Summer has arrived and we’re not complaining! However, the long hours of sunlight and the hot summer nights can make sleeping difficult, especially for itchy little ones. Here at ScratchSleeves HQ, we have been struggling to get our own little ones to fall asleep and decided to share the best tips we’ve found on the subject.
What can help a child with eczema sleep during hot summer nights?
- Body temperature baths and showers are better than cold ones. Make them too cold and they will actually raise body temperature over time rather than lower it as our bodies naturally compensate for the shock of the cold.
- Lying down on a towel in bed to drip dry over storytime then slipping on cool cotton sleepwear or a sheet sleeping bag once they are good and snoozy avoids rubbing sensitive skin. If you are putting on creams after the bath then keep them in the fridge – they will be nice and cool and extra soothing.
- If emollients are particularly oily and heavy they can be very clammy on the skin. Ask your GP for a lighter formulation for night times whilst it’s hot.
- If your child has long hair tying it back or putting it in loose plaits will help keep their neck cool.
- If they have a favourite soft toy or blanket which they cuddle at night try popping them in the freezer an hour before bedtime in a plastic bag. Not only will it make for a cooling snuggle, but it will also kill off house dust mites at the same time!
- Hydration is very important. Make sure there is a drink of cold water to hand at all times. Baby and toddler drinking cups are ideal as they won’t spill if knocked over. Drinking little and often is the best solution. In extreme heat, I lift my five-year-old when I go to bed so he can go to the loo and then encourage him to drink some chilled water before falling asleep again.
- Cool feet make a huge difference to overall body temperature. If your little one is still sleeping in a sleep suit consider cutting the feet off. That said, we do find that some children use their feet as weapons for scratching so if you are tempted to try this we recommend making sure their toenails are well trimmed!
- If you need a cold compress in the night a sock filled with uncooked rice kept in the freezer can be used on wrists, feet and the back of the neck to provide instant relief. We also liked the idea we read of keeping a hot water bottle in the freezer to chill hot little toes!
- If you are struggling to keep their bedrooms cool throughout the day consider investing in a blackout blind. Not only do they stop the room from getting hot they block out that late evening sunshine that keeps little ones up. This doesn’t have to be a big DIY project – the ‘go anywhere blinds, which stick onto the glass with suckers, are just as effective (and, with a bit of adjustment, do work on open windows).
- Opening windows seems obvious but if you can open windows all over the house you will generate more of a thorough draft. But obviously, if pollen is a trigger for your child’s eczema this
- Finally, our favourite tip is the use of 2-litre bottles of water popped in the freezer during the day and placed in front of fans to blow cold air instead of just circulate the warm. If you don’t have a fan just putting them in the room will lower the air temperature. Remember to put them on plastic plates or a towel to catch the drips!
Wishing you all some peaceful nights!