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Six tips to help your child sleep better in the heat

Six tips to help your child sleep better in the heat

Article written by: Jenny Peach, Certified Child Sleep Consultant

When things begin to warm up in the summer, we can sometimes have trouble sleeping in the heat. This can be especially true if your living space does not have air conditioning.

Many parents wonder how to dress their baby in the warmer months. How do we choose the right bedding? What are some things that we can do to help keep their bedroom cool?

Here are some things you can do to ensure your child is feeling cool and as comfortable as they can be during the warmer months.

Pay attention to the temperature

Good sleep starts with the right sleep environment. The ideal temperature for sleeping is approximately 20°-22° celsius, or 68°-72° fahrenheit. If you are concerned with the temperature of your child’s room use a thermometer that will accurately show the temperature as opposed to relying on the baby monitor. Baby monitors are often not accurate and the placement of the camera can affect the temperature displayed (it is often placed higher up on the wall to view your child). We all sleep better when it’s slightly cooler in our bedroom. Unfortunately, many do not have the luxury of central air conditioning in their home, but there are some steps you can take to cool down your child’s bedroom, even if you do not have air conditioning.

Darken the room

Using blackout curtains can help your child sleep better, as the darkness will help in the production of melatonin. Did you know they can also help cool a room down? During the day, keep the curtains closed, or cover the windows. This will help block the sunlight from coming in and will keep the room cool. Keep the windows covered during naps and night to promote a nice, dark sleeping environment.

Use a fan

A fan will help circulate the air and create a cool breeze. If your child’s bedroom has a ceiling fan, turn it on during naps and at night at an appropriate speed. Make sure the fan is moving counterclockwise. This will push air down to create a cool breeze. If you do not have a ceiling fan, a portable floor fan will work as well. Stand close to your child’s bed to see how much the fan is blowing at them, and move it to an appropriate position so they don’t get too cold.

Dress appropriately and use the right bedding

You want to make sure you dress your child in lightweight pajamas and a lower TOG sleep sack. Bamboo and cotton are the best materials. They allow breathability and allow us to regulate our temperature. 0.5 TOG Bamboo sleep sacks are a great option. What your child wears underneath their sleep sack can be important too. For babies, opt for short sleeve onesies, or nothing at all (except a diaper). For older kids in a bed, try having them sleep in a shorts and t-shirt PJ set if they are comfortable with it, as opposed to long pants and long sleeved shirts.

Bamboo and cotton are also the best materials for bedding. Get lightweight sheets that are specific to summer so your child can stay cool at night. For older children, before bed, show them how to tuck themselves in and how to remove their blanket and use a sheet only if they are too hot during the night.

Take a bath

Having a bath before bed can help cool your child down and regulate their temperature. Keep the water warm or slightly cool, but not cold. Alternatively, a cool cloth on their face and/or body can help cool them down a bit before bed. Make sure they are dry before putting on their pajamas.

Stay hydrated

Finally, it’s important to keep your kids hydrated during the day. This will help them keep their temperature regulated. Sometimes a fun new water bottle can help your child stay interested in drinking water. Let them decorate it with stickers or something fun! Make sure that water is always available to them during the day, especially when they are playing outside. For younger babies, ensure you are providing enough feeds to keep them hydrated throughout the day.

Adjusting to the heat can be difficult, but following these tips can help keep your child sleeping well at night.


Jenny is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant with Good Night Sleep Site. After hiring a sleep consultant to help with her own daughter's sleep, her experience has led to a desire to help other families who are struggling with sleep. She focuses on working 1:1 with families to create a customized sleep plan following the science of sleep, taking into consideration the child's temperament and parenting philosophies.

You can reach Jenny via her website, Instagram, Facebook or Email.

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