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Hot summer nights? Help your eczema child to sleep with our top tips…

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.

Children with eczema often find sleeping difficult at the best of times. The eczema itch comes to fore when there is nothing to distract from it. A hot summer night makes things doubly difficult. Even small amounts of sweating can aggravate the eczema itch and falling asleep in the heat is difficult for everyone…

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. This is because our bodies naturally compensate for the shock of the cold.
  • Lying down on a towel in bed to air dry over storytime. Once they are largely dry, pad them down to catch any remaining damp patches. Then slip on cool cotton sleepwear.  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, 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. Putting it in a plastic bag will keep it dry. 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. This is also a great opportunity to 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. If you are tempted to try this we recommend making sure their toenails are well trimmed first!
young boy in white vest trying unsuccessfully to sleep on a hot summer night.
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!
  • If you need a cold compress at night, try keeping a sock filled with uncooked rice in the freezer. This can be used on wrists, feet and the back of the neck to provide instant relief. We also like the idea 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. With a bit of adjustment, they can also 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 may not work so well for you.
    Finally, our favourite tip is to put 2-litre bottles of water in the freezer during the day. As you go to bed, place them in front of a fan. This creates a makeshift air-conditioning unit which blows cold air instead of just circulating the warm air. 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!

Want more information? Our blog also has more top tips on scratching and sleep.

Wishing you all some peaceful nights!


As well as sharing our experience of bringing up an eczema child (and favourite allergy-friendly recipes), ScratchSleeves also manufacture and sell our unique stay-on scratch mitts and PJs for itchy babies, toddlers and children. We now stock sizes from 0-adult in a range of colours. Visit our webshop for more information.

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Écrit par :

Tess a rejoint ScratchSleeves en 2016 et adore pouvoir aider nos petits clients et d'autres parents en difficulté.

Révisé par :

Issue d'une famille de personnes souffrant d'eczéma, Jae s'appuie sur des années d'expérience pratique et directe de la vie avec l'eczéma.

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