In some parts of the U.S., the temperature at night can drop quite dramatically in the winter, and this is when the electric blankets, heavier duvets, and fleecy pajamas make an appearance. But while us adults have a variety of ways to stay warm during the night, we cannot utilize these same methods for our babies.

There is a real risk of overheating with babies as they are unable to regulate their own body temperatures properly because they sweat less than adults. Many parents worry about having the room too hot, which can often lead to babies getting cold at night. This inevitably affects the quality of their sleep. The same can happen when the temperature is very warm. Babies often wake up because they are too hot and are uncomfortable.

So, what is the ideal temperature for sleeping babies? What should they be wearing at night, and how can you tell if they are waking because they are too hot or too cold?

What Temperature Should a Baby’s Room Be?

Getting the temperature right in the room in which your baby is sleeping is very important, but this can be tricky when external temperatures are quite hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. Nevertheless, the ideal room temperature for a baby should be between 68 and 72 degrees.

The best way to keep the temperature comfortable for the baby is to have a thermometer in the room. If the room is too hot or too cold, your baby could keep waking up throughout the night. Furthermore, if your baby is using a lot of energy to warm up or cool down, this can affect their growth and development. It is necessary then for parents to have the room temperature as close to ideal as possible.

Monitoring the temperature means that you can make adjustments by either raising or lowering the temperature of the heating or adding or removing blankets or clothing.

What Should a Baby Wear at Night

Due to the risk of overheating, babies should never be placed to sleep in too much clothing. The experts at CozeeCoo say that if the temperature of the room is at the ideal level (68-72 degrees), a sleep suit with long sleeves and a vest should suffice. If you like to swaddle your baby, you can use a lightweight wearable blanket, although some parents prefer a lightweight sleep sack. CozeeCoo also recommends using a car seat swaddle.

When the weather is warmer, a fan in the room can help to circulate the air, making it cooler. You can let your baby sleep in a short-sleeved vest with a lightweight blanket for when the temperature dips slightly during the night. Make sure the fan is not pointing in the direction of the baby though.

Is Your Baby Too Hot or Too Cold at Night?

If your baby is waking up during the night, it could be that they are feeling too hot or too cold, which is affecting their sleep. It is normal for baby’s hands and feet to be slightly cooler than the rest of their body, but they should not feel cold to the touch. If their extremities are noticeably cold, use another lightweight blanket or adjust the heating to raise the temperature of the room.

If your baby is too hot, their skin will feel hot and may also feel clammy/sweaty. Check for damp hair too. Your baby’s cheeks may also look flushed, and they may be restless. If you think they are too hot, take off any blankets and allow them to sleep in just a vest.