Dec 01 , 2021
One of the most important factors in a baby's sleep routine is their clothing.
Some babies might feel too hot, too cold, or too constricted.
This can impact their sleep and mood throughout the day.
Babies can't tell you if they're uncomfortable, so it's up to you as a parent to be aware of their needs and make sure they're comfortable at all hours of the day.
What is the ideal room temperature?
Generally, you'd want to keep your room temperature between 16-20 C (61-68 F), with 18 C (64 F) considered ideal.
If it's a little above 20 C (68 F), it's not a big deal. Going below 16 C (61 F), however, will start to get pretty chilly.
Determining room temperature
1. Using a room thermometer
In determining your room temperature, it is best to use a room thermometer.
When you purchase our cashmere sleeping bag, you'll get a free room thermometer with your order.
Place it near your baby's cot or bassinet but away from any direct heat or sunlight.
Don't Rely On Your Thermostat
We've found that sometimes, people rely on their air conditioner or heater to gauge the room temperature.
It's important to note that the temperature set on the heater/air conditioner is rarely the same as your room temperature.
Using a room thermometer is essential to know the exact room temperature so you can dress your baby appropriately and comfortably.
2. Using the weather forecast
Nowadays, I use the weather app on my phone to gauge my baby's room temperature.
Because my baby sleeps through the night, and the temperature inevitably drops in the middle of the night, it's not practical to keep checking the room thermometer every few hours.
So, what I do is I check to see what the coldest temperature is for the night, and I dress my baby according to that.
It takes a bit of trial and error in the beginning, but it works out very well.
Because your house insulation doesn't change, by knowing the temperature outside of the house, you can have a pretty good gauge of what the temperature inside will be.
I do turn on the fan or air conditioning at the beginning if it's too warm.
Rule of thumb for dressing your baby
Put your baby in one additional layer than what you would wear.
Babies aren't able to regulate their body temperature as well as adults. So this is generally a good rule to follow.
However, there are so many factors that come into play when deciding how to dress your baby.
Babies' temperature regulation changes as they grow. Moreover, some babies just feel warmer or cooler than others. My first kid is somehow always a bit warmer than my second one, for whatever reason.
Keep in mind, over-heating is a significant risk factor of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
So it's better to slightly under-dress them than over-dress if you're unsure.
How to check if your baby is comfortable?
No one rule will fit every baby, and so it is critical that you closely monitor your baby's temperature in the beginning.
You can do so by feeling your baby's chest or back of the neck.
Due to newborns' immature body circulation, their hands and feet are usually colder than their core temperature. This is normal and is therefore not a good way to determine whether your baby is cold or hot.
If they're feeling cold:
- Put an extra layer on.
- Only use a heater to take the chill out of a room. Make sure the room is not hot by any means.
If they're feeling hot, looking red or sweaty:
- Take layers off.
- Use a fan, air conditioner, or open up some windows for air circulation.
- Close blinds/windows during the day to block out the heat of the sun.
Newborns generally love to be swaddled.
It makes them feel like they're back in their mother's womb. It gives them the sense of a familiar environment by being snug and tucked in, which comforts and soothes them.
Make sure only to use swaddles made of breathable, natural fabrics like cotton or muslin so your baby won't overheat.
Note: Once your baby learns to turn over, you have to lose the swaddle.
It stops them from safely turning themselves around and is a significant hazard to them.
Sleeping bags or blankets
Once it's time to lose the swaddle, I generally recommend using sleeping bags over blankets for these reasons:
- They won't be able to kick it off, which means they will stay at a pleasant, constant temperature for a night of better sleep.
- Safer as there won't be loose bedding and is the best way to keep your baby's head and face uncovered.
- Keeps your baby's legs from getting stuck in the cot's rails.
Safety tips for sleeping bags
- Made of natural fabrics, like cashmere, cotton, merino or bamboo
- Ensure that your baby's head cannot easily fit through the head opening to reduce the risk of submarining, which can lead to suffocation.
- No hoods
If you do decide to use blankets or sheets, make sure to tuck it in well.
Absolutely no loose bedding is acceptable before they're 12 months of age.
Tog (Thermal Overall Grade) rating indicates the warmth of a sleeping bag.
It is merely a guide and not a safety standard.
The higher the tog rating, the warmer it is.
Usually, cotton sleeping bags have a tog rating, but it is common for merino or cashmere sleeping bags not to have one.
Merino, and especially cashmere, are highly breathable with excellent temperature regulation. As a result, they can be used for a wide temperature range.
Here's a general guide:
So, does this mean I'll need to get 3-4 sleeping bags with different TOG ratings?
Possibly 2 or 3, but I recommend getting a merino or cashmere sleeping bag to cover a wide temperature range.
Our cashmere sleeping bag is ideal for all four seasons simply by adjusting a few layers of clothing.
Use Your Specific Temperature guide
Sleeping bags usually come with a temperature guide specific to the one that you bought.
It outlines a recommendation for the clothing you should put on your baby when using the sleeping bag at a particular room temperature.
Instead of relying on a general guide, it's safer and more accurate for you to follow the specific guidelines for the sleeping bag that you will be using.
For example, this is the temperature guide for our Snurfle Cashmere baby sleeping bag:
Determining what to put on your baby for bed is one of the many challenges you'll face as a parent. It may take a bit of trial and error in the beginning. However, you'll quickly learn what works and what doesn't for your little one. In due time, you'll gain the confidence to dress your baby suitably and comfortably.