If you ask my husband, he will tell you that I am obsessed with this question. How do I keep my baby the right temperature while he is sleeping at night? My baby can’t tell me if he is too hot or too cold, and I don’t want him waking up in the middle of the night unnecessarily crying because of it. They also can’t regulate their body temperature as well as adults. When I first brought my son home I found that I would get cold and add a layer to him, and then I would wake up hot and take a layer off of him. (Not easy when blankets are taboo because of the SIDS risk.) I was constantly just projecting how I was feeling on him. I needed a better system. I read in a magazine that you should think about what you have on and then add one more layer for your baby, but that is difficult when that is always changing.
My friends told me that it is best to keep your house at 68 degrees in order to prevent SIDS. I asked my pediatrician about this and he said what matters is not letting him get too hot. So, it isn’t just the air temperature but what he/she is wearing as well. He did say that keeping your house around 68-72 degrees is helpful.
So with this information, I came up with a new system. I got an indoor/ outdoor thermometer (You can just put the outdoor sensor in the nursery, which a lot of people do.) and I kept track of what the temperature was in the room and whether he was too hot, too cold, or just right when he woke up. (I did this mostly by feeling his hands and chest.) I then took mental notes about what he was wearing when he was the right temperature and what the air temperature was. That way I knew if it was 68 degrees, he needed footy pajamas, a swadler, and a hat, etc. I now have a formula for every temperature. It may be silly, but it helps me not worry all night about whether or not he is too cold or too hot. (It is also supposed to help prevent SIDS to have a fan going in the room, so it is helpful to take that into consideration when keeping track of the temperature.)
Another problem I had once he could not be swaddled anymore, was that his hands would turn into icicles even when the rest of his body was toasty warm. I looked at chats online and everyone said either put socks on his hands or don’t worry about it, he’s fine. The sock thing I don’t get, because you aren’t supposed to have anything loose in their crib at all, which the socks would be if he got them off. I also couldn’t just ignore it, mostly because I hate being cold, and I wouldn’t torture my baby that way. I looked for onesies with hand covers, but they are hard to find sizes other than newborn. I did find Egyptian cotton shirts in 3-6 month size with hand covers, and they worked great. I just put them on under his pajamas and he was just right.
Also once they can roll over, they need a sleep sack or wearable blanket as opposed to a swaddler.
UPDATE: Living Lullaby has a new creation- Lullaby Sack wearable blankets for babies. Not only are they fun and whimsical, but they keep your baby safe at night. They also make a great gift since they are amusing and practical.
The adjustment are ongoing as my son and the weather are ever changing, but I don’t stress about it as much anymore and I sleep better.
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(This is not professional medical advice. This information is from my own experience and research. Please consult your physician concerning recommendation for the best way dress and create the right environment for your baby to sleep.)