What's In This Article
- What Temperature Should The Bassinet Or Crib Be At?
- The Best Way To Heat Up Your Baby’s Bedroom For A Comfortable Night
- What Are The Signs That Your Baby Is Too Cold?
- The Best Way To Keep Your Baby Safe From Hypothermia
- Signs Of Hypothermia
- What Is Overheating?
- What Are The Symptoms Of Overheating?
- What Should You Avoid When Warming Your Baby’s Crib?
- How To Settle Your Baby To Sleep
- Final Thoughts
Keeping your baby safe, warm, and cozy is a key priority for any parent, but keeping the crib or bassinet at the right temperature can be more of a challenge in the winter.
Worrying about whether the baby is warm enough – or too hot – can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety to new parents, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed.
Fortunately, we have put together everything you need to know to keep your little one warm in the winter – all you have to do is snuggle them in, and they will be toasty warm all night long!
What Temperature Should The Bassinet Or Crib Be At?
The best way to ensure that your baby stays comfortable is by ensuring that their bassinet or crib is kept at the correct temperature, and this is around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).
This is because babies are naturally cold when they first come into the world, and so if their bedding is too hot, then they may get overheated and end up with a fever.
If you are unsure as to what temperature the room with your baby’s bassinet or crib should be, then it is always recommended that you consult your doctor or maternity practitioner.
The Best Way To Heat Up Your Baby’s Bedroom For A Comfortable Night
There are a number of tips and tricks that you can use to warm up the bassinet on a cold night, and we will explore some of these below:
Use An Electric Blanket
An electric blanket is a great option for warming up your baby’s sleeping space, as it does not require any effort from you, and it also provides even heat distribution across the crib or bassinet.
It is important to note though that you must make sure that the blanket has been tested for safety before using it around your baby, and that it complies with all relevant regulations.
Use An Infant Sleeping Bag
A sleeping bag is another good option for keeping your baby comfortable in the cooler month, and there are many different types available.
Some infant sleeping bags are made out of fleece material which is super warm and snug.
You will be able to find sleeping bags that are also designed specifically for newborns.
Use Heating Pads
Heating pads are a great way to provide extra warmth to your baby’s bassinet or crib, and they can be used in conjunction with an electric blanket.
These pads come in various sizes, and they can either be placed directly over your baby’s body, or they can be placed underneath the mattress of the bassinet or crib.
They can also be used to help keep your baby warm during naps.
Preheat The Bassinet Or Crib
If you notice that your baby’s room is getting chilly after you have finished setting up the bassinet or crib, you can preheat the area yourself.
You can use a space heater or simply turn on the radiator in your house.
Swaddle Your Baby
You can swaddle your baby in a blanket, or you can place them inside a large towel.
Swaddling helps to keep your baby warm by increasing blood flow to their extremities, and it also keeps them snugly against your chest.
Use Appropriate Clothing
It is important to dress your baby appropriately when they are spending time in their bassinet or crib.
Make sure that your little one wears simple layers of clothing, and that you cover their arms and legs.
Also, avoid anything too tight, as this could restrict your baby’s circulation and cause them to become uncomfortable.
Position Of Bassinet Or Crib
When placing your baby in their bassinet or cot, make sure that you position them correctly.
Ideally, you want to place your back on his or her back, and ensure that there are no blankets or toys around.
Keep Them Out Of Cold Air
Make sure that you keep all windows and doors in the nursery closed, so there is no draft coming into the room.
This will help to prevent your baby from becoming chilled.
Make sure that all gaps between doors and windows are tightly sealed so there are no drafts coming through.
Avoid Using Fans
Fans can be useful if you need to cool down your baby’s nursery, but they should never be used in areas where babies sleep.
If you do decide to use fans in summer, then ensure that they are set at low speeds, and that they are positioned away from your baby.
Using a fan in winter may cause drafts and should be avoided.
Use A Thicker Mattress Sheet
If you are worried about drafts coming into your baby’s room, then you can also a slightly thicker mattress sheet.
It’s essential that you do not use any blankets or duvets in the bassinet or crib as babies might get entangled in them.
That’s why, you should only use a sheet that fits tightly on the crib mattress. For winter, you can also find warm baby-friendly sheets.
What Are The Signs That Your Baby Is Too Cold?
There are some warning signs that your baby may be too cold. These include:
If your baby shivers uncontrollably, then they are likely to be too cold.
Shivering is a natural response to being cold, and it is something that babies normally experience when they first wake up in the morning.
It is therefore important that you keep your baby warm until they fall asleep again.
Reduced Activity Level
If your baby appears sluggish, lethargic, or less active than usual, then this could be a sign that they are too cold.
This is because babies need to move around to stay warm.
If your baby is inactive, then they are more likely to become chilled.
When your baby is hungry, they will try to feed themselves, and they will often suck on anything available.
If you notice that they are sucking on their hands or feet, then this could be an indication that they are too cold, as this is a natural reflex that helps to regulate their body temperature.
If your baby is tired, then this is probably a result of them waking up early in the morning.
However, if your child suddenly starts yawning and rubbing their eyes, this can be a sign that they are feeling the cold more than usual.
Sleeping Less Than Normal
If your baby wakes up every two hours during the night, then this could be another sign that they are too chilly.
If your baby is constantly waking up, then this could mean that they are too cold and need to be warmed up.
The Best Way To Keep Your Baby Safe From Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a condition where your baby’s core temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius).
When this happens, your baby’s organs start to fail, and they begin to lose consciousness.
You must act quickly if you suspect that your baby has hypothermia, as there is no way to reverse the effects once they have been exposed to the condition for too long.
Hypothermia occurs most commonly in infants under six months old, and it is usually caused by exposure to cold temperatures.
If your baby is spending extended periods of time outdoors and he or she isn’t appropriately dressed, then this can be a risk factor.
They may also suffer from hypothermia if they are left alone in a car without proper ventilation.
To prevent hypothermia, make sure that your baby always wears suitable clothing, and keep feet and hands warm.
Make sure that they wear hats, gloves, and coats, and ensure that they do not go barefoot.
Also, make sure that they are never left unattended in a vehicle, especially if it is parked in direct sunlight.
Signs Of Hypothermia
You should look out for any signs of hypothermia in your infant. These include:
If your baby appears tired or lethargic, this can be a sign that they are feeling too cold.
Lethargy is common in babies who are suffering from hypothermia, so if you see this behavior in your child, then you should seek medical help immediately.
Babies tend to shiver when they feel cold, similar to grown ups.
If your baby begins to shake uncontrollably, then this could be indicative of hypothermia.
Shaking is one of the first symptoms of hypothermia, so you should take action straight away.
Stiff muscles are another symptom of hypothermia, and they are often accompanied by other symptoms such as sweating, confusion, and difficulty breathing.
If you notice that your baby’s limbs are stiff, then this could be a sign that they have developed hypothermia.
If you notice that your baby has blue lips, then this could be an indication of hypothermia.
This coloration is a sign that your baby’s body is losing oxygen, and you should seek medical attention right away.
A fever is a natural response to infection, but it can also indicate that your baby has suffered from hypothermia.
A high fever will cause your baby to sweat heavily, and this will make them feel warmer.
If you notice that they are having trouble regulating their temperature, then you should contact your doctor immediately.
What Is Overheating?
Overheating occurs when your baby’s temperature rises above normal levels, and it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
If you suspect that your baby may be overheated, then you should seek medical attention immediately.
Overheating can occur at any age, but babies who are very young are more likely to suffer from it than older children or adults.
The main causes of overheating include:
Exposure To High Temperatures
Just like adults, exposing your baby to high temperatures means that they are at increased risk of overheating.
Babies who spend prolonged periods of time in hot environments such as car seats, strollers, playpens, and bouncers are especially vulnerable to overheating.
Wearing Inappropriate Clothing, Or Too Much Clothing
Babies who are not adequately dressed can easily become overheated because too many layers can quickly raise their body temperature.
It is therefore recommended that you always pay close attention to the weather, the environment, and the temperature in the room – remember that this can change very quickly, and so it is important that you stay alert.
Having Poor Ventilation
Poor ventilation is another common factor that contributes to overheating.
When you are using a portable crib or bassinet, make sure that there is adequate airflow around your baby’s sleeping area, and that fresh air can enter the room on an ongoing basis.
Inadequate Sleeping Space
The size of your baby’s bed or sleeping area can affect how much heat they generate.
A small bed or sleeping area can increase the amount of heat generated by your baby, meaning that they are more at risk of overheating.
Having A Fever
A fever is a sign that your baby has an infection, and it is vital that you seek medical advice if you think that your child may have one.
However, having a fever alone does not necessarily mean that your baby is suffering from overheating.
If you notice that your baby is experiencing symptoms such as sweating, lethargy, irritability, poor feeding, vomiting, or diarrhea, then you should contact your doctor straight away.
Dehydration can also cause your baby to overheat.
If you notice that your baby looks thirsty, then you should ensure that they drink plenty of fluids, and can also gently sponge their skin with a damp, warm cloth.
If you have concerns that your baby is dehydrated, you should seek medical attention immediately.
What Are The Symptoms Of Overheating?
If you suspect that your baby is too hot, you should look out for the following symptoms:
A fever or high temperature is a key indicator that your baby’s body temperature is too high.
Your baby will usually experience a fever between 38°C and 40°C (100°F-104°F).
If your baby is showing signs of a fever, then you should take them to see a doctor right away.
Sweat is a natural way for your baby’s body to cool itself down, and it is important that you do not stop your baby from perspiring.
However, if you notice that your baby appears to be excessively sweaty, then you should seek medical help.
Your baby may appear sleepy or tired, but this could simply be due to the fact that they are tired after spending long hours awake in the day.
However, if your baby seems unusually drowsy, and feels warm to the touch, then you should seek immediate medical attention.
Your baby may appear restless or cranky, but this is often just a normal part of growing up.
However, if your little one becomes overly fussy or irritable, combined with other symptoms we have discussed here, then it may be worth getting them checked out.
Vomiting And Diarrhea
It is possible that your baby is feeling unwell, and this might lead to them throwing up or having loose stools – this can be a common sign that they are too hot.
If you notice any of these symptoms, then you should get your baby checked out by a doctor.
What Should You Avoid When Warming Your Baby’s Crib?
There are certain things that you should avoid when warming your baby’s crib. These include:
Keeping Them Too Close To The Heat Source
It is very easy for a baby to become overheated when placed next to a radiator or heating element.
This is because heat rises, meaning that your baby will absorb more heat than someone who is further away.
Placing your baby too close to a heat source means that they could very easily begin to overheat as their body temperature rises.
Using Loose Blankets
Loose blankets can trap air around your baby’s body, which means that they will absorb even more heat than someone wearing an item of clothing.
In addition, it is worth noting that placing a number of loose blankets in the crib or bassinet is a suffocation risk; it is crucial to follow guidelines on safe sleeping practices to reduce the risk of accidental suffocation or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
It is important not to use any loose blankets, additional sheets or toys in the crib or bassinet.
Instead, opt for a sleep sack – this allows your baby to be placed inside, and is great for keeping your baby warm while still ensuring that they are protected and safe.
Hot Water Bottles
As adults, hot water bottles can be a great source of comfort during the winter months, and so it makes sense that you might use a hot water bottle to keep babies warm.
This is best avoided, however; hot water bottles can cause burns to your child’s skin, and can also pose a fire hazard.
Instead, opt for a heating pad, which is safer for both your baby and yourself.
How To Settle Your Baby To Sleep
Ensuring that the room is at the perfect temperature is just a small part of ensuring that your baby has a comfortable night’s sleep. Some other top tips include:
Make Sure The Room Is Dark And Quiet
If you want to ensure that your baby sleeps well, then it is important to make sure that the room is dark and quiet.
This helps to regulate your baby’s circadian rhythm, which is responsible for regulating your baby’s sleep-wake cycle.
Try And Keep A Routine For Sleeping
Your baby needs a consistent routine to help them fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
Try to stick to a bedtime routine, such as feeding, bathing, changing nappies, reading stories, etc.
This will allow your baby to know what to expect each evening and will help them to feel relaxed and ready to go to sleep.
Make Sure They Have Comfortable Clothing For Sleep
When choosing clothes for your baby, try and choose ones that are breathable, but not too bulky.
This is important as it will help to regulate your baby’s core temperature and prevent them from becoming overheated.
Avoid Using Strong Scents
Scented products should always be used with caution, especially if your baby is having difficulty settling down for sleep.
If your baby is struggling to settle, avoid using scented products in the bedroom, as these may interfere with your baby’s ability to relax and get into a good state of mind.
Use A Low, Calm Voice
It is important to speak softly and calmly when trying to calm your baby down before bedtime.
Avoid shouting or speaking loudly, as this may agitate your baby and disrupt their natural rhythms.
Avoid Excessive Movement
Excessive movement can often lead to restless sleep, and so try to avoid excessive movement in the hours leading up to bedtime.
This includes rocking, bouncing, shaking, kicking, turning over, playing with toys, etc.
Making sure that your baby is at a comfortable temperature is very important, but there are many other things you can do to ensure that your baby gets the rest they need.
By following some simple tips, you can ensure that your baby enjoys a peaceful night’s sleep and that they wake feeling refreshed and happy in the morning.
Carly Link, a 33-year old mother of two toddlers. She is a parent and goes through a lot of the usual parenting difficulties herself. Carly shares all her experiences and knowledge about the best baby products through this blog.