Best temperature for baby sleep

Jun 15, 2023

The first thing I usually ask a mother to check when her child suddenly has a strong rebound during sleep adjustment is - the temperature - is the room too hot? Is the child overdressed? Although we all know this is common sense, 'waking up hot' is still always a high frequency reason for babies waking up at night in summer.

Common sense 1: Why children are not afraid of the cold

First of all, let me explain the key point again - babies and young children are more likely to be afraid of heat than adults because they have a higher proportion of brown fat and their metabolism is usually higher than that of adults. That is, children should actually dress with reference to adult males. This is also why babies are very prone to heat rashes.

Common sense 2. Suitable room temperature

We all know that air conditioning is not the same as air conditioning, and that the same horsepower of air conditioning acts on different rooms of different orientations with different body sensations. Therefore, it is best to have a room thermometer in the room to help judge. The thermometer should be placed away from doorway drafts to control temperature differences.
It is important to note that the baby's body temperature is usually higher than the temperature shown on the thermometer because the baby is sleeping in bed and the thermometer is mostly placed on the table.
Therefore, it is usually advisable to keep the room temperature around "20-25 degrees (68°F-77°F) in summer and 16-23 degrees (60.8°F-73.4°F) in winter in a heated room".

Common sense 3. How can I tell if my baby is hot or cold?

For small babies, many people use to feel their baby's hands and feet to determine whether they are hot or cold, but this is not a reliable method. This is because a baby's heart is far from the peripheral nerves and blood circulation is slow, which means that at a comfortable body temperature, a baby's hands and feet should be slightly cool, not warm. In other words, when your baby's palms and feet are warm, or even if they have started to sweat, your baby is already very hot.
So how should you tell when it is hot or cold? Adults can use the back of their hands to gently touch the back of the baby's neck to the back, the back is best if it is warm and cool, if it is slightly hot or even sweaty, the baby is basically very hot.

Common sense 4. Do I need to check if my baby is freezing in the middle of the night?
A normally developing, healthy baby will cry if he/she feels cold. This is an evolved human survival instinct. Conversely, if your baby is not crying and is sleeping very peacefully, then there is no need to worry about him getting cold. Rest assured knowing that he will never miss an opportunity to bother you.

Common sense 5. Will my child catch a cold?
No. Colds (upper respiratory tract infections) are viral infections, which means that the infection is transmitted by a virus, not by 'catching a cold'. You will feel uncomfortable if it is too cold, but you will not catch a cold. Children will cry when they are cold enough to be uncomfortable. So there is usually no need to add blankets and clothes because you are "worried about your child catching a cold".

The prevailing medical opinion is that catching a cold or being cold (including blowing/air conditioning/sweating) does not cause a cold in children, nor does it increase the likelihood of children catching a cold. A cold or flu is a viral infection that often has an incubation period of 1-3 days, and it is not possible to catch a cold in the afternoon and have a fever in the evening. Some people get cold (including wind/air conditioning/sweating) and then feel "cold" and uncomfortable.

This is partly due to coincidence, but more because being cold and windy can also cause a runny nose, which can be uncomfortable, but it's not a cold - it's just the body producing more snot to raise the temperature of the cold air that is quickly entering the nasal passages. A tip that may help you tell the difference - viral infections often cause a fever (or sometimes not), but cold alone can cause an increase in nasal discharge but certainly not a fever.

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