What tips are there for improving a baby’s sleep in the winter months? Here we take a look at winter sleep and your little ones.
(Shorter version of this blog published on the Ergobaby UK (& Europe) website, 3rd November 2022.)
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Bye bye summer, hello autumn, let’s prepare for winter sleep.
Hello Autumn! Beautiful yellow and brown golden leaves are settling on the ground and you spend Sunday afternoons snuggled up on the sofa watching your favourite family movie.
With the change in season, many parents ask themselves, “is there anything we should keep in mind when it comes to our baby’s sleep during winter?”
5 top tips for baby sleep in winter
To ensure your winter nights and winter sleep runs as smoothly as possible, we have summarised the best sleeping tips for the colder months.
#1. Moderate your heating
When switching on the central heating after the long summer months, you may experience cracking noises, loud hissing or clanking in the first few days.
Make sure not to switch on the central heating for the first time during your baby’s nap time. The noise can be enough to wake your baby.
#2. Find the ideal room temperature, keep baby warm
During the winter months, room temperature can fluctuate greatly with the colder weather. You may wonder if you should heat your bedroom or nursery at night to cope with the change in temperatures and what baby clothes to wear.
The recommended room temperature of 16 to 20 degrees is ideal for your baby to reduce the risks of (SIDS) sudden infant death syndrome/aka cot death. With the right sleeping bag and the appropriate clothing, you can prepare your child for a good nights sleep.
#3. Use the correct baby sleeping bags
At night, your baby’s skin and hands may feel cool, but should never be freezing cold. Being cold can be a common reason for waking up during the night and body temperature is important. It is best to dress your baby according to the sleeping TOG chart and to match the sleep sack you have chosen.
As a general rule, the ideal temperature in your baby’s room is between 18 and 20 degrees at night and then you can get by with a 2.5 TOG sleeping bag/sleep sack and sleepsuit.
If the temperature drops below 18 degrees, put an extra layer on your baby or use a sleeping bag with a higher TOG rating.
#4. Discover the benefits of darker nights
The earlier, darker evenings have huge benefits. You no longer have to worry about early morning sunlight creeping into your room and your baby waking up as early as 5am. However, the earlier darkness can cause your baby to become tired earlier in the evening. This makes your little one fall asleep earlier and possibly wake up earlier.
How can we help with this change? In the early evenings, leave your indoor lights on as brightly as possible to simulate daylight. When you begin your bedtime routine, just dim the lights down.
#5. Reduce excitement during the festive season
During the Winter months there are more exciting gatherings and celebrations to factor such as visiting Christmas markets, celebrating Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve partying.
Travelling to see friends and family can be overstimulating for babies and young children. There is a risk of overtiredness. Avoid this by scheduling a nap or extra cuddle time on the sofa.
Remember to leave enough time between nap time before starting the evening sleep routine.
Keep your child’s bedroom free of Christmas decorations and fairy lights to keep it a quiet, peaceful space to retreat to.
Remember! Always think safe sleep
- I know you want to keep your baby warm, but please don’t use a hot water bottle or electric blanket in their cot, it’s unsafe. For extra warmth add another layer.
- Avoid any loose bedding in their cot. Upgrade their baby sleeping bag to a warmer TOG, or make sure to tuck the extra blankets in tightly. No loose blankets please. Pop another vest underneath to keep baby warm at night instead.
- Even in the colder months, keep your baby’s hat just for the fresh air outside. Babies don’t need to wear hats inside to stay warm.
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