How warm should your baby be at night? Let’s take a look!
Don’t Dress Your Baby Too Warmly
It’s a safe bet that most caring, loving parents (and we know that’s just what you are!) are more in danger of overdressing their babies for sleep than of underdressing them, because we worry about our babies feeling cold.
But remember, babies who are TOO warm won’t sleep well (just like you probably don’t sleep well if you feel overheated). In fact, toddlers and preschoolers who are too warm at night may be more inclined to have nightmares or night terrors. So avoid the urge to pile on fleece, as it could make your little one too warm.
In reality, the ideal sleep temperature for most children and adults is a bit on the cool side – right around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). Not sure if your baby is too warm or too cold? Do a ‘skin check’ – your child’s skin should be comfortable to the touch and even a little cool (but not cold/frigid.)
Dressing Your Baby For Sleep
Here are some general guidelines as to what babies sleep in at various ages, but you do have to use your best judgment based on where you live, how hot/cold you keep the temperature in your house when your baby sleeps, and your baby’s preference (some will prefer to be warmer than others), among other factors. These are just guidelines, and you know your baby best.
For newborns who are swaddled, Nicole recommends a onesie underneath a light sleep-and-play outfit (long-sleeved in the winter). In the summer, you can probably skip the footed outfit or socks, but in the winter, you may want to keep them on. If your newborn is no longer swaddled, read the ‘Babies’ section below.
Then, over top of this, you can swaddle your baby snuggly in a lightweight cotton blanket. Just be sure that your swaddle is snug enough that your baby can’t kick the blanket loose, but not so tight that he can’t move his legs and breathe comfortably.
Once your newborn has grown up a bit and you are trying to stop swaddling your baby, you can dress your baby the same as a newborn, but then consider a sleep sack, instead of the swaddle. It provides warmth without the suffocation dangers associated with loose blankets.
More Tips on ‘Winterizing’ Your Baby
For even more tips on dressing your baby for winter weather (including outdoor winter gear and tips on your baby’s winter skin care), check out this video, from cloudmom.com blogger Melissa.
Get Sleep Help That Works – Guaranteed!
Knowing how to dress your baby during the winter months is pretty key in encouraging restful, deep sleep – but the right sleep gear won’t solve all your sleep problems. You may very well need to work on sleep coaching in order to achieve that…and we can help! Why not check out our array of personalized sleep consulting services, and get expert help today?
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If you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.
For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
For those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Better Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.