Can the baby sleep wearing only a diaper?
Hot weather is bothersome. With babies, it is no different. They become irritated, agitated, with a rash all over their bodies, and it is harder for them to sleep. Some mothers let their babies wear only a diaper to relieve the heat. However, is the recommended or can it cause problems to the baby?
Although babies are very warm, they lose heat more easily than adults, especially newborns and can get cold and present symptoms of hypothermia.
When we sleep, body temperature tends to fall. For this reason, it is better to avoid leaving the baby with only a diaper on during nighttime. Light clothing is recommended, such as a nightgown, bodice and thin pants.
Remember that babies do not sense heat and cold in the same way adults do, since their skin is still very fragile and susceptible to changes in climate. Their blood vessels are not yet totally formed. Before taking off all clothing, check to see if the baby is really hot or is cold.
Besides this, it is possible to relieve the sensation of heat with quite simple measures, even for babies less than six months old, who are exclusively nursing.
How to know if your baby is hot
Babies are still not capable of regulating body temperature and don’t know how to convey what they are feeling. They will quickly begin to cry or become agitated because of the heat. A tranquil baby is one who is at the right temperature.
The recommended manner to know if he is hot is placing your hand on his tummy, chest or back. If these parts are hot or humid, it means he is hot. Extremities, such as hands and feet sometimes are colder and are not a parameter.
Other signs are flushed cheeks, excessive sweating, high temperature and appearance of a rash. For this reason, if they baby is hotter than normal and presents these signs, before getting flustered and running to the doctor, thinking it is a fever, remove some pieces of clothing, wait a while and take his temperature again.
If you place your hands on him and feel that he is cooler, you can dress more clothes on him because he probably is cold and could become ill.
Which clothing should be used for different climates?
It is popular belief that newborns feel a lot colder and need to be excessively clothed. So, it is common to dress him with tights, bodysuit and jumpsuit and then wrap him in a blanket, even when it’s hot.
The truth is that so many layers are unneeded. A recommendation is to compare to your own clothing and put on one additional layer of clothing on the baby. To have an idea, here are some tips by pediatricians about which clothing should be used according to the climate:
– For temperatures above 26ºC (79ºF)
Using a short sleeve bodysuit is enough.
– Between 24ºC and 25ºC (75ºF and 77ºF)
Short sleeve bodysuit and shorts or light pants.
– Between 22° and 23°C (72 ºF and 73 ºF)
Long sleeve overalls. Socks are also welcome, but not….??
– Between 20°C and 21°C (68 ºF and 70 ºF)
Short sleeve bodysuit and long sleeve overalls.
– Between 18°C and 19°C (64ºF and 66 ºF)
Long sleeve bodysuit and overalls.
– Entre 16° and 17° C (61 ºF and 63 ºF)
Long sleeve bodysuit, pants, overalls and socks. The baby’s feet usually are colder.
Below 16ºC (61ºF), the baby should be well protected, with a long sleeve bodysuit, thick pants, overalls, gloves, sock, stocking cap and a coat.
Helping the baby to sleep better in the heat
If you are already creating a routine at sleep time, in heat, it will be very useful and essential to give him a relaxing, refreshing bath and will make all the difference, leaving the baby more tranquil.
As a matter of fact, in hotter seasons, it is recommended to give him more than one bath daily, in order to refresh him. In case the baby’s room has air conditioning, only turn it on after you have changed the baby and have dried his hair.
Fans can leave the room cooler; however, they should be placed far from the crib and turned towards the wall, never directly toward the baby.
Even if your shoulder is your baby’s favorite place, he will feel even more at ease sleeping in his crib, since your body heat may bother him a little at this moment.
A dark room also gives the sensation of being cooler and is a factor that will considerably influence the baby to sleep better at night.
Ask a specialist
Having trouble making your baby sleep, even at more comfortable temperatures? Well, you need to become familiar with the Bebê Dorminhoco (Sleepy Baby) course, created exclusively to help mothers and babies to have a well-earned night of sleep.
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