No matter how old your child is two things unites them all; they will be with you over the summer months and they do not like the brutally hot weather, especially at night. Fortunately, the Bay Area does not experience the type of humidity that is common in other parts of the world. Still there are those uncomfortable nights when you’d rather be cooling down with a glass of chilled white wine in the evenings rather than entertaining your irritable offspring because they cannot sleep in the heat.
Where To Begin
Some children are sensitive to elevated temperatures and the sleeping surface might be aggravating that. This could result in not enough sleep and nobody functions well the next day if your kid doesn’t sleep. Make sure you have the right mattress and accessories. Ditch the duvet and use a thin cotton sheets and pillowcases and choose a comfortable mattress that incorporates design elements to combat the heat.
Dress for the Occasion
This does not only matter when visiting grandma but also at night when it is hot. For babies, a thin cotton garment and nappy will suffice. For older children, short, thin and natural cotton pajamas are best.
Check Room Temperature
Air-conditioning can be a blessing when it is exceptionally hot, but also harsh to a young child’s health, particularly infants. Sudden changes in temperature can have an adverse impact on the body. Since most homes in the Bay Area do not have an air-conditioner, try and create a natural breeze inside your home. For extreme weather, you can place ice or cold water bottles in front of an electric fan to circulate and cool the air.
I learned this trick from a hot summer in Italy. Create a fortress or cave against the heat. Keep all the windows closed and shuttered during the day. If you must open them, do so only at night when it cools down.
Cool Down Before Bed
A cool bath and a cold damp cloth to the neck and forehead is a great way to relieve overheating. Also, cool beverages can feel refreshing. In contrast, people living in hot eastern countries, such as India, consume hot drinks on hot days. They would be right because drinking hot beverages on a sweltering summer day can actually cool you down faster than an iced drink. But try telling a six year-old that when they’d be much happier with an ice pop.
Maintain Bedtime Routine
Adhering to a routine in the evenings helps prepare our children for bed no matter the temperature. This advice is valid all year round by the way. And instead of telling a story about the desert, maybe take a little voyage to Antarctica for Icy thoughts.
Avoid the Sun
This may seem like a no-brainer but keep your children out of direct sunlight during the day to prevent them from overheating. Sunstroke or sunburn can happen without warning and make sleeping difficult. Seek the shade, cover up and don’t forget to stay hydrated.
Heat can be as dangerous for children as it is for the elderly. Stick to these tips and you’ll enjoy your summer even on the hottest days.
Elizabeth Lang is a hobby writer that enjoys teaching people about sleep health.