Little Goat Gruff

Linda Barnwell— December 31, 2013

Concerned that your sleeping-through-the-night baby (ha!) will wake up freezing at 3am? Or worried that you're overreacting and that your little one is slowly roasting?

How to make sure your baby is just the right temperature for a good night's sleep:

    1. Check your room thermometer, if you have one. Is it really as cold as you feel? After warm summer weather - even in Britain - anything below 20 degrees feels arctic.

    2. The ideal room temperature is 16-20 degrees. At this temp, according to government guidelines, a baby should wear a vest, sleepsuit and light blanket.

    3. All babies are different (I have a theory that summer babies feel the cold more!) - test your baby's temperature by lightly touching the back of their neck or their chest. Do they feel chilled, warm or clammy? Don't use their hands or face as an indicator of their temperature as they're often cold when the rest of their body is quite happy.

    4. If your babe feels too warm or too cold, check their bedding. If they're wearing a gro-bag, check the tog - summer ones are 1.0 (no padding) and winter ones are 2.5 or above (padded). If they're swaddled you might need a warmer swaddle (some come in different thicknesses) or to add a blanket or layer of clothing underneath. If you're not sure, check this post on 3 perfect outfit combinations to help your baby sleep in winter.

    5. Chilly hands? Add scratch mitts (not just useful for newborns!) or turn over the sleeve cuffs if their sleepsuit has them.

    6. Chilly head? Guidelines recommend not wearing a hat to sleep, as that's where babies lose heat and regulate their temperature. However, I sometimes add a thin jersey hat if it's really cold.

    7. Draughts? Check where your baby's moses basket or cot is placed in the room - ideally not next to a radiator or window, because they will feel the extremes of heat or cold more. If you can't avoid it, try adding cot bumpers or a liner to the moses basket to reduce draughts. Some health workers don't recommend cot bumpers due to concern about your baby getting their heads trapped and having difficulty breathing. If your nursery is draughty and you're worried about suffocation, check out the Breathable range.

    8. Sweaty baby? Lose a layer of clothing. Ensure all their fabrics are breathable and that sweat isn't getting trapped inside their bedding. It's best to avoid fleece and man-made fabrics such as polyester, nylon and acrylic for their clothes and bedding because they trap moisture next to the skin. Also, turn down the radiator!

    Some obvious things to avoid: electric blankets, snowsuits made for outdoors and enormous quilts your baby could suffocate in. If you want to add some cosy layers to your baby's cot, check out our post on types of baby blankets.

    Do you have any other good recommendations for regulating your baby's temperature in the cold?


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