It’s getting chilly over here in OZ and those little bubs are waking because they’re feeling the cold.
I’ve had many phone calls asking about early morning waking, especially at 3-5 am.
So why does it happen?
At 3-5 am the body temperature drops and is at its lowest in our 24 hour cycle/circadian rhythm of sleep.
At the same time the air temperature drops.
Aha! you’re saying. Now I know why.
So what do you do about it?
Those of you that have been following my blog for a while will know that I’m from the North of England and we regularly get cold winters. It can drop to -7C or more and stay there for several weeks. So I’ve learned a lot about how to rug up and keep warm. This easily translates to keeping little babies warm too.
I’ve also spent years as a midwife, in Neonatal nurseries/Special Care Nurseries, helping keep those little premmie/preemie babies warm.
You need to layer your baby in warm clothing but not too warm. Do not let baby wear hats in the house, as per SIDS guidelines. A nice soft flannelette sheet on the cot can feel amazing. Dress baby in a singlet/vest, then a onesie and a grobag or sleeping bag suitable for the season and temperature. Grobag also do under suits with padded arms.
A great alternative is a warm merino or wool cardigan or ‘legs’. Baby Legs are often used as leggings in winter but can easily be used on arms to keep bub warm.
To know how warm your baby is check their tummy with the palm of your hand. You can also check their temp with a thermometer. Don’t go by their hands or faces, these are always cool to touch in winter.
We often make the mistake of having our rooms too warm and we think a warm nursery or bedroom will keep baby warm. That is not the case. A nursery temp needs to be 16-20C at nighttime, no warmer. Anything over 20C will make them snuffly by drying their sinuses out. Cooler is better than warmer.
It’s the layers of clothing and bedding that keeps baby warm.
Also look at their diet and make sure they’re getting enough solids and plenty of low glycaemic carbs and protein and fat. Babies need calories for warmth and growth. All dairy is full fat until 2 years old.
I recently asked mums on my Facebook page which are their favourite sleeping bags for bubs. This is what they said:
Which sleeping bag is the ‘best’ at keeping baby warm, easy to change nappies, washes well and is not too expensive? I’m sending this out on behalf of Anya’s mummy. I know that mums know more than me on what works best
Hello mummies! hope everyone is going well. just looking for a recommendation re a sleeping bag. would like something that is breathable and keeps anya (my little one) warm. i normally dress her in a layer of thermal, then onesie, then sleeping bag and have the temperature in the room set at approx 22 degrees. thanks in advance!
Julie Tesei We got a lovely 100 per cent merino and cotton bag from http://www.merinokids.com.au A bit pricey but for my daughter who has eczema the natural fibers are great!
Merino Kids – merino and organic baby & toddler sleep bags, babywraps and merino clothing and…
Natasha Szabo I really love the ErgoPouch. I think it’s a 3.5 tog rating, washes really well, can get on sale for about $70. Everyone I have recommended it to loves it
Megan Jeffery Desiere Ergo pouch for sure! They have all different TOG ratings for different weather. You can also get ones with buttons on the sleeves so baby can transition from arms in to arms out.
Kate Spence I like the Grobag & 2.5 tog
Jasmina Petkoska-Mellsop Second the ergo pouch, one of the warmest on the market
Bridget Flynn said – Woolbabes are great. Different weights avail. Expensive though.
Melinda Robertson I love the pure baby sleeping bags
Sally Smid I love snug time!!
Sleeping bags often have a European tog rating for warmth. Bags with rating 1.2 or below are for spring/summer use. Bags with rating 2-2.5 are for autumn/winter.
And don’t forget bed socks!!! It helped me through many a UK winter night. If your hub has warm tootsies they’re going to sleep so much better
And last but not least, blankets and fibres
I see a lot of bunny rugs/fleecy fabric blankets and fleecy sleeping bags being used. I’m not a fan of these and I’ll tell you why. They are made of acrylic fibres and they don’t breathe and allow exchange of heat and moisture. Instead they block heat and moisture in so the baby can overheat and feel sweaty. Please use natural fibres for sleeping bags and bedding only and by natural fibres I mean cotton and wool, preferably merino wool. Cellular cotton blankets are great because they breathe and cotton is low irritation for eczema prone skin. Wool and acrylic are irritants for eczema.
If you’re using blankets to layer baby, instead of a sleeping bag, place baby on their back to sleep with feet positioned at the very bottom of the cot and blankets tucked in securely to the mattress.
So there’s all my tips to a good nights sleep and a warm and toasty nights sleep for your baby.