There is so much information and misinformation out there when it comes to your babies health and safety.
Your Mom will tell you the babies feet and hands are cold and you need to keep her warm and add layers. While you do need to ensure your baby is not too cold this is an old wives tale.
It is much more vital to keep your baby properly cool as their internal systems are still developing and infants have difficulty regulating their own body temperatures.
In the beginning, many new parents can struggle to maintain the right temperature for their newborn and is a skill that you will improve over time. Generally, you will try to keep your baby in one additional layer than you yourself are wearing and this is a really good rule of thumb to follow.
However, you must still be careful especially in the spring and summer seasons due to the natural heat and in the cooler seasons due to the hot dry air from your AC. Both of these can put your child at risk of overheating which is a known risk factor for SIDS.
If the above is not important enough on its own being too cold or hot can also negatively affect your infant’s sleep which can have a huge impact on the entire family.
Here are few useful and actionable tips I use to keep my baby cool and feeling comfortable for a blissful sleep on those hot summer nights.
Use Breathable Crib Mattresses
If there is one item in your nursery that you should not skimp on it is the crib mattress. This is so important and can make such a huge difference in how well and how safely your baby sleeps.
A breathable crib mattress allows for ventilation and for air to circulate around your baby to help keep her cool at night and during naps. The circulation aids your baby’s natural but still developing abilities to regulate her temperature by allowing heat to more easily dissipate through the breathable baby mattress.
Use a Summer Weight Swaddle
I am a firm believer in swaddling a new born. The swaddle gives your baby comfort by mimicking the feeling of being snug in her mother’s womb as well as restraining her from moving too much to trigger the startle reflex or harming herself.
That being said not all swaddles are created equal. Some are designed for the colder seasons and are made of thick warm material. Using one of these would be like wrapping your baby in a heavy warm blanket and should never be used in the warmer seasons.
A light, thin swaddle made of cotton and vented for ultra breathability is ideal.
Adjust the Room Temperature
Always ensure the nursery is at an appropriate and comfortable temperature before putting your baby down to sleep. Most experts recommend temperatures between 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, but no two babies are the same so find what works best for you and your family.
It is also recommended that you use a fan both to help keep the room cool but also to assist with the air circulation in the room. Just be sure that the air is not blowing directly on your little one.
Check on Baby in the Crib
If your baby is too warm she will let you know! Look for signs like crying, being fussy, heat rash or a sweaty back. A quick and easy test is to place your hand behind your infant’s neck – if it feels overly warm or damp, you should remove a layer of clothing and maybe even adjust the room temperature.
Don’t Give Baby Water
You may be tempted to give your baby water if you see her sweating to keep her hydrated, but this is very dangerous and you should never offer water to babies younger than six months old.
Instead, give her your breastmilk or formula and this will safely keep your precious one hydrated. It is quite natural to find your baby may want to feed more often to quench her thirst in warmer weather.
Keep curtains closed
Although it may look nice to throw back the blinds and curtains and let in the beautiful natural sunlight into your nursery it really has a powerful warming effect on the temperature of your nursery.
It is much more prudent and safer to leave the curtains closed to keep it cool and dark. You may even want to invest in some blackout curtains or blinds to block light, absorb noise, and further insulate against heat.
Give Baby a Bath
Bath time is a great way to help regulate your babies temperature. Be sure to make bath time a key component of your child’s bedtime and nap routines.
Here is a great video on the best practices for bathing a newborn.
It obviously helps to keep the water slightly cooler during hot days. This will really cool down your little one so she will be able to have a comfortable and blissful sleep.