Get Summer Ready: Safe Sleep Tips
With the warmer weather here, we’re shedding the layers of clothes that kept us cozy and warm during the winter nights and switching them for lighter, breathable sleepwear. Because babies aren’t able to regulate their temperatures like adults and are more prone to overheating, keeping them cool while they sleep will not only help them stay comfortable but it will also keep them safe and decrease their risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In this blog post, we’ll guide you through how you can dress your baby for the summer, safe sleep precautions, and ways to keep your baby cool during the summer.
How Should I Dress My Baby For The Summer?
Let’s Talk About TOG
To keep your baby cool and comfortable during the night, you’ll want to look for a sleep sack or sleep suit (sleep sack with feet) with a lighter TOG for the summer. TOG refers to the Thermal Overall Grade. This is an industry measurement for a sleep product’s thermal insulation or how warm it is. One thing to keep in mind is - the lighter the TOG, the lighter the fabric is, and the better it is for warmer weather like the summer.
At Nest Designs, we have 4 different TOGs that will keep your baby cool during the hot and sticky summer days. These include 0.23 TOG, 0.5 TOG, 0.6 TOG, and 1.0 TOG. Our lightest 0.23 TOG is meant for extremely hot weather while 1.0 TOG is meant for warmer days between 20-24°C (69-74°F). Read more about what TOG to dress your baby in for spring and summer here.
Choose Lighter, Breathable Fabrics
Choosing a wearable blanket and PJs made with lighter, breathable fabrics will keep your baby comfortable through the summer nights. We personally love bamboo because it’s buttery soft against your baby’s delicate skin (especially if they’re more prone to heat rashes or eczema). It also absorbs moisture like sweat really well and helps regulate your baby’s temperature.
We use rayon from bamboo and blend it with fabrics like cotton, silk, and avocado. This makes our sleep sacks, sleep suits, and PJs perfect for the summer since it is light, soft, and cozy. Learn more about our fabrics here.
Safe Sleep Precautions
There are many factors to consider when it comes to dressing your baby for safe sleep besides TOG.
One factor is your child’s room temperature. To accurately measure the temperature of your child’s room, we recommend purchasing an indoor room thermometer and placing it where your child sleeps. By knowing the room temperature, you can make an informed decision on which TOG is right for your baby.
Another factor to consider is, “what else am I dressing my baby in?”. Each layer counts as extra insulation. With the warmer weather, you may choose to leave them in their diaper under their sleep sack or sleep suit or lighter PJS - depending on your child’s room temperature and the sleep sack or sleep suit’s TOG.
How Can I Tell If My Baby Is Too Hot?
Every child has their own core temperature. To check if your baby is too hot at night, check the nape of their neck. Is it cool from sweat? If it is, your baby may be overdressed and is too hot.
Throughout the day, signs that your baby is too hot or dehydrated include:
- Are you changing less than 6 wet diapers in a day?
- Is your baby crying but there are no tears?
- Is your baby sleepier or fussier than usual?
- Has your baby’s soft spot or fontanelle sunken in?
If you notice any signs of dehydration, call your doctor right away.
Ways to Keep Your Baby Cool In The Summer
Keep Your Baby Hydrated
Just like you, they need to stay hydrated in hot weather. Water is not recommended for babies 6 months or less. To keep babies that are less than 6 months old hydrated, offer them more formula or breast milk throughout the day. For babies over 6 months, you can offer them sips of water, or more formula or breast milk throughout the day.
Use a Summer-Friendly Baby Carrier
Babywearing can help keep your baby close and feel calm. However, the clothes you wear can act as extra insulation and cause your baby to overheat.
Luckily, there are summer-friendly baby carriers made of light-weight breathable fabrics. Some structured, buckled carriers are made of mesh which allows your baby’s skin to breathe. If you’re looking for woven wraps or ring slings, you can purchase them in lighter weight cotton blends. Some baby wraps like Beluga Baby are made of bamboo cotton which keep both you and your baby cool during the summer.
Keep Your Curtains Or Blinds Closed
During the day, keeping your curtains or blinds closed can help keep your home and baby’s room cool. This will especially be helpful if you don’t have an air conditioner in your home. At the same time, you can run the fans to cool your home down (but make sure the fan and cords are not within your baby’s reach).
Take A Bath During The Day
Taking a bath during the day can help cool your baby when it is especially hot out. Before you put them in the bath, check the water’s temperature. Consider using water that is a tiny bit cooler than usual. An added benefit of a daytime bath is that it can help relax your baby before a nap!
Wet A Cloth With Cold Water
Refresh your baby during the day by wetting a cloth like a Bubs Baby Washcloth with cold water. Make sure that the water is not too cold since it can shock your baby or drop their temperature too quickly. Use the cloth and dab their forehead or the back of their neck to cool them down.
Are You Feeling Summer Ready?
The countdown to summer has officially started for us and we’re so excited for the hotter weather. With these tips, we hope you’re feeling confident about how you can help your baby sleep comfortably.
Do you have a tip for other parents on how they can keep their baby cool this summer? Let us know in the comments below.