The ideal temperature for a baby’s room is 68–72°F (20–22.2°C). According to experts, this recommended temperature range for their room will ensure your little bundle of joy doesn’t get too hot or too cold. Since babies can’t communicate with words, it can be difficult to determine if your child is comfortable. When your baby cries, most parents will assume they need a feeding or a new diaper, not that they are too hot or too cold—if a room is too hot or too cold for you, then it’s probably the same for your baby.
Many falsely assume that babies need to be kept bundled up and warm all the time. This is not recommended and increases the risk of SIDs (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), with the risk being the highest from birth until six months.
Not sure if your little one is too hot or too cold? Keep reading to learn more about the best temperature in your baby’s room and how to keep your baby both warm and cool.
For more tips, skip to the infographic below.
The safest temperature for your baby’s room is much colder than most would think. The Lullaby Trust, a doctor-sponsored group that educates parents and medical professionals about SIDS, says 68°F (18°C) is the safest temperature for a baby’s room.
While adults report better sleep quality in cooler rooms, the reason for a baby’s room to be kept cool is much more dire. Several studies have shown that the risk of SIDs increases significantly in hotter temperatures in both indoor and outdoor settings. One study found that the SIDs death rate was three times higher during a heatwave.
Keeping your baby’s room at 68°F (18°C) might seem too cold—especially considering they’ve spent the past 9 months in the equivalent of a warm bath. Healthy, normal weight babies will adapt to their new environment shortly after birth. While this temperature is the recommended safest, if your baby is frequently waking up in a cool room, it’s a sign that they are too cold. If that’s the case, try increasing the temperature a few degrees, up to 72°F (22°C) to see if that helps your baby sleep more soundly.
When newborns are cold-stressed, they create warmth by using excessive energy and oxygen. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a baby’s oxygen usage may rise by 10% if skin temperatures fall one degree below the optimal 97.7° F (36.5°C).
Along with room temperature, there are a few other things you can do to ensure your baby stays safe and comfortable while sleeping. Here are some things to watch out for and keep in mind.
Most parents check to see if their baby is too hot or too cold by touching their hands or feet, but this isn’t the most accurate way of determining if you need to crank up the heat or turn down the AC. Instead, place your hands on their head or stomach. This will only let you know if your baby is too warm or too cold, and will not determine if they have a fever or are ill.
Here are a few signs your baby is overheating:
The best way to avoid your baby from overheating is to not dress them too warmly and avoid swaddling too tightly.
While a fan won’t significantly lower the room’s temperature, it will circulate fresh air and prevent your baby from breathing stagnant air.
Blankets and stuffed animals are popular gifts for new babies. Adding them to your baby’s crib can have deadly consequences. Pillows, extra blankets, and stuffed animals can lead to suffocation or strangulation. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends these sleep safety guidelines for babies under one year of age.
Parents focus a lot on tummy time, which is necessary for your baby’s development. When sleeping is concerned, it’s recommended to keep your baby on their back. This sleep position prevents SIDS and enables air to circulate around their face. It’s fine to leave them on their belly once they can flip over on their own–letting them sleep on their stomach is fine.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests keeping your baby in your bedroom for their first six months. Keeping your baby near you at night while you sleep allows you to easily monitor your baby to make sure they stay comfortable and aren’t overheating.
Learning how to keep your baby comfortable and learning their comfort/discomfort cues is vital for both you and your baby. Have a few more questions? Here are some FAQs to help you create the most comfortable and safest sleep environment for your baby.
Sleep sacks are wearable blankets that are used as a replacement for blankets which can cause suffocation. These are recommended over blankets, hats, and socks as they give your baby more room and are less constricting than a swaddle and can cause overheating.
Colder temperatures can be more comfortable when your baby has a stuffy nose, a fever, and is having problems breathing. If your child has a fever, you can dress them in lighter, airy fabrics to keep them cool.
The best way to see if your baby is too hot or too cold is to check the nape of their nape and touch their stomach to see if they are sweating and check their hands and feet to see if they are cold.
When babies are overheating, their cheeks will flush and might have rapid breathing. Babies that are too cold are less active and will have cold hands and feet.
When selecting bedding for your baby, it’s best to keep things lighter. Avoid quilts and duvets until your child has outgrown their crib. A breathable fabric will help prevent your child from overheating.
If your infant isn’t sleeping well, you’re probably not either, so keeping them warm or cool enough can improve their sleep… and yours! Getting your baby to sleep can be the most challenging part of having a newborn. As a parent, you want to make sure that your baby is comfortable and healthy. Making sure that your baby isn’t too hot or too cold can end up saving their life. Trying to figure out if your baby is too hot or too cold can be a challenge. Babies are most comfortable at a similar temperature as adults, meaning that if you’re comfortable, they’re comfortable.
Looking for even more newborn sleep tips? Check out our New Parents Guide To Sleep. Also, if you’re shopping for a new mattress for yourself, make sure to use our mattress comparison tool and stop by one of our showrooms.