One of the first skills your baby will develop is the ability to regulate his or her own temperature, says Suzanne Brown from Clevamama, which manufactures smart baby and child products designed to fix common parenting problems.
“This can take a while to develop and may take longer if your baby was born premature. During this phase of learning, you may find that your baby is very hot one minute and then very cold the next. The natural reaction, especially during the cooler or winter months, is for parents to wrap up their baby to keep warm. However, this could pose a risk to your baby, if they become too hot.”
Since overheating has been linked to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Sydrome] it’s very important to help keep your baby at a comfortable temperature, especially during the hot UAE Summer. But, when a lot of the international advice recommends keeping a newborn's room at 16-20 degrees Celsius - something almost impossible in a UAE summer even with the most efficient of AC systems - what can you do to keep your baby safe and comfortable? Here are Suzanne's recommendations…
How to ensure your baby has a comfortable night’s sleep:
1. “Choose the coolest room in the house. Keep the heat out by closing the curtains and make sure fresh air can circulate around the Moses basket, or cot – don’t put cot liners, or padding in. Don’t leave babies asleep in a pram as they can become very hot.”
Find out how you can tell if your baby is too hot or too cold.
2. “Give your baby or child a lukewarm bath or sponge them down with lukewarm water. Don’t use water that is too hot or too cold in their bath.”
3. “If you use a fan, do not point it directly towards your baby. You can use it to keep the air circulating. Also make sure your baby cannot touch the fan.”
4. "If you have an air conditioner, make sure the room does not get too cold and that the baby is not directly in the path of the air vent. 22 to 24 degrees Celsius is recommended for Dubai, slightly higher than the international recommendation of 16-20 degrees. We recommend you invest in a room thermometer so you can easily check.”
5. “Dress your baby in clothes that are 100 per cent cotton. This is important as natural fibres regulate temperature and allow the skin to breathe. If you are using a cotton sleepsuit you could put a cotton vest underneath if it is very cold. If you are concerned about it being too warm then choose an open-toe sleepsuit."
6. “Do not use bedclothes made of polyester or synthetic fibre as synthetic fibres do not breathe and can cause your baby’s temperature to rise. So be careful when choosing babygros, cot covers, blankets etc.”
7. “If you decide to use a blanket at night, a cellular blanket or a baby sleeping bag in a low tog (0.5 to 1.5 tog) is ideal. Be very careful to tuck the blanket in well as a loose blanket poses a risk of suffocation. Use a blanket specifically for babies.”
8. “Place your baby with their feet at the foot of the cot, crib, or Moses basket, so that they can’t wriggle down under the blankets.”
9. “Check regularly to make sure the baby’s head is not covered. Don’t put a hat on your baby when you put them to bed. Babies lose heat through their head so covering their head may cause your baby to become overheated.”