How to Help Your Baby Sleep Better
The summer heat can be a real challenge for your baby, especially when it comes to sleep. Proper rest is essential to your baby's development, so making sure that they’re cool and comfy is an absolute must for parents.
Getting your little one to sleep in the summer isn’t always simple. Luckily, UpwardBaby is here to help! Follow these guidelines and your baby will be whisked away to dreamland no matter the temperature.
So, how do you set them up for happy summertime snuggles?
How Do You Know if Your Baby is Too Warm?
We all have preferences when it comes to sleep temperature, and babies are no different. Infants can’t sweat (or talk!) so it can be difficult for parents to tell if their little one is feeling overheated.
Start by touching the back of your baby's neck or tummy. Their skin should feel both cool and dry to the touch. If it feels hot and sticky, they’re too warm!
According to experts, most babies sleep best in a room that is 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. As a parent, that’s your recipe for a happy baby! Air conditioners are ideal for this, though a fan can also help cool down a hot room.
Most uncomfortable babies will let their parents know, but be sure to periodically check your baby's neck and tummy.
Don’t forget that babies can also get too cold because of air conditioning. You can check this by touching their tiny hands and feet. If their extremities feel cold to the touch, be sure to turn down the air conditioner or dress them in warmer clothes.
What is the Right Baby Blanket for Your Child?
There’s nothing more adorable than a baby wrapped up in a swaddle blanket! Swaddle wraps, wearable blankets, and infant sleeping bags certainly are popular with parents. But are they the right fit for summer sleep?
While a swaddle blanket or sleep sack might be perfect for wrapping up a newborn, they can often be too warm during the summer months. They can also be unsafe for slightly older infants who are starting to roll.
If you do choose to swaddle your baby during nap time, be sure to keep a close eye on them. Never leave a baby in a crib with a loose blanket of any kind.
Because babies sleep best in the 68 to 72-degree zone, focus on getting the room to that temperature.
Instead of wrapping your baby up, lay their swaddle blanket flat on the crib, and be sure to tuck the sides in for safety. Ideally, all your baby should need to wear is a thin layer or just a diaper!
Most parents favor a bamboo cotton muslin swaddle blanket or a heavier, 100% organic cotton waffle blanket. For summertime, we recommend a bamboo muslin blanket as a sleeping surface.
A thicker, waffle-style blanket might be better suited for winter sleep or as the backdrop for a baby summer photoshoot.
Once they reach the toddler stage, feel free to allow your babe a bit more freedom in their sleeping environment. A swaddle or baby waffle blanket might be just what they need to stay comfy in an air-conditioned room.
At that age, it's totally okay to let them keep both in their crib so they can mix or match!
How Do You Help Your Baby Sleep in the Car?
Taking your little one on the road comes with all kinds of challenges, especially when they need to grab some Zs.
The motion of a moving car or stroller can often lull your baby right to sleep, which is great for parents who need to focus on driving or just want a little break.
Helping a fussy baby sleep on the road is usually as simple as blocking light.
Nobody wants bright sun shining straight in their eyes while napping, especially not babies! Unfortunately, sunlight, headlights from passing cars, and moving scenery can all prevent your baby from dozing off. These little annoyances might even accidentally wake them up at an inopportune moment.
A car seat canopy cover is a soft, stretchy shield to keep your baby sleeping. Simply slip it on over their car seat to protect their little eyes from bright lights of all kinds.
The soft, breathable sanctuary created by an infant car seat cover allows your little one to rest easily in a safe, ventilated environment. Light and other distractions stay out while plenty of air passes through, meaning your baby can safely sleep in peace.
You can also stretch these blankets over strollers, high chairs, or even a shopping cart when bringing your baby along on parenting adventures. When nursing time comes, use it as a privacy shield for easy breastfeeding, no matter where you go!
Experiment and Trust Your Instincts:
Like many aspects of parenting, getting your little one to sleep sometimes involves simply trusting your instincts. Many parents have found that babies sleep best with one layer more of clothing than an adult might need to feel comfortable.
Keep experimenting with fans, air conditioning, baby clothes and wraps to find the perfect fit for your little angel. You can even prepare your baby's room for sleep by keeping the blinds shut all day long. This will prevent sunlight from coming in and warming up the room.
Sometimes, it can be as simple as giving your baby a warm bath right before bedtime, temporarily raising their body temperature. This encourages a drop in body temperature after bathtime, which in turn triggers the release of melatonin, the hormone that makes us feel sleepy.
By nature, most babies won’t sleep consistently throughout the night, so a lot of love and patience is needed from parents. It can take a lot of work to make your little one comfortable, but it’s definitely worth the effort!
If your little one still won't go to sleep, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. They’ll be able to examine your baby and determine if a health issue is preventing your baby from falling asleep.