What Temperature Should A Baby’s Room Be? Your Complete Guide
The first few months of your baby’s life are a beautiful time full of exciting firsts. They can also be a significant period of adjustment for both you and your little one. As your newborn acclimatizes to life outside the womb, you might find that sleep is in short supply. The good news is, there are many things parents can do to help make the transition smoother and, in turn, improve baby’s sleep. One surprisingly simple trick that can help foster long, restorative periods of sleep is properly regulating your baby’s room temperature. An ideal room temperature enables your baby to regulate their body temperature effectively. This not only helps them sleep better but it’s an important safety consideration as well. In this article, we’ll discuss why a baby’s room temperature is so important, how to maintain it properly, and what signs you can look out for to help you determine if your child is too warm or too cold. Finally, we’ll share a list of the sleepwear essentials you should have on hand to ensure your little one stays comfortable all night long.
Table of Contents
- Why is baby’s room temperature important?
- What temperature should a baby’s room be?
- Tips for maintaining baby’s room temperature
- How can I tell if my baby’s room temperature is too hot?
- How can I tell if my baby’s room temperature is too cold?
- Sleepwear essentials
Why is baby’s room temperature important?
If you’re not sure why the temperature in a nursery is important, it’s key to note that it’s not only a matter of comfort, it’s also a critical safety consideration. This is because babies are not able to regulate their body temperatures as effectively as an older child or an adult. A baby's body surface-to-weight ratio is about three times that of an adult. This means that they can lose heat very quickly. This is especially true if your little one was born prematurely or at low birth weight. However, even full-term newborns are unable to maintain their body temperature if the environment around them is too cold. In fact, they lose body heat about four times faster than adults. What’s more, unlike adults, newborns are unable to shiver to increase their body temperature when it drops below the normal range. If a baby’s body temperature does drop below a normal range, it can impact their breathing and their body’s use of oxygen. So, it’s important to ensure that baby’s room temperature stays within an ideal range.
You may wonder if it’s just low temperatures you need to be concerned about. Unfortunately, your baby can also overheat if they are in an environment that is too warm or if they’re overly bundled up. Ensuring a comfortable and safe body temperature for your little one can be a tricky balancing act. That’s why maintaining the correct room temperature for newborn is so critical.
What temperature should a baby’s room be?
The ideal temperature for your baby might vary slightly from the ideal temperature for another baby. These differences relate mostly to what type of climate your newborn is accustomed to. However, although there may be slight differences in the ideal temperature for a baby room, it is recommended that nursery rooms are kept between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 to 22 degrees Celsius. This temperature range is ideal because it not only helps your little one maintain a healthy body temperature but also allows them to sleep peacefully while still waking up to auditory signals. This helps decrease the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Tips for maintaining baby’s room temperature
In order to ensure the temperature in your baby’s room stays within a safe range, it’s a good idea to have a thermometer handy. Many baby monitors also have room thermometers built in which can be very helpful. Finally, wearable baby monitors that measure your little one’s vitals are now readily available as well. However, there is no substitute for the watchful eye of a parent so no matter what tools you have at your disposal, make sure that you are regularly checking in on your little one.
How can I tell if my baby’s room temperature is too hot?
A normal body temperature for a baby is 97.7° F or 36.5°C. While you can always take your baby’s temperature to determine if they are too warm, there are also a few easy-to-spot warning signs that you can look out for to indicate the nursery is above the ideal temperature for a baby room.
Here are some key indicators that your baby is overheating:
- They feel warm to the touch
- Their skin is red or flushed
- They are nauseous or vomiting
- They have an elevated heart rate
- They are acting tired or sluggish
- They appear to be confused, disoriented, or dizzy
- They are sweating or they have damp hair
If you are worried that your baby is overheating there are a few things you can do to reduce their body temperature:
- Remove your baby’s clothing
- Take them to a cooler location if possible
- Offer your baby fluids (breastmilk, formula or a glass of water if they are old enough)
- Give your baby a spongebath with lukewarm water
How can I tell if my baby’s room temperature is too cold?
Just like overheating, babies show signs of distress that are easy to spot when the temperature in their nursery is too low. A baby who is too cold will give you some warning signs that their body temperature is not quite right.
Here are some key indicators that your baby’s body temperature is dropping below a normal range:
- They become sluggish or unresponsive
- Their cry is weaker than usual
- Their skin is pale and cold to the touch
- They are having trouble breathing
- They are not feeding
If you suspect that your baby is too cold here are a few things you can do right away to try and warm them up:
- Add additional warm layers of clothing
- Use your own body heat by holding your baby close to you. You can also drape a blanket over them just be sure to never leave them unsupervised with the blanket.
- You may also want to try swaddling your baby
If you’ve tried to warm your baby up using these techniques but their body temperature is not rising, call your paediatrician immediately.
Here are a few essentials you should have on hand to ensure a good temperature for your baby. With these sleepwear items in your nursery you’ll be prepared for those days where the A/C and heating might have a hard time keeping up with Mother Nature’s whims:
- 1.7 TOG Sleep Bag. This year-round bag is a great sleep staple for your little one. A TOG rating of 1.7 is appropriate for room temperatures of 69 - 74 °F or 21 - 24 °C
- 1.0 TOG Sleep Bag. Made with 2 layers of muslin, this sleep bag is both breathable and incredibly soft. A TOG rating of 1.0 is appropriate for room temperatures of 75 - 81 °F or 24 - 27 °C. This is a great piece to have on hand for the warmer months.
- Baby Sleeper. Made with breathable, soft organic cotton and featuring covered feet for cooler temperatures this sleeper will keep them cozy and warm all night long.
- Short Sleeve Romper. This short-sleeve piece made with breathable, soft organic cotton will keep your little one cool all night long during the warmer months.
- Henley One Piece. This 100% certified organic cotton Henley One-Piece is the perfect sleep layering piece.
- Baby Footless Sleeper. Made with breathable, soft organic cotton this footless sleeper is perfect for warmer temperatures and older babies.
- Snap One Piece. Looking for a lighter layering piece? The Snap One Piece is a great option and it comes in a selection of perfectly soft hues and playful prints
- Swaddle. If you are going to swaddle your baby be sure to opt for a breathable fabric. These 100% muslin cotton swaddles are a great option.
- Crib Sheet. Temperature regulation isn’t just related to what your baby is wearing. What they sleep on is important too. This breathable and soft crib sheet will give your little one the perfect night’s sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep is important for both you and your newborn and your baby’s room temperature plays a big role in creating a comfortable and safe sleep environment. We hope you feel well equipped with the knowledge you need to set your baby up for a successful sleep routine. With a few helpful tools and the right sleep essentials on hand, we’re confident that restful and restorative nights for both you and your little one are just around the corner!
Frequently Asked Questions
Some babies sleep better in a room that is cooler but not below the safe temperature range for a nursery (68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 to 22 degrees Celsius). Remember that your baby loses body heat much more quickly than you do and they are unable to regulate their body temperature the way an older child or adult can. So, if you are keeping your baby’s nursery on the cooler end of the recommended temperature range be sure to dress them in an extra layer of clothing than what you might expect an adult to be comfortable wearing in the same temperature.
A baby may cry if they are too warm but that is not always the case. Some babies will act more tired or sluggish rather than fussy when they are too warm. If you’re unsure you can always take your child’s temperature and keep an eye out for other signs of overheating like flushed skin, damp hair, or an elevated heart rate.
A good rule of thumb to help guide you when you are dressing your baby for sleep is to add one extra layer of clothing than you would typically wear in the same temperature. If your baby’s room temperature is set to 70°F a diaper, long-sleeved pajama, and a 1.0 TOG sleep bag or swaddle should be comfortable for your little one.
It’s important for parents to be vigilant and take precautions to reduce the risk of SIDS throughout the entire first year of a baby’s life. However, the risk of SIDS is greatest between 1 - 4 months of age.
It is recommended that the temperature in a baby’s room is kept between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 to 22 degrees Celsius. With this temperature range in mind, it is likely that a room set to 75 degrees Fahrenheit would feel slightly warm for a newborn.