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How Warm Should My Baby Be At Night?

How Warm Should My Baby Be At Night?

As we head deeper into winter we are really feeling the cold. And as we all reach for extra warmth at night, it's an important time to learn how to keep your baby perfectly warm - but not overheated. Our eumom sleep expert, Fiona O'Farrell gives her advice on how to keep your baby sleeping soundly and safely throughout the colder months.
 

One of the first skills your baby is developing is the ability to regulate it's own temperature. This can take a while to develop and may take longer if your baby was born premature. During this phase of learning, you may find that your baby is very hot one minute and then very cold the next. The natural reaction for parents, especially during the winter months, is to wrap up their baby to keep warm. However, there is serious risk to your baby, if they become too hot. And sadly, this risk is linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Here are our top tips to help keep your baby at the right temperature during the night:

 
  • Invest in a room thermometer. The thermometer of the room should be between 16 - 20 degrees Celsius.
  • Dress your baby in 100% cotton only clothes. This is important as natural fibers regulate temperature and allow the skin to breathe. If you are using a cotton sleep suit you could put a cotton vest underneath if it is very cold.
  • Do not use bedclothes made of polyester or synthetic fiber as synthetic fibers do not breathe and can cause your baby’s temperature to rise to a dangerous level. So be careful when choosing babygros, sleeping bags, cot covers, blankets etc.
  • If you decide to use a blanket at night, be very careful to tuck the blanket in well as a loose blanket poses a risk of suffocation. Use a blanket specifically for babies.
  • A sleeveless baby sleeping bag is a good alternative to blankets, but don't use any other bedding with it.
  • Place your baby with their feet at the foot of the cot or moses basket so they can't wriggle down under the blankets.
  • Check regularly to make sure the baby's head is not covered. Don't put a hat on your baby when you put them to bed. Babies lose heat through their head so covering their head may cause your baby to become overheated.
  • Don’t worry if your baby’s hands and feet feel cool - this is normal.
  • Always place baby on their back to sleep.
  • The positioning of your baby’s cot is very important. Do not position the cot near a radiator which could result in over heating for your baby or risk of burns if your baby reaches out and touches it while hot. Keep the cot away from an open door or window when there is a risk of draughts.
  • Do not be tempted to use a hot water bottle to heat your baby’s cot.
  • Sweating & damp hair are both signs that your baby is too hot.
The following the guidelines should help reassure you that your baby is comfortable and safe at night throughout the winter months. Help your little one get to sleep with our Baby Bedtime Lullaby Playlist on Spotify If you have any sleep or development questions, please feel free to get in touch with Fiona at fionaofarrell.ie

About the Author

Fiona O’Farrell is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, specialising in baby development, premature babies and is an experienced sleep consultant, validated by the department of health. For information on workshops and sleep consultations visit fionaofarrell.ie or Facebook. Call Fiona on 0879144323

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