A Survival Guide for Warm Weather

Friday, 26 May 2017

Temperatures are to remain high over the weekend and if last night is anything to go by, sleeping can be an issue. 

I remember the summer that Luca was born, and there was a 5 week heatwave . . . it was HELL! We lived in an apartment at the time and it had large sash windows which basically made it feel like a glasshouse. And if we slept with the windows open, the birds would start chirping from 3 or 4am!

We had a similar situation last night and I got 4 hours sleep. I don't even want to admit how much coffee that I've had today! 

With this in mind, I thought I would put together a quick survival guide for babies and toddlers when the weather gets warm, and how you as Mamma bear can keep your cool too. 

I've pulled some tips from travel experience too, and from suggestions made by Luca's Nonna (Grandmother in Italian) 

So here’s the Bella Mamma Guide to surviving warm weather with babies and toddlers.


Ideal temperatures:

A room temperature of between 16-20ºC (60.8-68ºF) is recommended - 18ºC (65ºF) is just right. Use a room thermometer to check the temperature, and see the latest SIDS safety guide below for the right amount of bedding to use -

  • 18°C: A sheet and two blankets
  • 20-22°C: A sheet and one blanket
  • 23°C-plus: A sheet only

How to cool the room down:
Number 1 rule - keep curtains and blinds closed during the day. English and Irish people have a tendency to fling open the curtains as soon as the sun shines! But it's the worst thing you can do. 
Our Mediterranean relatives keep curtains and blinds closed during the day. You can leave the window open, just try to limit the amount of sunlight that comes in. This avoids a greenhouse effect, where the heat builds up and up inside, and which is why the house feels particularly warm at night time. 
A lot of night sweats can be avoided if your house is kept cool throughout the day. 
Cool the room down before bedtime with a fan if possible & remove unnecessary bedding. You want the room to be a comfortable temperature so they can fall asleep easily. 

Hang wet towels over chairs or windows when it's really stifling. The evaporating water will help the air to cool and open windows and doors in several rooms to create a breeze through the house.
Fans & Air Conditioning:
As mentioned above, the trick is to cool the room down before bedtime. Don't leave it till the very end of the evening or you might have a later bedtime on your hands!
Just a few guidelines for using fans around babies and toddlers (I honestly didn't know this stuff when Luca was born!)
Don’t allow the fan to face the baby, and absolutely keep it out of reach of babies, and especially toddlers who might be in their own beds with no guard rail. Fans are highly attractive to little fingers! 
Make sure you turn the fan off before you go to bed. The room should have cooled down enough and while it might feel humid, it won't be too uncomfortable to sleep in. 
Avoid air conditioning as much as possible, as it can be dehydrating.
Bedding & Clothing:
This was my biggest worry! What if he's too hot or cold?! Luca was only 8 weeks when the heatwave hit and I hadn't a clue how to dress him. However, hopefully the temperature guide lines above should help you decide what clothing and bedding is appropriate but also , don't forget to listen to your gut instinct.
In hot weather a cool water bath helps cool them down nicely and gets rid of any sticky sun cream. They'll feel instantly cooler and fresher! 
Last night Luca slept in just his nappy and he was pretty happy! I put a light sheet over him and he slept well (until 4am when teething pain hit!) But overall he was a lot more comfortable. 
When he was a baby I struggled to know if he needed a sleep suit, vest and/or a grobag. For young babies you can try a vest and a sleep bag with a 0.5 tog. If they wake and they feel warm you can either remove the vest or replace the grobag with a light sheet. You'll know what your baby needs. 
If your baby does wake up and is hot to the touch, wipe them down with a damp towel – on the face, neck, arms and legs – and open internal doors and windows, so a natural, flowing breeze is created.
Another good tip is if you have waterproof sheets or mattress protectors, it’s worth removing them during periods of warm weather as they can make babies and toddlers sweat more.
Important point -

Babies and toddlers can seem a lit more lethargic in warmer weather, and some sleep more deeply. But if you feel that their behaviour is off and they haven't eaten or drank much check in with your GP or ring 111. 

I hope these pointers help a little and you all manage to get some sleep this weekend. If you do have any questions, pop them in the comments below and I'll get back to you asap!

Jenn x

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