With the evenings getting darker much later, the mornings getting lighter much earlier and the heat making everyone uncomfortable, it’s not surprising that even the best sleepers struggle to get their eight hours a night during the summer months.
Whether you’re struggling to get your child to sleep in the first place or you’re trying to get them to sleep through the night, below we share some great ways to help your youngsters get a good night’s rest. You can also visit the NHS website for further help and support: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/healthy-sleep-tips-for-children/
Toddler sleep and summer light
There’s nothing easy about trying to get a child to sleep while it’s still light outside. They’re yet to understand the concept of time so can’t comprehend why you’re sending them to bed when it’s still daytime. What’s more, the longer days and shorter nights may have reset their internal clock making it difficult for them to doze off no matter how hard they try.
Toddler sleep and summer light don’t mix well together but the good news is, there are a few ways you can try to overcome this.
- Try moving nap time to a bit earlier in the day so they’re more likely to be tired just before bedtime.
- Use black-out curtains and blinds in their bedroom so no sunlight can come through. Start any quiet and darkened activities an hour before bedtime so your child knows it’s time to start winding down. Sadly, this may not generate instantaneous results – it could take a week or two to reset your baby’s sleep clock.
- If nothing’s working, it may be worth letting your toddler go to bed 30 minutes to an hour later than usual. If you put them to bed when they’re not tired, this is going to make them frustrated and bedtime is going to become an almighty ordeal. If you let them stay up a bit later however, they will get tired and will therefore be more likely to fall asleep quicker.
Regulating their body temperature
You’ve probably noticed yourself how much harder it is to fall asleep when the house is too warm. This is even more of an issue for babies however because they don’t have the ability to regulate their temperature themselves. So, what should you do when the evenings are balmy and air conditioning is a pipe dream?
- The most obvious solution is to dress your child appropriately. If they’re happy to sleep in just a nappy then that’s great but if your baby isn’t used to this, they might not like it.
- If your child doesn’t like to remain uncovered, invest in a summer sleeping bag for your baby. Opt for a 1 tog sleeping bag because this will keep your baby covered while still being light enough to keep them cool on warm nights.
- Put a frozen water bottle in front of a fan, this can help to cool the room down.
The babycentre website also has some useful advice: https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a1004500/how-to-keep-your-sleeping-baby-cool-in-hot-weather
Toddler early waking
If your child is repeatedly waking up early during the summer months, there are a number of ways you can try to prevent this.
- Blackout curtains and blinds aren’t just great at keeping out the light in the evenings, it will also stop the morning sunlight coming into your child’s room and waking them up.
- You’re likely to worry about your child overheating on hot nights but if the temperature drops significantly during the night, they may be waking up because they’re cold. Make sure they have another blanket nearby which they know they can use if they need it.
- If your toddler has been waking up early for some time now, it may be time to shift their bedtime slightly later or reduce their nap times during the day.
- If they’re waking up because their wet nappy is making them uncomfortable, try inserting cloth or disposable pads into their nappy to increase absorbency. Putting a barrier of cream on their bottom can also help to reduce discomfort.
If you’re worried about the impact that your child’s sleep may be having on their time at nursery, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Tigers Day Nurseries and we’ll be more than happy to help.