6 tips to help baby fall asleep in hot weather

Havinga baby is a bit like being on a permanent episode of "Fort Boyard". The challenges follow one another at breakneck speed, and you constantly find yourself whispering mystical incantations (axa lullabies) in a cartoon voice, in the hope of thwarting the last test of the day: putting the wonderful child to bed. Because let's be honest: we love them best when they're finally asleep!

First of all, if you're one of those people who thought putting a baby to sleep would be as easy as putting a koala in a eucalyptus tree, we're sorry to say that you were sadly mistaken. Getting a baby to sleep is more like trying to program an alarm clock in Japanese... with instructions in Braille. An exercise that can prove slightly complicated... 

Every evening, we're faced with a complex ritual. First, the baby has to be placed in bed, as gently as if you were trying to defuse a bomb. Then you start whispering lullabies that, you hope, will have the effect of a sleep-inducing spell. "Dodo, l'enfant do, l'enfant dormira vite..." Really? Because, between you and me, we have the impression that children resist our musical magic rather well.

Then, just when you think you've done it, you tiptoe away with ninja-like stealth, outwitting your worst enemies - creaking doors and wooden floors... the alarm goes off! And by alarm, of course, we mean that little creature of light who wakes up screaming like a soccer player you've barely grazed with your shoulder. At this point, the challenge is more like a round of "The Voice", where you have to convince the jury (aka the baby) with your best rendition of "Au clair de la lune" to win their approval to return to the arms of Morpheus.

Summer's double challenge 

And once the ritual of falling asleep has been mastered ... summer arrives! Don't be too quick to rejoice... It's hot, your baby's as red as a ripe tomato and you're convinced that it would be easier to solve a Rubik's Cube in the dark than to get him to sleep, since you can't see how you're going to get any shut-eye in this heat.

Here's your survival guide for desperate parents: how to put a baby to sleep in a heatwave?

1. Cool the room: set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature. That's easy to say, if you're lucky enough to have air conditioning. If not, the fan option might be a good alternative. But be careful! Position it so that it doesn't blow directly on the baby, at the risk of not sleeping through the following nights either, but this time because of illness.

2. Close blinds and curtains: if you're having trouble getting your baby to sleep because his room feels more like a sauna than anything else, consider closing the curtains or blinds during the day to prevent the temperature from rising to a crescendo. It's a bit like building a fortress, except that the monster you're trying to keep at bay is the sun.

3. No need to dress him like an Eskimo: a simple cotton bodysuit will do. Remember, if you're hot in a t-shirt and shorts, so is he!

4. Moisturize your little one : because giving your baby a beer is neither recommended nor legal, you can breastfeed him because, apart from the soothing effectt The fact is that, after a feed, satiating him with breast milk can make him want to sink. That's the magic of breast milk, which adapts to baby's needs and contains a lot of water in hot weather. Mind you: only if mom keeps hydrated too! A hydrated baby is a happy baby. And if you can't sleep ... you might as well cuddle your little one and keep smiling, right? 

5. Give baby a lukewarm bath: No, this is no joke. A lukewarm bath can actually help cool baby down. And if that doesn't work, at least you'll have a clean baby. It's all about enjoying every little thing when you're a young parent, believe it or not!

6. Use ice packs: It may sound crazy, but if the heat is intense - and these packs are put to good use - they can clearly save the day. Of course, don't turn your baby's room into a giant refrigerator! The packs can be placed around the room, around the bed or under the mattress, but never in direct contact with your child's body. Another option is a wet washcloth, which can be placed on the child's forehead or body, but you'll need to keep an eye on the maggot to prevent him from launching into a series of capoeira movements and ending up putting it over his nose and mouth and choking.

And if all else fails, remember that there's nothing wrong with asking for help. Because, of course, the great irony of it all is that once you've managed to get the baby to sleep, you're too awake and stressed to find sleep yourself.

So take heart, dear parents! The day will come when your little treasure will sleep through the night. And on that day, you'll be there, standing in the dark, checking his breath every five minutes, because silence will seem too suspicious. Ah, the joys of parenthood!

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Photo: Unsplash - Zelle Duda