Pediatric HealthSource: Safe Summer Sleep Tips

Dr. Jamie Macklin
Columbus Parent

Q: How can I make sure my newborn is comfortable, safe and getting enough sleep during hot summer weather?

A: Just like the rest of the year, in summer weather it is important to stick to a normal routine as much as possible, and that includes a sleep routine for an infant. If possible, babies should be allowed to nap inside on a firm, safe sleep surface. If you are allowing your baby to nap outside, make sure he is in a well-ventilated and shaded area to prevent overheating. Your baby should still nap on a firm sleep surface, regardless of location.

In case there isn’t a crib available that meets U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines, it’s a good idea to have something like a play yard on hand for safe sleep. During warm weather, watch for signs of overheating, such as sweating, flushed cheeks, rashes, rapid breathing and being extra fussy without needing a diaper change or food.

Although it may be challenging at times when the sun is hot and families want to be out in the nice weather, you should try to keep your baby from sleeping in car seats or strollers. If he does fall asleep while in a car seat or stroller, take him out as soon as possible and place him on a firm, safe sleep surface.

Always consult your child’s pediatrician concerning your child’s health.

For more pediatric health news parents can use, visit our blog: 700childrens.nationwidechildrens.org.

Jamie Macklin, M.D., is a pediatric hospitalist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

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Dr. Jamie Macklin

Safe Sleep Tips

Whether at home or on vacation, parents should always follow the ABCs of safe sleep:

  • Alone - Babies should always be on their own sleep surface. While room sharing is acceptable, bed sharing is a risk factor for SIDS and other sleep-related deaths.
  • Back - Babies should be on their backs every time they sleep.
  • Crib - The crib should be empty. This means no bumper pads, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, toys or supplies, such as diapers and diaper wipes.