OPINION

Health and Wellness: Safe sleep in warm weather

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department
Special to Dallas County News and Perry Chief

During a heat wave, it can be difficult to provide a constant appropriate temperature for infants. Babies are at higher risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome if they get too hot during sleep.

Over-bundling, or using multiple layers of clothing can cause your baby to overheat, especially when the room temperature is warm. Infants haven’t yet developed the ability to regulate their body temperature, so being in a hot room or wearing too many layers can get in the way of learning this self-regulation process.

If you typically use a wearable blanket for your baby (good for you!), you may want to find one that is less thick for the summer. A rule of thumb is to think about what you’re comfortable wearing in the room, and then add one more layer for your baby. If you’re in shorts and a lightweight shirt, your baby will be too hot in a shirt, onesie, and wearable blanket. Watch for signs of baby overheating, such as sweating or their chest feeling hot to the touch.

Wearable blankets, also called sleep sacks are thought to be safer for babies and toddlers than blankets. Read up on research about them at these websites: health.clevelandclinic.org/sleep-sack-safety/ or healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/diapers-clothing/Pages/Swaddling-Is-it-Safe