When it’s cold, not being constantly paranoid about your baby being either to too cold or too warm is really hard! It first started for me when I was told by the hospital that I needed a hat to put on Coco when I took her home. A hat?! No one had told me that before...
But when I thought about it, of course that little bald head would be cold without a hat! It seems like common sense now, but why does no one tell you some of these eminently practical things before you give birth?
Anyway, how warm (or cool) you should keep your baby is one of a mother’s constant concerns. Let’s try to answer some of the most popular questions about keeping your baby warm in winter…
What temperature to keep the house with a newborn?
Generally, the expert recommendations for this are to keep the house between between 68–72°F / 20-22°C, including the room where the baby sleeps, so 21°C would be the perfect temperature. This will ensure otherwise healthy babies won’t overheat at night or during the day whilst they nap.
If there are rooms in the house that the baby never spends time in, these wouldn’t need to be heated to the optimum temperature. Just keep the main rooms at a constant temperature when you’re at home and everyone should be comfortable - including you!
How should you cover your baby at night? Or What a newborn should sleep in?
At night or indoors, your baby does not need to wear a hat. Babies can overheat when wearing a hat indoors as it prevents them from being able to lose any heat through their head. So, keep, always keep their head uncovered when you’re putting them to bed!
Put enough comfy clothes on your baby so they they don’t need blankets. This is because as soon as babies can roll or move in their cot, they can get out of the blankets and get cold quickly. A sleepsuit with a buttoned front is the best way to get around this, paired with a cotton babygrow as an underlayer. This way, if your baby seems a little too warm you can undo the chest buttons of the sleepsuit whilst still keeping them cosy and comfortable. Think about what you’d like to wear to bed if you didn’t have a duvet and work from there.
To keep a baby sleeping in a safe position at night, before they’re old enough to turn over (around 4 months old but this can vary), many people choose to swaddle their baby. Many experts say this can reduce the chances of SUDI (sudden unexpected death in infancy) and other sleeping accidents.
The best material to swaddle a baby in is a lightweight cotton or muslin wrap, like this organic cotton swaddle from Matchstick Monkey. There are a few techniques to do this. Here is one.
Is my baby warm enough? How can you tell if your baby is cold?
Babies are a bit more sensitive to temperature than adults, but if you’re warm, the chances are you baby is too. The same goes if you’re cold!
If you go outside, just dress your baby the way you’d like to be dressed if you were them. Hats when it’s cold and breezy as well as layers that can be taken off if you go inside. If your baby is being carried in a body sling, your body heat will also warm your baby up.
Never use electric blankets or hot water bottles for a baby. You can always make sure they’re warm enough by just using clothing and blankets. If they’re going to be outside in a pram for part of the day, make sure they have suitable clothing (I love baby snowsuits for the winter like the one in the picture below, by Boden!)