What’s The Ideal Room Temperature for A Baby to Sleep In?
Many parents fret about the temperature of the room when they have a new baby, and it’s usually about the home being too cold. Yet babies actually need the room to be a little colder that you might expect. The ideal room temperature for a baby is 68-72 F, or 20-22 C.
The fear about babies being cold is not unfounded. They are particularly at risk for losing body heat because of their high skin surface area to weight ratio, and the fact that they are not developmentally able to regulate their body temperature they way adults do. So certainly, parents should be vigilant about ensuring babies don’t get too cold.
But the other temperature extreme is also very dangerous, because babies can’t communicate when they’re feeling uncomfortably hot. It’s particularly important to pay attention to the heat if you live somewhere warm, or you’re in the summer months, with no air conditioning. If you’re swaddling a baby, remember that the baby will feel even warmer in that cocoon of body heat and fabric, so keep that in mind when determining the temperature for the room. Finally, it’s important to note that recent research on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) points to babies’ body temperature as being a possible factor in causing the mysterious and fatal problem.
The best way to check if your baby is cold is to touch their torso. If it’s cold, the baby is too cold; if it’s warm, they are just fine (don’t use hands and feet as a gauge; the extremities are frequently exposed and colder, and are not a good indicator of babies’ core body temperature). However, if, on the other hand, you see the baby has flushed cheeks, is breathing rapidly, has sweaty or damp hair, or trouble sleeping, this may mean they are overheating and need to be cooled down. Finally, make sure that nothing is covering the baby’s head when they sleep, because babies lose excess heat through their heads; it’s their natural cooling mechanism should their clothing, swaddle, or room get too hot.
Most experts say that the perfect temperature for babies is usually the one at which an adult feels comfortable in very light clothing.
And just remember, in case you need any additional inspiration to make sure your baby’s rooms at the right temperature: a baby that’s comfortably cool will sleep more soundly.