The importance of a sound sleep for babies is well-recognized and accepted by parents, since all most babies do is eat, cry and sleep. Getting in a good night’s sleep is influenced by various factors, some of which may be out of our hands. But, as parents, there are a few things that we can do to make resting time a bit more relaxing for our little ones.
Temperature of the sleeping room
Many parents may not realize this, but the temperature of the room in which your baby sleeps is directly related to how well they doze off. Even a slight adjustment can make babies uncomfortable, which in turn makes them restless or breaks their sleep pattern. Contrary to popular belief, there is no need for infants to be kept warm and snuggled all the time. Keeping them wrapped up in layers upon layers of sheets and clothing is rarely advisable by leading paediatricians. In fact, keeping them too warm may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, which is most pronounced from birth to six months of age.
What is the ideal range of sleeping temperature for your baby?
According to leading experts, the ideal range of sleeping temperature for your baby is around 20-22 degrees* Celsius. Now, many parents may not have thermostats in their rooms, but a good general rule to follow is to make the room comfortable enough for a lightly clothed adult. Remember that the room temperature is one thing and the temperature the baby is actually exposed to underneath blankets and clothing is often something completely different. This also applies when the baby is sleeping or resting in the pram. Remember that the temperature inside a pram can rise to potentially dangerous levels fast on a hot day.
*this is a general recommendation that may vary between children, especially if the child has certain medical needs. Please advise your pediatrician or doctor for information on what applies to your child.
How to best dress your baby for sleep.
Compared to older children, it is best to dress babies up in one extra layer. A one piece sleeper and a blanket should do the trick if it is relatively pleasant outside, if it is cold, add an extra layer. When your baby knows how to roll over, don’t wrap him/her in a blanket too tightly. This might increase the risk of suffocation. Always place your baby on his/her back while sleeping.
Top tips to help your babies get that extra rest from sleep
For parents, a few helpful tips for keeping their babies sleeping sound follow.
1. Keep a check on overheating
The best way to check the temperature of your little ones is to place your hands on their heads or stomachs. This gives you a better feel of their temperature, instead of, say, checking with their hands and feet. If they seem restless or uneasy, despite being well-fed, it may also mean that they are a bit warmer than they want to be. Sweating, damp hair, rushed breathing and rashes should all be checked for.
2. Keep fewer layers on unwell babies
Babies who are under the weather, or are not well, are usually bundled up in extra layers by parents. Instead, they should be packed in fewer layers, so that they have a chance to lower their body temperature. If it still doesn’t work, consider contacting a medical professional.
3. Fans can actually benefit sleep for babies
Fans only move the air around in the room and do not cool it. Using a fan may actually help keep your baby at the right temperature, by circulating the air, and hence reducing risk of SIDS. That being said, keep a check on the perspiration of your child. If there is some, then he/she may feel a chill from the fan’s air.
So, there you have it! Helpful tips, tricks, and information about the best sleep temperature for your babies! Have any questions? Feel free to ask!