Everyone enjoying the heatwave?
I love the sun but it’s playing havoc with my routine! Hot temperatures impact newborn feeding and awake time!
Here are my TOP TIPS
Keep your baby’s room cool for sleeping and feed in the coolest room of the house. Babies body temperature increases when feeding and digesting milk, so the cooler a baby the more likely he is to stay awake and actively drink during feeds.
Strip baby down to just a vest for feeding and use cool water for nappy changes to help him wake up.
Cooling your baby’s body temperature is the only way to wake him up if knocked out by the heat.
Run cool water over hands and feet and strip wash with a cool flannel or muslin. If your baby won’t wake up to feed, wind, play as per usual or has dry nappies and you are worried about hydration, run a tepid to cool bath (around 30-32 degrees) and put your baby in for one to three minutes as this will cool his or her temperature right down, enabling him to wake up fully to wind, feed and have the awake time he is used to. I often use this technique several times during a feed when the very high temperatures interferes with a newborn’s ability to stay awake and feed properly.
It is commonly thought that babies are born cold. They are born unable to regulate their body temperature so cannot warm themselves up if cold, or cool their bodies if hot. It is more dangerous for a baby to be too hot rather than too cold. Too cold and your baby will generally wake and cry.
The ideal room temperature is 19- 21 degrees. Any higher than 23 degrees and you need to be thinking about cooling the room down. Open windows for constant air flow. Keep blinds and curtain shut to keep the sun from heating up the room during the day and slightly open to allow for air flow at night – as this could cause early waking with the early daylight.
Use a high powered, low noise, standing fan that oscillates. Use this for naps and at night. You can leave this on the lowest setting with the air flow indirectly towards your baby’s cot or Moses basket. The fan should not be used with air flow directly on your baby. The fan should not be used during feeds or playtime as the white noise of the fan will have the same soporific effect as the heat itself. Older babies, of twelve weeks onwards, may well be able to cope with the noise and breeze without drifting off but not the the really young newborns.
I’ve heard that putting a bowl of ice close to the fan helps circulate cooler air but I haven’t tried it myself yet and I’m not sure how long a bowl of ice would last!
Portable air conditioning units are great to cool a room before and after a feed, and before and after naps but cannot be left on over night or at any time your baby is sleeping in the room. The air will get too cold and the machine will be too noisy.
Keep your baby’s sleep position the same but swap blankets for a large muslin to tuck in and dress baby in less clothes. If you usually sleep your baby in a vest and babygro body suit, ditch the babygro. If you are swaddling keep using it as your baby will need his or her usual sleep aid. If your using a sleeping bag and baby is older then ditch the sleeping bag.