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We all have worries as Dads and Moms. One thing that I did not expect when I became a new Dad was ensuring the comfort and safety of my son during sleep. It can be quite challenging to know if your baby is too cold at night while sleeping, but with some guidance and tips, you can create a cozy and secure sleep environment for your little one.

baby sleeping in crib black and white picture

I’ve decided to write about this topic because I’m a worrywart kinda Dad and I’m still always checking up on my son, now 7 years old, to see if he’s comfy in his bed at night. So, I will explore the signs of a baby being too cold during sleep and give practical solutions to maintain the ideal sleep temperature.

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The Importance of Monitoring Your Baby’s Temperature

Babies have a limited ability to regulate their body temperature compared to adults. They rely on external sources of warmth to maintain a stable temperature, making it crucial for parents to be vigilant about their baby’s comfort. Monitoring your baby’s temperature is essential to prevent overheating or becoming too cold, as both extremes can disrupt their sleep patterns and overall well-being.

How to Tell If Your Baby Is Too Cold While Sleeping

Recognizing the signs of coldness in your baby is the first step in ensuring their comfort during sleep. While cold hands might seem like an indication of being too cold, it’s not always a reliable sign. Instead, focus on feeling the temperature of your baby’s chest, back, or the nape of their neck. If these areas feel cool to the touch, it could indicate that your baby needs an additional layer or a lightweight sleep sack to stay warm.

You should also pay attention to physical cues such as blotchy or pale skin. These signs suggest that your baby might not be adequately dressed for the room temperature. Additionally, if your baby appears restless during sleep, it could be a sign of discomfort caused by being too cold.

The Ideal Temperature for Your Baby’s Room

Maintaining your baby’s room temperature is crucial for your their comfort and safety during sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping the room temperature between 16 to 20 degrees Celsius (61 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). This temperature range provides a comfortable sleep environment without the risk of overheating or becoming too cold.

To each his own, my Mom used to say. Everyone has their own comfort level for sleeping. These temperatures are a simple guideline to use but surely will fluctuate according to where you live in the world. To ensure an optimal temperature, use a reliable room thermometer placed away from direct sunlight and heat sources. By keeping the room within the recommended temperature range, you can create the best sleep environment for your baby.

cute baby with pacifier sleeping on a pink blanket

Dressing Your Baby for Sleep

Choosing the right clothing and sleepwear is essential for keeping your baby comfortable throughout the night. During colder months or in rooms with lower temperatures, dressing your baby in layers is recommended. A sleepsuit with built-in feet can keep their feet warm, and you can add a short or long-sleeve vest underneath if needed. However, be cautious not to add too many layers that may cause your baby to overheat.

It’s important to note that using a hat while your baby is sleeping is not necessary. Babies regulate their temperature through their heads, so a hat can actually cause them to overheat. Additionally, hats can pose a suffocation risk if they become loose. Don’t do it…I’ve never use those cute little hats during sleep, even during the harsh winter months here. 

Daddy Tip! Instead of loose blankets, consider using wearable blankets, baby sleeping bags, or sleep sacks. These alternatives provide warmth without the risk factor of suffocation and allow your baby to move freely while staying snug as a bug in a rug during sleep. Opt for breathable fabrics such as cotton to help regulate your baby’s body temperature effectively.

Additional Tips to Ensure Your Baby’s Comfort

While maintaining the right room temperature and dressing your baby appropriately are essential, it’s equally important to pay close attention to your baby’s cues and adjust their sleep environment accordingly. Every child is unique, and their comfort levels may vary. Observing your baby’s behavior and monitoring their body temperature during sleep can help you make necessary adjustments.

If you notice signs of discomfort or your baby’s body or hands feel cold during sleep, consider adding an extra layer of clothing or adjusting the room temperature slightly. Conversely, if your baby appears sweaty or flushed, it may indicate that they are too warm, and you should remove unnecessary layers or lower the room temperature.

Additionally, be mindful of seasonal changes and adjust your baby’s sleep environment accordingly. During warmer months, dress your baby in lightweight, breathable clothing and use fans or air conditioning to maintain a comfortable room temperature. In colder months, consider using a thicker baby sleeping bag for added insulation and adjust the room temperature accordingly.

Mitigating the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Creating a safe sleeping environment is crucial for reducing the risk of SIDS. It is recommended to place your baby on their back to sleep in a crib or bassinet, ensuring that the sleep space is free of loose blankets, pillows, toys, and potential suffocation hazards. Avoid using hot water bottles, electric blankets, or space heaters in your baby’s crib, as they can pose fire hazards and increase the risk of overheating.++Please read below for tips on how to ‘warm up’ the bed prior to your child’s sleep.

baby with pacifier sleeping on his stomach

A Father’s Perspective: Co-Sleeping and Keeping Warm

As a father who has co-slept with my son since a young age, I understand the importance of keeping warm during the cold winter months. In Korea, we often sleep on heated floors to ensure a cozy and comfortable sleep environment. While co-sleeping can be a personal choice, it’s essential to prioritize safety and warmth.

If you choose to co-sleep with your baby, ensure that the sleeping surface is firm and free of pillows, blankets, or any potential suffocation hazards, as mentioned above. Dressing your baby in appropriate sleepwear and using a lightweight, breathable blanket can help maintain a comfortable temperature while keeping them safe.


a Dad doing a thumbs up outsdie with blue sky in the background

10 additional hacks or tips to consider

  1. Layering Techniques: Instead of relying solely on thicker clothing, consider layering thin, moisture-wicking fabrics underneath to trap heat effectively without overheating.
  2. Warm-Up the Bed: Use a hot water bottle or a microwaveable heating pad to warm up your baby’s bed before placing them down for sleep. Just remember to remove it before placing your baby in the crib.
  3. Tuck in the Blankets: If you’re using blankets in the crib, make sure to tuck them tightly around the mattress to prevent them from coming loose and covering your baby’s face.
  4. Utilize Thermal Curtains or Shades: Installing thermal curtains or shades can help regulate the room temperature by preventing heat loss through windows during colder months.
  5. Body Heat Transfer: If you’re co-sleeping, ensure there’s enough skin-to-skin contact between you and your baby, as your body heat can help keep them warm throughout the night.
  6. Humidifiers: Dry air can make it feel colder than it actually is. Using a humidifier can add moisture to the air, making the room feel warmer and more comfortable for your baby.
  7. Monitor Room Humidity: Keep an eye on the humidity levels in your baby’s room. Too much humidity can make it feel colder, while too little can dry out the air. Aim for a comfortable range between 40-60%.
  8. Warm Bath Before Bed: A warm bath before bedtime can raise your baby’s body temperature slightly, making them feel cozy and relaxed before sleep.
  9. Warm Drinks Before Bed: For older babies who are already consuming solid foods, a warm drink like milk or chamomile tea (if suitable for their age) before bed can help raise their body temperature slightly.

Cool Products That Could Help With Kids’ Sleep

Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine and Night Light

This device offers soothing sounds, white noise, and a soft night light to create a calming sleep environment for babies and toddlers.

Nested Bean Zen Sack

This innovative sleep sack features a lightly weighted pad on the chest area, designed to mimic the feeling of a parent’s touch, promoting longer and more restful sleep.

Owlet Smart Sock 3 Baby Monitor

This smart sock monitors your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep, providing parents with peace of mind and early alerts if any irregularities are detected.

LectroFan Kinder White Noise Machine and Night Light

With customizable white noise options and a gentle night light, this device helps create a consistent sleep environment for babies and toddlers.

Aden + Anais Swaddle Blanket

Made from soft, breathable muslin fabric, these swaddle blankets provide a cozy yet lightweight option for wrapping your baby snugly for sleep.

Munchkin Warm Glow Wipe Warmer

Ensure your baby stays comfortable during nighttime diaper changes with warm wipes, reducing the shock of cold wipes on their sensitive skin.

Baby Shusher Sleep Miracle Soother

This portable sound machine mimics the soothing sounds of shushing to help calm fussy babies and promote better sleep.

Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit

Designed to ease the transition from swaddling, this sleepsuit provides a cozy, secure feeling for babies while preventing the startle reflex from waking them up.

Graco DreamGlider Gliding Swing and Sleeper

This multi-functional device combines a gliding swing and sleeper, offering soothing motion to help babies drift off to sleep comfortably.

Wrap-Up

‘Wrap-up’…get it? A little pun of fun for you. Ensuring your baby’s comfort and safety during sleep is a top priority for every parent. By managing your baby’s sleep space and temperature, dressing them appropriately, and observing their cues, you can create a cozy and secure sleep environment. Remember, every baby is unique, so it’s important to pay attention to their individual needs and adjust their sleep environment accordingly.

Dad’s general rule of thumb is if I’m cold, the baby’s cold. Not very scientific or backed by research but it’s backed by me. As a parent, you’ll naturally start noticing what to do and what not to do. No need for an instruction manual. Keep things simple and enjoy the process. 

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