A very common challenge of early parenthood is how to keep a baby warm during the night especially during the winter when it is literally freezing because during such an extreme temperature babies find it difficult to regulate the temperature of their bodies and as a result become sensitive or vulnerable to illness often associated with cold like the flu, cold, cough or fever. Here are tips on how to keep my baby warm at night.
Helping your baby stay warm at night is important because when a baby is warm they are at a comfortable body temperature which will help them sleep for longer stretches and be unlikely to fall sick.
How To Keep My Baby Warm At Night
It’s easy enough to know if your baby is warm or not, touch your baby and see how he feels. The touch test gives a pretty accurate result.
When using the touch test, you shouldn’t test their hands and feed because the limbs tend to be cooler that other parts of the body; instead you should use their torso i.e. their belly, back or behind their necks because the temperature at the core of their body is the true indicator of your baby’s comfort level.
If your baby feels a bit warm then she’s warm enough, if she’s sweating then she’s too hot but if she doesn’t feel warm at all or is cold then she is too cold. If your baby is too hot then you can bath them, change their clothes to something cooler or reduce how much clothing they are wearing.
If your baby is too hot then it’s simply a matter of dressing up your baby to stay warm by using additional coverings or clothing’s.
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How do I keep my baby’s face warm at night
While taking the touch test you may notice that your baby’s face is cold but don’t worry it’s normal for a part of the baby’s body that is exposed to be cooler the parts of the baby’s body that is covered. If the temperature at their core is warm then you shouldn’t worry even when their face is cool.
If you have a fan in their room then ensure that it is not blowing air directly at your baby because it’s very like that it’s the reason why your baby’s exposed skin is chilly compared to the covered part of their body.
If it’s only your baby’s face that’s cool to the touch, then the temperature of the room and their clothing is probably ok. Never wear your baby a hat when she’s sleeping because it poses a risk of suffocation as it can slip off her head and unto her face.
How to know if a baby is too cold at night
To know if your baby is too cold at night you should rely on your common sense and logical reasoning for example do you feel comfortable in this temperature? If you’re cold there’s a good chance that your baby is also cold.
Check to see it the temperature set on the thermostat is comfortable if not change it and if you feel that your thermostat isn’t reliable them you might want to dress you baby in warm sleep wear or layers. The average temperature for a baby’s room is 65-70°Fahrenheit or 18-22°Celsius.
Tips On Keeping Babies Warm At Night
- Use of safe sleep practices: when dressing your baby up for sleep follow guidelines for safety while sleep. It’s advised by experts that you keep any soft objects that can lead to suffocation, strangulation and entrapment away from your baby’s sleeping area in the first year of your baby’s life.
For the sake of your baby’s safety follow all safety protocols necessary for infant sleep. Here are a few safety protocols for infant sleep:-
- Your baby should sleep on a firm mattress.
- Young babies aged 1-6 months should sleep on their backs.
- Any type of soft objects should not be put on the crib because the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is increased.
- Do not wear your baby a hat to sleep.
- Use infant sleeping wear when putting them to bed.
- Any thing that can prove to be a suffocation hazard like pillows, blankets, sheepskin, quilts etc. Should be taken away.
- Using the right room temperature: a comfortable room temperature for a newborn is 18-20°C and for a baby is 20-22°C. You can use a thermometer to check is the room temperature is appropriate for your baby, if it not then you can adjust it to the right temperature.
- Use of firm mattresses: using a firm mattress over laid with a well fitted waterproof mattress-protector sheet helps to keep your baby’s bed warm from underneath. Avoid baby mattresses that is made of soft materials because it allows cold air to enter into it and then puts your baby at a risk of getting ill or sick also baby mattresses that are too soft are a suffocation hazard.
- Cover them up: babies lose a lot of their body heat through their feet, hands and head, so its important for you to cover them. For their feet a pair warm socks should do, for their hands lightweight mittens and if your little one Like to suck on her fingers you should get extra mittens ready. You can cover their head with a soft cotton or wool cap during the day but don’t use a hat at night.
- Preheat the crib before laying your baby in it: if you feel like the house is too cold, you should consider preheating you baby’s crib before you put them down on it. You can preheat the crib by putting a hot water bottle or heating pad over the crib for about 30 minutes to an hour before you lay you baby on the crib. Don’t forget to remove the hot water bottle or heating pad before putting your baby on the crib to prevent burns or overheating.
- Layering their sleep wear: if you have stopped swaddling your baby you can keep them warm with a variety of clothes to keep him warm and comfortable while sleeping. When layering your child’s sleep wear the first layer must be light so as to prevent overheating and the second wear should be thick,, for the first layer a short sleeved onesie should be enough. Add a pair of warm socks and sleep mittens and they’ll stay warm through out the night.
- Try to keep your baby away from the wind direction: place your baby’s bassinet or crib many feet away from fans, windows, air vents or air conditioner and also close the windows to prevent cold air from getting in to the room. This will help your baby to stay warm and feel comfortable through out night.
- Use of sleeping bags or swaddles: sometimes when the nights are too cold, and a one-piece Sleep suit isn’t enough to keep your baby warm you can swaddle him with a thick blanket until he’s 3 months old then you can use a sleeping bag( which is also called wearable blanket) to keep them warm if they keep kicking off the blanket.
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Even when you feel like your baby needs an extra blanket to stay warm DO NOT add an extra blanket, there should be no loose cloth or blanket with your baby in the bed.