Babies are unable to regulate their own temperatures in the same way as adults. Instead, they’re prone to overheating in the summer or catching a cold in the winter. Knowing how achieve the best room temperature for babies can sometimes feel like an exact science. Read on for our guide to achieving the perfect temperature.

The perfect room temperature for babies

The optimum temperature for baby’s bedroom is between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius. This can feel slightly chilly to some but has been proven to ensure a safe and comfortable sleep for your child. As tempting as it is to swaddle your baby in blanket after blanket, and turn the thermostat up, a cooler room is much more beneficial.

First of all, it is important to plan ahead and have some type of thermometer in your baby’s room to make it easier for you to keep the bedroom at the right temperature for babies. There are plenty of options available on the market which are multi-purpose, too. They can simultaneously work as night lights and can change colour to alert you to whether the room is at the right room temperature for babies.

Related: How To Decorate Your Child’s Bedroom

Image of baby and thermometer with mother in perfect room temperature for babies

How to achieve the perfect room temperature for babies

  • Layer up
  • Use the heating
  • Embrace the open air
  • Use air-conditioning

1. Layer up

Babies lose the majority of their heat from their head, due to it being disproportionately large to their bodies. In the daytime this is easily remedied, but covering your little ones head at night could actually lead to them eventually overheating. Instead it is important to dress them in multiple thin layers, which will trap heat and keep them warm.

If your baby begins to feel hot you can simply remove a layer. A good indication that your nursery is too warm, without using the thermometer, is if your baby is sweaty. Remove a layer and check back after a little while to see if they have cooled down.

2. Use the heating (and what not to do)

Another option for achieiving the right room temperature for babies is to turn your heating on or up. You should only turn it to a gentle heat though. Try to resist the temptation to cover your baby in a blanket, as this can be dangerous if it wraps around them or covers their face. Instead you could use a baby sleeping bag or use thicker layers. Never put a hot water bottle or electric blanket in the cot. Baby’s limbs will usually feel cool, especially their feet and hands, and so long as their bodies and heads are comfortably warm then you don’t need to worry. However, if hands and feet look discoloured this is an indication that your child is too cold.

Image of baby sleeping with teddy in a baby's room at right room temperature for babies

3. Embrace the open air

Perhaps the most simple solution for a hot bedroom is one we all turn to on a stifling night; opening the window. Not only does this allow cooler air to circulate but it refreshes the room and the air that’s breathed in. However, though all parents are likely to be in the nursery every few hours at least, the weather can change very quickly. For this reason if you intend to leave the window open you should also intend to be in and out of the room regularly.

4. Keeping cool and fresh indoors

Another cooling option is to utilise an AC or a fan, though your baby should always sleep far from these, and windows, for their own safety. Using a fan can decrease the risk of your baby contracting SIDS by 72% according to a study by California based healthcare providers Kaiser Permanente, read more about the study here. In the case of an AC, it can renew and improve air quality so long as it is properly maintained and regulated. AC’s also make repetitive noises which often help getting your child to sleep.

Summary

The right room temperature for babies is between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius. To an adult, this will feel quite cool. To ensure the room is at the right temperature, use a thermometer. If you don’t have one, make sure to check your baby doesn’t sweat while asleep. If they do, it’s a sign the room is too hot which can increase the chance of SIDS. On the other hand, if their arms or legs look discoloured, this is a sign they are too cold.

If you have trouble getting your baby to sleep then reading can help. Clicking the image below will direct you to our Bedtime Story Finder, which is an online reading resource for parents.

Bedtime Story Finder

Do you have any tips for regulating a baby’s room? We’d be eager to find out so let us know in the comments below!

Original Post: 18/07/2016
Post Updated: 15/01/2019