FAQ, Questions from Readers, Summer in Tokyo

How to survive hot and humid summer nights in Tokyo with a baby?

We had a question from a reader about how to survive the hot and humid summers in Tokyo. Here is her question and my answer below!

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Hi Kate-

I absolutely adore your site and have been an avid reader throughout my pregnancy and now that baby is here.

I’ll be returning to Japan from the UK (after over a year) in the high summer when baby is 5 or 6 months and am wondering if you could do a post about how to keep baby’s room comfortable in such high temperatures and humidity?

I usually use a cool fibre mat on our bed, aircon during the day and a fan at night but am unsure what is suitable for a baby. Are there cool cot sheets available? Would you advise a dehumidifier and fan at night for baby?

Are there any other products that would help which you used/ use in your little boy’s room? (He is adorable by the way).

Also would a 0.5 tog sleeping bag (sheet weight Gro bag) and a nappy be suitable at bedtime or just a nappy??

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Thanks so much for your email! I’m thrilled to hear that you like Tokyo Urban Baby:) And congratulations on the birth of your baby girl!!

Good question about summer! Last summer was the first summer for my baby – he was 8 months old and by June/July it was already getting hot and humid in Tokyo. I noticed my baby getting a red heat rash all over his body very quickly, so I asked the doctor about it and he recommended using the air-conditioner in our baby’s room. I was hesitant at first to use the air conditioner, but our apartment was just too hot so in the end we used the air conditioner every night. We kept the door to our baby’s room open a little, so that I could hear him when he woke up, and this also helped to keep some fresh air flowing in. In terms of sleepwear, I put him in nappy + singlet + 0.5 tog Grobag. He slept comfortably the whole summer in this with the aircon, so I think we will do the same this year. In answer to your question, I think once you get back to Tokyo you will be able to see how hot your apartment is, and then try a few different options until you find what is best for you and baby. If your apartment gets a nice cool wind flowing through it, you might be able to survive with just the fan. Another thing I did every morning was to give my baby a quick shower (in addition to the bath at night before bedtime) – he often became quite hot and sweaty by the morning, so having a shower really helped to cool him down and freshen him up for the day. I think this shower also helped to avoid heat rash.

Hope this helps and if you have any other questions please let me know:)!

Photo below:

I wasn’t able to find a photo of my baby sleeping in summer, but I did find this one taken on 20th September last year. I remembered it had cooled down by September, so our baby could sleep comfortably without the air conditioner. In this photo he is just wearing a nappy and a long-sleeve top.

Sleeping - 20th Sep 2012

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2 thoughts on “How to survive hot and humid summer nights in Tokyo with a baby?

  1. elaine says:

    Hi, thanks for bringing up this topic! I am visiting Tokyo (from San Francisco) in early July and my baby will be 8 months old. My aunt, who spends half of the year in Tokyo, advises us not to bring our daughter because it will be unbearably hot and humid. Would you agree? My husband and I are torn. We had planned on bringing her, but if it is going to be so humid it might not be very enjoyable for her and we wouldn’t want to take the risk that she might get heat stroke. But we’re not sure if she is exaggerating the situation. Would appreciate your opinion. Thanks!

    1. JHayle says:

      Millions of Japanese babies survive the Japanese summer every year:) It’s up to you really though- what are you planning to do while in Japan? Lots of sightseeing? Planning to be mostly indoors or outdoors? All buildings and trains, buses etc are usually generously air-conditioned so it is very easy to cool down if you start to get a bit too hot.

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