Getting the kids to sleep in a heatwave | What works for us and others

Parenting
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This heatwave is hot isn’t it! It also appears like it’s forecast to last all month, which means heatwave survival tactics are reaching new levels and so I compiled this list and asked some fellow bloggers for their top ‘getting the kids to sleep in a heatwave‘ tactics too. It’s amazing how many similar tactics emerged!

I first shared the ways we were keeping H cool in the heat almost 3 years ago, when she was 7 months old. She’s now 3.5 and we also have Baby B who has just turned one. We’ve coped with the heat each year, including living in a house with a south facing garden… aka two bedrooms in the sun all day. H’s bedroom faces north, however that just means the sun is on her window at bedtime. Excellent just what we need. Not! So, we’ve found a few ways to keep the house and bedrooms as cool as possible.

I’ve compiled a few tips we’ve gained and tweaked through the years, and also a few tips from some blogging friends which we personally haven’t tried, but they think are game-changers.

Our tried and tested coping strategies:

1. Blackout blinds

These are a must in our house as they really make the room darker as we always find that light still gets round the blackout curtains.

We’ve roller blinds in each of the girls’ rooms, but I’ve also taped blackout curtain linings to their windows so that the gaps of light around the roller blinds don’t show through. It’s worked really well and also reflects the sun away from the room, while we’re still able to have the window open during the day.

We also make sure to tuck the curtains in behind the radiator below so that no light can escape there either.

Black out curtains, and curtain lungs taped to the window to stop the sun heating the bedroom during heatwave

I also tried taping cardboard to the wall to bridge the gap between the blind edges and the wall. It makes a bit of a difference but I think I prefer the linings in the window option.

Polly from www.ourseasidebaby.com also said: “A blind has really helped us. I use the Gro-anywhere blackout blind in my son’s room and it keeps the room really cool in the evening and also keeps the bright light out in the mornings. Without it his room was just too hot. I also keep the window open.” and,

Karen from  www.ouririshfamily.com said “we also ensure the curtains/blinds in her room are closed from 4pm as it keeps it cool.” 

2. Blackout curtains, and close them during the day

Keeping the curtains shut with the windows open does seem to make a huge difference both to the light evenings and light mornings, as well as keeping the heat out of the rooms. H has unicorn blackout curtains from Next and B has owl blackouts from Dunelm – both make a huge difference.

Quite a few bloggers agreed with using blackout curtains and closing them in the day too – Leigh from www.dadgeek.co.uk, Terri from www.thestrawberryfountain.com, Jo from cupoftoast.co.uk, Emma from https://emmareed.net,  

3. Close internal doors

Keep each room at its own temperature. So, our hall has a window which gets the sun from 3pm, it’s scorching hot and heats up the whole of upstairs and we don’t want that heat getting into the bedrooms.

4. Door wedges, and open the doors and windows!

In saying the above…, if there is a breeze coming in one side of the house, take advantage and open the internal doors so it cools throughout out the house. Just make sure to edge the doors open otherwise baby will be woken from a door slamming!

5. 0.5 tog sleeping bags & thin sheets

Yup babies sleep in just a nappy but if we have the fan on or there is a draft her a 0.5 tog sleeping bag keeps it off her. and kids in pants and perhaps a thin sheet (no duvet).

Charlie from www.ouralteredlife.com also agrees suggesting “cotton sheets to replace a duvet” helps. 

6. Bath/shower before bed

Some nights I’ve been doing this too…. it’s so refreshing. It really helps get rid of the sun cream, the sticky skin and cool down. It also helps with the ridiculous amount of ice lolly that B seems to get stuck in her hair.

This was really popular tip:

Haley from www.wingingitwithtwoboys.com also says “cool shower before bed seems to help my two – they are all hot and sticky from wearing sun cream so they like to have a rinse off and it helps cool them down a bit,” and, Alice from  www.livingwithajude.co.uk says ” I always make sure my daughters hair gets wet in the bath as it keeps her cooler for longer.”)

Also suggested by Emma from https://emmareed.net, Joanne from www.wingingmamahood.com, Jodie from tightwadmama.com, Hayley from www.missmanypennies.com 

7. Cold water and a fan

Pop a tub of ice or cold water in front of a fan to create a cool airstream. We’ve done this for a few years now and it really makes a difference. We have normal ‘desk’ fans but also now have a ‘tower fan’ which we are more comfortable having in H’s bedroom as she can’t stick her fingers in it.

Beth from www.twinderelmo.co.uk thought this worked well too.  

8. Ice lollies or yogurt for pudding

We’ve been making sure both girls have either ice lollies or yoghurt for pudding to keep them cool after their dinner.

Jodie from tightwadmama.com also recommended this: “My toddler has been having homemade ice lollies after his evening meal to cool down. I make them with IKEA moulds, very weak cordial and a bit of fruit.” 

9. Fresh fruit

If the girls are still hungry after their dinner the girls have some fruit, particularly strawberries or cucumber – fruits high in water content to keep them hydrated.

10. Cold hot water bottles

If the girls are quite hot we have popped icy cold water in a mini hot water bottle to try to cool their beds. I’m sit sure if that’s really helped but felt like I’d tried something!

11. White noise

H has her Fisher Price light show and music projector which she still loves for bedtime, and B has her My Hummy which we use to mask the outside noises which are much louder when the windows are open. Card, trains, buses, motorbikes are a bit less obvious when these are playing so we hope they help keep them asleep. Not sure if they really help, but it makes sense!

12. Go with the flow

We’ve found that making sure the girls can always access water during the day, and allowing lots of down time (yes, giving into the requests for PJ Masks and Peppa Pig) do make a difference. It’s hot and these toddlers seem to need more downtime too.

A few more heatwave bedtime tips, tried and tested by other bloggers:

“We’ve got her a fan which is positioned right by her bed and we also use cooling spray on her before bed. We’ve also been playing music to her so she can take her mind off the heat. When we come up to bed we switch it all off until the next day.” – Emma from www.happyfamilyhub.co.uk

“I’ve built a makeshift cot tent with sheets for my two year old, place a fan near the sheet tent and let cool air circulate beneath an open slit – it stays cool all night and the white noise from the fan puts him straight to sleep.” – Shan from www.shanelliswilliams.com

“Let them play out before bed to try and burn some energy off in the fresh air. Somewhere open where they can explore to their hearts content.” – Nyomi from www.nomipalony.com

Obviously these aren’t miracle workers, the house is still hot, in fact often B’s room is 27C, and some night she is waking but she’s also teething again, dribbling away and hands in her mouth. And, if all my usual options haven’t worked to get her back to sleep if hubby gives her a bottle, she’ll fall asleep without a doubt. Frustrating but at least we all get back to sleep, and our poor neighbours who must also hear her screams with everyone’s windows open all night!

If you have any more tips, or if any of these are life changers for you, leave me a comment below! 

If you have an amazing how to get the kids to sleep in a heatwave tip and are happy for me to include it in this post do say so in the comments and I’ll add an update section.

I’ve a few more posts related to heatwaves and gorgeous summer weather… and if you have a Perfect Prep and it’s having trouble making baby’s bottles I have some solutions and more about the problem – Perfect Prep machine warning light in hot weather.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Sophie
    July 11, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    PJs in the freezer! Works a treat. X

  • Reply
    Sophie
    July 11, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    #bloggersbest

  • Reply
    Claire Rocks
    July 11, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    brilliant post. thanks for sharing #bloggersbest

  • Reply
    Karen, the next best thing to mummy
    July 12, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    My tip is to put your child’s cuddly toy in a plastic bag then put it in the fridge, remove bag and give child the cooled toy at bedtime #[email protected]_karendennis

  • Reply
    helen gandy
    July 12, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Ohh yes some great tips there, I find putting the blackout blinds down during the day hugely helpful. Thanks for the tips and linking up to the #bloggersbests

  • Reply
    Crummy Mummy
    July 17, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    It’s a nightmare isn’t it! My younger two have been sleeping in just nappies for weeks now as the temperature in their room is 25 degrees + #bloggersbest

  • Reply
    Brian Ferret
    July 27, 2018 at 2:57 am

    Excellent. When my nieces were hot at night, they would panic and feel worse. Having airflow helps quite a bit.

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