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Summer Sleep Safety

We all know the weather in Australia can be up and down in summer, with 40 degree heat waves and hot sticky nights one week to beautiful summer days and cooler evenings the next. It’s up to us to control our babies environment to help them sleep safely over the summer months.

Here we look at ways to keep baby cool on those hot summers nights and days.

Stay Cool. Babies’ bodies do not regulate temperature as well as adults do. They can become overheated more easily than older kids and adults can. In the summer, if you have air conditioning, use it to keep the room cool where baby sleeps – between 21-23°c. Fans also work well, as long as they aren’t blowing right on the baby. You may want to keep the shades in the room drawn or use block out blinds during especially hot days to help keep it cool.

Strip Down. When it comes to dressing baby for sleep during the summer, think minimlist. You don’t need to put the baby in long sleep suits. Try a tee short sleeve onesie, or even just a nappy if it’s really hot. Switch to a lightweight cotton swaddle so you can continue to swaddle even in the heat. If you use a sleep sack, try one made of cotton jersey instead of cozy fleece. As always be SIDS friendly, no cot bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. in the cot. 

Block out the light. Use room darkening or blockout shades. The blockout shades are a lifesaver especially in daylight saving hours and makes the room cave-like no matter what time of day. This will also help at nap times, too!

Stick to Your Schedule. Summer, and especially holidays, can throw everyone off schedule. Try to establish some structure to your days and create a summertime routine that lines up as closely as possible with your regular schedule. Keep wake time, bedtime, and nap times the same. That will help keep your family’s circadian rhythms on track. 

Don’t skip naps. It is important that babies continue to nap consistently even in the summer. Even if they fight it, insist on quiet alone time in the middle of the day. It has the added benefit of getting them out of the sun during peak burning hours.

Be Sun and Heat Safe. Best to head out doors early morning then remain indoors during the heat of the day where possible. If you are out and about, just a reminder to keep your children covered with sunblock and well hydrated during the summer. If your baby become dehydrated, they may not sleep as well so offer regular breast or bottle feeds and water for babies older than 9 months.

If you are out and about with bubs in a stroller in the heat, do not cover the pram entirely, make sure you have good air flow circulating through the pram as covering it completely can act like a mini furnace.

Watch this video for more helpful tips.

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