may want to consider investing in a tent and relocating to the garden.
Article produced with help from The Sleep Nanny (Lucy Shrimpton). Visit her Website or follow her on Twitter @lucysleepcoach.
Source : BirminghamMail