In order for the human body to sleep, the core body temperature needs to dip. The ideal temperature for sleeping varies with age. A baby’s room temperature of 16-20°C is comfortable and safe for your sleeping baby. For your toddler to sleep comfortably, the room temperature should be between 18.3 and 21.1 Celsius. The temperature that is comfortable for baby may feel too cool for older children or adults who need a warmer room for relaxing sleep. The temperature of the room where your child is sleeping definitely affects your child’s sleep.
It is very important that you do not overheat your baby’s room. Studies have shown overheated rooms lead to an increase in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, using a fan can decrease the risk of SIDS by 72%.
Babies regulate their temperature through their heads, particularly their faces. If you wrap your baby, 85% total heat loss is through their face. If you restrict this normal method of heat loss with bedding, a bonnet, or a hood covering their face, thermal stress can occur.
Since your baby controls their body temperature predominantly through their face, placing your sleeping baby on their back with their head and face uncovered is the best way to protect your baby from overheating. A good way to make sure baby’s face is not covered it to use a baby fitted sleeping bag with either armholes or sleeves. Dress your baby comfortably for sleeping – neither too warm nor too cold.
A good way to check your baby’s temperature is to feel baby’s chest, which should feel warm to the touch. Your baby’s hands and feet will probably feel cool, which is normal. If your baby has a red face and is sweating, remove some clothing. Remember, your baby will not be able to keep a cover on all night until around 18 months of age. When your toddler sleeps, dress them in a single layer of long pants and a top with long sleeves. Use a heavier fabric during cool winter months and a lighter fabric on hot summer nights. If your toddler complains of being cold, try a pair of pyjamas with feet.
If you have no choice but to put your baby or toddler down in a warm room, have them wear a short sleeves or nothing but a nappy.
The ideal sleep temperature for your child varies, because every child is different. It is important to check your child’s room to make sure it is neither too hot nor too cold. As soon as your child is six months old, consider teaching how to say “hot” and “cold” in sign language. Doing so makes it possible for them to tell you when the room temperature is not comfortable for them.
Remember. The safest place for your baby to sleep for the first six months of their lives is in a room with you. Not only is this safe, but it will also help you judge the temperature that is most comfortable for them. Room temperature affects your child’s sleep, so make sure your child is neither too hot nor too cold. A room that is the right temperature will help your child have a comfortable and restful night’s sleep.