BABY SLEEP CONSULTANT SUMMER SLEEP TIPS
Summer comes with it’s own set of sleep challenges for those of us with little ones. To help you and baby prepare (and ensure the best possible rate of survival!) here are a few tips:
Keep it dark – At this time of the year settling for naps or bedtime can be challenging, simply because there is more light which diminishes melatonin, the sleep hormone responsible for making us feel sleepy. If your child has higher levels of melatonin they will find it easier to settle to sleep and to stay asleep, so make it really dark! If you need to make your child’s room darker consider investing in some portable black out blinds. These can be really handy as they easily stick to a window with suction cups and you can also take them with you if your child needs to sleep somewhere else.
Make the most of the extra sun – by exposing your child more light you can support their sleep as their body will produce more serotonin, a neurotransmitter which helps to regulate their sleep/wake cycles and is converted into melatonin in a dark room.
Basically, high levels of serotonin = more melatonin.
A walk in the sun prior to nap time can actually improve your baby’s sleep!
Keep it cool – it’s hard to fall asleep if you are hot and sweaty so try to regulate the temperature of the room. Ideally we would like to aim for 18-22 degrees Celsius – this may mean that you need to open some windows or use a fan, if you don’t have air conditioning, to cool down the room before nap time or bed time. Blackout blinds will also help to cool a room down when the sun is at it’s hottest by blocking it out.
Make sure that you are using the right sleeping bag for the current temperature. Sleeping bags can be used as a positive sleep association that help a child to wind down or prepare for sleep, so keep using them throughout summer too. Invest in a good quality sleeping bag, like a standard weight Merino Kids sleeping bag which is great for most temperatures – just change the layers of clothing that you use with it.
Keep them hydrated– through the day offer your child plenty of chances to drink so that they don’t wake up thirsty.
Respect nap time and maintain your usual routine where you can – a well rested child will deal with changes better, while an overtired child is likely to be more difficult to settle and may struggle to stay asleep. If you do have a busy day, try to offer an earlier bedtime and follow it with a recovery day so that your child has the chance to get back to their normal routine and catch up on sleep.
White noise – If you are out at the beach, camping, or any noisy environment, we would also recommend that you use white noise, such as a baby shusher app, or even a radio that isn’t tuned to a frequency, to cover up noises that may distract your child from settling to sleep.
Enjoy your summer!