Perhaps number one of the most talked about topics of conversation within baby group and new parent circles is this... SLEEP!
Babies need a lot of it, we end up craving it. Without it, the world can feel like a very different place. Irritability & irrational thoughts can sit on our shoulders as we stare into the months ahead, the notion of a solid night’s sleep feeling more and more elusive. The good news is, babies do and will end up sleeping for longer periods of time as they grow and you will one day be throwing open curtains at midday in your teenagers’ bedroom asking them to please get up and out of bed!
That said, we know and understand that right now, you might be feeling in the thick of it. Sleeping patterns in babies change very quickly, you might feel like you are in some sort of rhythm one week but the next doesn’t seem to go to plan. The more relaxed you can be about your little ones’ sleep the better you will feel about it. Do the things you know to do in terms of how best to settle them, any little routines before bed-time (such as bathing them, feeding them in a more quiet area and keeping the lights low) also will help to reinforce the message that sleep is about to be welcomed in. But as you found out on day one, there are no manuals here, no formulas or concrete plans to follow. The best thing we can ever really do is to try and keep as calm as possible as babies sense when we are stressed and that often has a knock-on effect.
During the summer months, maintaining an optimal sleep environment becomes particularly important due to the warmer temperatures and increased humidity. Not to mention the lighter mornings and evenings. Babies are more susceptible to discomfort during sleep, which can disrupt their rest.
So, what can we do about it?
It might seem obvious, but you can start by making sure that you are dressing your baby in pyjamas appropriate for the season. Choosing lightweight and breathable clothes such as a short-sleeved bodysuit or a lightweight sleep suit that are suitable for warmer nights. Cotton and bamboo fabrics are best at keeping little bodies at the right temperature. That's why our swaddling blankets are 70% Bamboo..
The right sleeping bag can also help establish a consistent sleep routine and provide a sense of security for babies, leading to more restful nights for both infants and parents.
Just like with duvets, sleeping bags come with different Tog ratings. Tog weight is a measure of thermal insulation used to determine the warmth level of a sleeping bag or blanket. It indicates how well the fabric retains heat and provides an indication of the level of warmth the product will offer. When selecting a baby sleeping bag for the summer months, it is essential to choose an appropriate tog weight to ensure they don’t overheat. The clothing worn underneath the sleeping bag also influences the tog weight required. Avoid using additional blankets or layers that can also cause overheating.
You can check your baby's temperature by feeling their chest or back, or by using a thermometer. If they feel sweaty or excessively warm, it may be an indication that the tog weight is too high for the room temperature. Conversely, if the baby's skin feels cool, it might be necessary to increase the tog weight. If their skin feels hot to the touch you can also cool them down with a cool flannel
The ideal Nursery temperature is between 18-20 degrees. But aim to maintain a room temperature between 20-22 degrees Celsius (68-72 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the summer months. During the day keep the windows open if you can, but keep curtains closed or blinds down to keep the room as cool as possible.
Along with those longer summer days the amount of daylight shining through the windows can easily affect your babies’ ability to sleep. If you don’t want to be part of the wide awake club at sunrise then you can install a really well fitted blackout blind, to eliminate any of those annoying chinks of light. We also found a portable stick on 'Gro blind' to be brilliant for those times you are travelling away from home!
Remember, every child is different, so it may take some trial and error to find what works best for your little one. By creating a cool, comfortable, and consistent sleep environment, you can help your baby or small child sleep better during the warmer, lighter summer months. Ask for help if you need it to make sure you get enough rest yourself!