Autumn is well underway and before we know it winter will have made an appearance too. The colder nights can be challenging when it comes to keeping your little one comfortable and warm without the risk of overheating. Ensuring your baby is safely warm and at the right temperature all night long will positively influence the quality of their sleep.
There are several things to consider to ensure your baby is safe through the night and we hope this guide will help you to choose products to do just that.
It’s common for people to think that the house needs to be warmer than usual with a young baby in the house, leading them to crank the heating up. This is unnecessary as although babies cannot regulate their own body temperature as well as adults, they can still do a fairly good job.
The ideal room temperature for a baby is between 16 and 20 degrees C. The NHS recommend that the optimum room temperature for an adult in winter is 18 degrees C which is somewhere in the middle of the recommended range. You may consider purchasing a simple room thermometer so that you can regularly check how warm or cold the room is whilst your baby sleeps.
It is very important that your baby does not get too hot and overheat because it can put them at higher risk of SIDs (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). It is also recommended that your baby sleeps in the same room as you for the first six months.
Night time clothing all depends again on room temperature. Usually a short sleeved vest and a long sleeved sleepsuit or pyjamas is plenty along with a regular 2.5 tog sleeping bag within the recommended room temperature range. If the room temperature is warmer then you can simply remove one layer of clothing and/or adjust the tog value of the sleeping bag as applicable.
Your baby’s bedding should be chosen very carefully. Loose blankets and sheets are not recommended and can be dangerous because your baby can kick them off and they could end up over their face and obstruct their airways. If you do use blankets they should be the cellular kind, tucked in tightly at the bottom and should not come up past the armpits.
Baby sleeping bags are very popular and highly recommended. They eliminate the need for blankets, fit well to your little one’s torso and come in a choice of tog values that can be suited to seasonal temperatures. A 2.5 tog is suitable for use most of the year and you can alter layering underneath to suit temperatures between 16 and 20 degrees. For colder winter months you could use a 3.5 tog bag which is most suited to temperatures below 16 degrees. Be sure to buy the right size for your baby to ensure a snug fit. Buying a sleeping bag that is too big could pose the risk of your baby slipping down into the bag.
The simplest way to check if your baby is warm enough is to put a hand on their tummy or the back of their neck. Often, babies' hands and feet are cold when the rest of them are perfectly warm and snuggly. Other signs that your baby could be too warm include; sweating, clamminess, damp hair, flushed cheeks, rapid breathing and a heat rash. If you identify one of these signs you should remove a layer of clothing or bedding and improve air circulation by opening a door or window. You should then check again in ten minutes to ensure that they have cooled down but remain comfortably warm.
Remember to always place your baby on their back to sleep as this is the safest sleeping position. We hope you have found this guide helpful and that both you and your baby stay safe and warm this autumn and winter.