How many layers? Midwife Michelle shares her advice

Posted on 08 June 2017 by Kristrun

MichelleRescoNew parents are often unsure about room temperature and what to dress a baby in at night.

Current guidelines for room temperature recommend a temperature between 18-22 degrees. This might seem a bit cool but overheating is known to be a risk factor when it comes to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

A comfortable body temperature for a baby is around 36.5-37.5°C. The easiest way (especially in the middle of the night) to assess if your baby is too hot or cold is by placing your hand on the back of their neck, just at the top of their shoulders. Baby’s skin temperature should feel just right/warm to the touch. If too hot or clammy then remove a layer, too cool – add a layer. Hands and feet commonly feel cool and as such should not be used as a measure for checking baby’s temperature.

Don’t put a hat on your baby at night as any excess heat is released though their head. When babies get too hot they also tend to place their arms up above their head to let heat escape, hence swaddling the arms down inside a wrap if the room is too warm can cause them to overheat. If your baby needs a swaddle to help them settle, try gradually swaddling to a lower point on their body so that eventually just the torso is swaddled leaving the arms free.

For clothing, add one extra layer of clothing than you would be comfortable wearing in bed. Remember if you have a ductless air conditioner on you will likely have a duvet or blankets to keep off the chill, so your baby will need a cover too. Make sure to sleep baby on their back at the bottom of the cot (babies feet to the bottom) and if using a cover tuck it in securely at the edges of the cot so that it is just up to the level under their armpits. Tucking the sheet like this will prevent it from rising up over your baby’s face.

As a general guide:

In room temperature of 18°C your baby will need a sheet and two blankets,

In room temperature of 20-22°C your baby will need a sheet and one blanket.

If you’re struggling to keep the room temperature below 23°C your baby will likely need a sheet only.
Statistics and heat distribution numbers sourced:http://classicairconditioningandheating.com/

 

Happy sleeping

Michelle Resco, Annerley Midwife

If you would like more advise from our midwives, you can book a private consultation or pop along to our Baby & Breastfeeding clinic on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

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