Baby it’s hot outside! And inside too. If you’re worried about your baby not being able to sleep in this heat, and fear your little one could be overheating, read our Which? baby action plan.
1. Check the temperature
According to the Lullaby Trust, the ideal room temperature for sleeping babies is 16-20°C, but during a heatwave like this, how can you make sure this is the case?
The answer is to turn to your trusty digital thermometer. As well as being there for when your baby has a fever, most digital thermometers can be switched to a room temperature mode, so you can keep track as the mercury soars. Read our digital thermometers buying guide.
Don’t have a digital thermometer? Most baby monitors also come with temperature sensors to help you keep an eye on the heat. Find out which ones we recommend as baby monitor Best Buys.
2. Create the right summer sleep environment
Switch to lighter bedding and clothing, and open doors and windows where possible to facilitate airflow.
Change to light cotton bed sheets in this heat and try to avoid waterproof mattress protectors as these can cause your baby to sweat.
What else could help? Browse our best baby sleep buys.
3. Keep your baby hydrated
Just like you, on hot days your baby needs sufficient fluids. You can give cooled boiled water to bottle fed babies under six months old, and tap water to bottle fed babies who are more than six months.
Fully breastfed babies won’t need any extra water.
4. Use a fan the right way
Got a fan in your baby’s room? Make sure it is not aimed directly at the child.
Experts recommends placing a large bowl of ice in front of the fan to cool the air being circulated. Or try big bottles of frozen water in the room to cool the air as they melt.
Give your baby a lukewarm bath before bedtime to help refresh them before settling in to sleep.
Read more safe sleeping tips for babies.
5. Don’t worry
An uncomfortably warm temperature can disrupt your baby’s sleep and cause them to become irritable, so you may find that your baby is more restless and prone to waking on warmer nights.
But if the problems persist for a while, you can find out how much sleep your baby needs and when babies generally start sleeping through the night in our guide to baby sleep training.
Sleeping in a car seat warning
If your baby has been having trouble getting to sleep in the heat and then drops off in the car seat, it’s tempting to let them sleep on. But don’t. Heartbreaking as it is to have to wake them, a child car seat is not a place for your baby to sleep when you’re not in the car.
Lisa Galliers, Which? car seats expert says: ‘Car seat safety experts would agree that it’s best not to keep babies, especially small ones, in their car seats for any longer than absolutely necessary. Our advice would be to move them to a pushchair with a lie-flat position or carrycot as soon as possible.’
Check your baby isn’t too hot in his or her car seat by feeling his or her tummy. You can get summer covers for car seats that are designed to help the airflow and may help to prevent overheating. But make sure they’re recommended by your car seat manufacturer.
To find out which car seat add-ons we recommend and those we’d advise you to avoid, read our guide to car seat accessories