You want the best for your newborn. As you’re preparing the nursery, you meticulously check through your list to make sure you have everything you need. Suddenly it dawns on you, you’re baby’s room doesn’t have a thermostat! How will you know if the baby’s warm enough? The ideal temperature for baby room isn’t really that hard to determine. But, there are some scenarios and details you should take into account. This will help make sure your baby is not only comfortable but safe. In this article, you’ll learn all about the best room temperature for your baby’s room, how to check if your baby’s too hot or too cold and what to do in different seasons and scenarios.
What is the Ideal Temperature for Baby Room?
Babies like a temperature similar to what most adults prefer. About 68-70 F is the right temperature to keep your baby’s room. You can purchase a room temperature thermometer that can be mounted on the wall of your baby’s room so that you can keep an eye on the temperature in there.
However, finding the right temperature for a baby isn’t as simple as setting the thermostat. The question “What is the ideal room temperature for a newborn baby?” should also come with questions about how to dress baby, adjusting for the seasons and what the dangers are for the baby if they’re too cold or too warm. Read on to learn the answers to these questions.
How to Dress Baby
You can adjust your thermostat so that the room temperature in baby’s room is ideal, but if your baby is too warmly dressed, they’ll be hot. The same may be true if your baby is too lightly dressed. Baby room temperature and clothing go hand in hand, so make sure you follow these basic guidelines:
- Dress baby in layers. That way you can quickly remove or add a layer if the baby is too cold or too warm.
- Touch your baby’s tummy and then his/her toes. If the baby is comfortable, their stomach should be warm, and toes should be more relaxed. Believe it or not, warm toes in a baby could indicate that they’re over-heated. However, if the tummy is cool, the baby is cold, and you might add another layer.
- Dress baby in one layer more than you would wear to stay warm. If you’re wearing a t-shirt, dress baby in a onesie and long-sleeved sleeper.
- Check baby every so often for signs of overheating. If your baby is flushed and sweating, remove a layer. If baby’s hands and feet are overly cold and baby’s tummy is cool, add a layer.
The natural follow up question is about bedding. Baby room temperature and bedding also go together, and you’ll need to adjust bedding based on baby’s signs even if the room is at an appropriate temperature. Here are some guidelines:
- All baby needs is a firm crib with a tightly fitting sheet. No crib bumpers, pillows or blankets are necessary.
- Avoid putting soft bedding and toys in the baby’s sleep area. This could cause suffocation.
- If baby seems cold, you can use a baby sleeping bag. Make sure you choose one that’s the correct size for your baby, as a sleeping bag that’s too big could allow baby to slide inside, creating a risk of suffocation.
You may be wondering if your baby needs a blanket. It’s hard to imagine sleeping without a cozy blanket wrapped around you, but it’s perfectly fine for your baby. The ideal temperature for baby room is between 68 and 70 degrees F, which is plenty warm for your baby to be comfortable without a blanket. If baby does seem cool, use a baby sleeping bag rather than a traditional blanket. These specially designed sleeping bags stay attached to the baby, eliminating the risk of suffocation a blanket might present.
Keep in mind that doctors recommend that you have your baby sleep in the same room as you during the first 6 months. Bed sharing is not recommended, although there are safe cribs and cots, you can connect to your bed. Talk to your doctor about what’s best.
Other Factors that Affect Baby
Babies sleep in the daytime as well. Monitor the room’s temperature during the day, primarily as the sun coming in may drastically increase the temperature where your baby’s sleeping, causing overheating. You can always close the shades, remove a layer or move your baby to a shadier spot to avoid overheating.
No one wants to think about their baby getting sick, but it could happen. The room temperature for the baby with a fever can stay the same as usual, but you may want to dress your baby in lighter clothing. You can naturally reduce their fever by keeping them in cool clothing or with a lukewarm bath. A fever in a newborn requires immediate medical attention, so be sure to get help right away if your infant has a temperature.
Baby’s Room Temperature in the Winter and Summer
Your baby’s room temperature can stay the same year round. The only concern would be if you typically keep your home cooler or warmer at either time of year. Adjust how you dress your baby to make up for the temperature. There’s probably no need to add space heaters or air conditioners to your baby’s room unless you have an extreme case. To maintain a cool room temperature in summer, consider adding a fan to your baby’s room. The fan should be pointed away from the crib. It’s also entirely fine for your baby to sleep in just a diaper in very warm weather.
The Risks of the Wrong Temperature
There may be a link between baby room temperature and SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Notably, it’s dangerous for the baby to be too warm, as this has been linked with SIDS. Of course, you don’t want the baby to be cold either, as it’s uncomfortable for baby and may wake up unnecessarily while sleeping.
Baby Room Temperature Devices
Luckily, today, there are many devices available to help you keep track of your baby’s room temperature, giving you peace of mind that your baby is comfortable. Some of the many devices include room temperature thermometers, baby room temperature alarms, monitors, and apps. Although any thermometer that measures the indoor temperature will do, you’d have to go to your baby’s room to check the temperature.
As an alternative, you can purchase a baby room temperature monitor. Usually, these devices are just like any other baby monitor you might buy, but also include the room temperature. Alternatively, there are also temperature alarms that warn you if the temperature in baby’s room goes below or above certain temperatures. Sometimes these are also built into a baby monitor. Check the specs of your monitor before purchasing if you’re interested in this feature. Baby room temperature apps are another way you can keep track of the temperature in baby’s room using your phone. However, your phone might need a temperature sensor to make use of this type of app, and for an accurate reading, you may need to actually go to the baby’s room to get a precise reading.
Humidity Levels Around Baby
If you’re concerned about room temperature, you may also want to check your home’s humidity. This refers to the amount of water in the air. While the EPA recommends humidity levels between 30-50%, they make this recommendation based on the goal of limiting mold growth. It’s actually good for your baby to be in an environment on the higher end of this humidity range. You can purchase a humidity monitor to check this at the hardware store. Most humidifiers and dehumidifiers also include a built-in humidity monitor that can help you keep track. Another option is to use a vaporizer close to your baby if you’re concerned about the air that’s too dry. Air that’s more humid may be better for baby’s skin and respiratory system. The proper room temperature and humidity can make sure baby is comfortable and healthy.
Now you should feel confident in keeping your baby comfortable. With these recommendations and by following your doctor’s guidelines, you can reduce your baby’s risk for SIDS, while also ensuring they’re relaxed and happy.
Do you have a favorite way to check the temperature in baby’s room or make sure your baby is comfortable? Tell us about it in the comments below.