*This is a guest post
Are you constantly receiving conflicting advice on how to care for your newborn? Take a breath. There’s one piece of advice experts agree on: the best temperature for a baby’s room is 60-66 Farenheit/16-20 Celcius. The ideal temperature is 64 Farenheit/18 Celcius. But every baby is different. Some babies run hot naturally. Others need the heater on full. Taking the time to learn your baby’s needs is critical to their wellbeing.
What Makes Sleep Temperature So Important?
Managing your baby’s temperature is crucial to their health. Infants can’t regulate their body temperature. They rely on you. Babies who are too hot are at increased risk of SIDS—Sudden Infant Death syndrome. Cold babies wake often and sweaty babies risk developing painful rashes.
Adjust the temperature to meet your baby’s needs. If your baby is sweating, has damp hair, flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or a rash, they’re too hot! Turn down the heat or remove layers of clothing or blankets.
Is your baby waking for no apparent reason? They might be too cold. Judge the temperature of the room by your own reaction. If you need to add another layer of clothing, it’s a good indication it’s also too cold for your infant. However, don’t be fooled by cold hands and feet. These symptoms are usual and don’t indicate your baby is too cold. Instead, feel their ears and chest to check their body temperature.
Keeping your baby’s room at optimal temperature also ensures better sleep quality as your baby wakes less during the night. As a rule of thumb, humans prefer warmer temperatures during the day, slightly cooler temperatures at night.
How to Maintain Your Baby’s Temperature
Using a heater with a thermostat easily maintains a constant overnight temperature. Check your thermostat often to make sure it’s functioning correctly. To reduce fire risk, make sure the heater is at least 3.28 feet (one meter) from baby’s crib and any bedding.
Using a fan to keep air circulating is also recommended and reduces the risk of SIDS. Don’t be concerned that fans make your baby cold. Unless your infant is sweating, the fan merely shifts air rather than cools it.
We don’t recommend using blankets for babies under a year old. Use a swaddling cloth or baby sleeping bag. Choose natural fibers like cotton, merino or bamboo. Avoid swaddling cloths or sleeping bags lined with fleece or synthetic fabrics that don’t breathe. These run the risk of making your baby first sweaty, then cold.
If you must use a blanket, securely tuck it into the edges of the crib. Instead of one heavy blanket, go for layers of light blankets made from natural fibers and increase or decrease the amount of blankets as required. Avoid duvets until your baby is a year old. Since duvets aren’t designed to be tucked in, there’s a risk that your baby might pull it over their face.
A better option than blankets is to dress your baby appropriately for bed. When it’s hot, a vest and diaper may be all your baby needs. In colder weather, opt for layers and long-sleeve onesies.
Avoid the temptation to add a hot water bottle to your baby’s crib. Rather than keeping baby warm, you risk over-heating. Likewise, leave crib bumpers and toys until your baby is older. These are choking hazards to infants.
Be cautious of using a portable heater to warm your baby’s bedroom. Make sure the heater is the only electrical appliance plugged into its socket, otherwise you risk overloading it.
Creating the ideal sleep temperature for your baby’s room is not complicated. Set up your baby’s room to meet their requirements and enjoy improved infant health and sleep.
Author Bio: Sharon Picone is the founder of Sleep Metro, an online review and informational site that provides savvy, no-nonsense tips for the best sleep possible that’s beneficial to both health and wellbeing. Through in-depth reviews, the site also guides readers to make informed decisions when choosing mattresses and bedding. Sharon lives in Florida with her husband and 5 beautiful cats.