Room temperature and how to dress for bedtime
A less obvious topic of conversation when it comes to new babies is room temperature, though it is a significant one. While newborns can be fussy about any number of things, room temperature is something that unfortunately cannot be negotiated. It is important to make sure your baby’s room is a comfortable temperature – not too hot, not too cold.
Experts have said that anywhere between 16°C and 20°C is ideal, and while this may feel slightly chilly to some, it has been proven to be a safe and comfortable temperature for babies.
And keeping your baby from overheating greatly decreases the risk of SIDS – while this is an extremely rare syndrome, taking the necessary precautions when it comes to your newborn will grant you a huge peace of mind, particularly throughout the first six months.
Below, we have some advice and helpful information to offer guidance in regulating your baby’s temperature.
plan ahead and get a thermometer
First of all, it is important to have a way to check the temperature of your baby’s room, and a thermometer will help you to keep everything at a comfortable level.
There is a variety of options, and many thermometers are multi-purpose and designed for new babies in mind – they can act as nightlights, alarms, and even change colour to let you know whether the room is too hot or too cold.
do you think your baby is too hot?
Keep an eye out for signs of overheating. These may include the following:
- Damp hair
- Heat rash
- Rapid breathing
According to The Lullaby Trust, the best way to check your baby’s core temperature is to feel their tummy or the back of their neck. If they feel too hot or sweaty, remove a layer of bedding or clothing, and then check again after a minute or so.
(If your baby’s hands or feet feel a little too cool, do not panic! This is perfectly normal for newborns, as their circulatory system is still developing)
be mindful of the changing weather
Summer heat can become intense. On these particularly warm days, keep your baby’s room cool by opening a window, and closing the blinds or curtains to fend off harsh sunlight. Remove cot bumpers, as well – these can potentially trap heat inside your baby’s crib.
It might also help to add an electric fan to your baby’s room, but keep it aimed away from the cot – it should only be cooling down the room, not your baby directly.
And during the winter months, it is important not to dress your baby in a bundle of layers, although this may be your initial instinct. A footed-sleepsuit with a vest underneath should keep your baby nice and cosy.
Furthermore, health expert Gemma Caton strongly advises never to place a hot water bottle or electric blanket in your baby’s cot on colder nights, and to keep their bed well away from any heaters.
choose bedding carefully
Is your baby under a year old? If so, it is recommended for them not to sleep with a quilt or duvet. A lightweight sleeping bag can ensure a safe temperature, as long as it is the correct size for your baby (so that they don’t slip down into it).
Also, it’s a good idea to keep your baby’s cot as bare as possible. This is especially important if your baby is sick or running a fever. Too many toys, pillows and blankets can have the same effect as too many layers of clothing – overheating!
If you must use a blanket, then find one that’s breathable and lightweight, and make sure to tuck it under the mattress so that doesn’t come up past your baby’s chest.
There are a lot of sleep essentials readily available.
However, you may want to take care in choosing them. A baby’s skin is thinner and far more fragile than an adult’s, meaning that certain chemicals are more easily absorbed – chemicals that ordinary cotton clothing may pose a risk of. Organic clothing is a recommended alternative for newborn babies, because safer, pesticide-free methods are used to produce the cotton. You can find more information about organic clothing here.
And of course, everything discussed above should be kept in mind when dressing your baby for bed. If it is cold, slide your baby into a nice pair of pjs, and maybe even use a sleeping bag on those particularly chilly winter nights. If it is hot, then keep your baby’s cot bare, find a light sleepsuit that doesn’t swaddle them, and be watchful of any signs of overheating.
Choosing your baby’s clothing and essentials is important when regulating their temperature, but it should also be a fun experience! We have a collection of products that put your baby’s comfort and safety first – shop around and be assured that both you and your baby will rest easier for it.