BABY TEMPERATURE GUIDE
Good sleeping patterns are a crucial part of your baby’s healthy development and safety. Keeping your baby’s nursery at an optimal temperature is a very important part of this.
WHAT IS THE IDEAL TEMPERATURE?
When it comes to the ideal temperature for your baby’s nursery, experts recommend maintaining a temperature of between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius both in summer and winter months.
This is because temperature significantly affects the quality of your baby’s sleep. As a general rule of thumb, keep your baby’s room at a temperature that you find comfortable yourself.
Make sure you place a baby thermometer in the room where your baby sleeps, so you can be easily aware of the current temperature, and make changes where needed. Such as turning the heating up or down.
Some baby monitors offer a 2nd function of showing the room temperature in real time, displayed on the monitor screen.
WHY IS THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE IMPORTANT?
If the room is too hot or too cold for your baby to sleep it can affect your child’s growth and development: It’s harder for babies to regulate their body temperature, compared to adults, so your new-born uses a lot of energy to warm or cool their own body – energy that’s much needed for healthy growth.
Maintaining a safe room temperature for your sleeping baby also helps prevent overheating. This, in turn, can help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
DRESSING YOUR BABY FOR SLEEP
It’s not always possible to control the room temperature for your baby precisely, especially during spells of hot weather. In this case, just add or remove items of your baby’s clothing depending on how warm or cool it is.
It’s important to check your baby to make sure he or she isn’t too hot or cold, but this rough baby sleeping temperature guide can give you an idea of how you might dress your little for sleep:
- As a general rule, if the room temperature is around 18-20 degrees Celsius, dress your newborn or older baby in a vest and bodysuit.
- If the room is at the cooler end of the scale, you might want to use a long-sleeved bodysuit or a warmer baby sleeping bag. If you decide to add an extra blanket, make sure it’s tucked in securely below your baby’s shoulders
- If the temperature in the nursery is over 20 degrees Celsius, a short-sleeved bodysuit may be sufficient, depending on how warm it is
- Add or remove layers if your baby shows signs of being too hot or cold
- If you’re in any doubt, ask your health visitor or midwife for advice.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU BABY IS TOO HOT
If you’re not sure whether your baby is too hot or cold to sleep safely and comfortably, gently place a hand on the back of his or her neck (or tummy). If it feels pleasantly warm to the touch, your baby is fine.
Keep in mind that cooler arms, hands or feet are not necessarily a sign that your baby is too cold. This is just how your baby controls their own body temperature, so you probably don’t need to add an extra layer or clothes in this case.
In general, being just a little on the cooler side is less of a safety risk for your baby than being too hot, as overheating is known to increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
SIGNS THEY MAYBE TOO HOT
- Damp sweaty skin and/or hair
- Skin feels hot (not just warm)
- Flushed cheeks
- Heat rash
SIGNS THEY MAYBE TOO COLD
- Skin feels cold to the touch (but keep in mind that cooler arms, hands or feet are not necessarily a sign that your baby is too cold)
If you are worried or have concerns in knowing if your baby is sleeping in the correct temperature, then we always recommend contacting your local midwife or health visitor for further advice and guidance.