The unpredictable nature of spring weather makes it necessary to be keenly aware of your baby’s body temperature day and night. When a baby is in the beginning stages of life, it’s important to keep him or her from becoming overheated or overly chilled to avoid an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A baby’s temperature can be assessed and monitored with reasonable accuracy by human touch. Adjust your baby’s clothing to the changing climate and have assorted wearable blankets on hand with varying TOG ratings (more on that in a minute). Maintain a comfortable temperature in your baby’s room and be sure it is well ventilated.
Follow these guidelines to keep your baby comfortable during this indecisive season:
1. Wearable Blankets
Often used in the textile industry, a TOG is a unit of measurement for thermal insulation. Because it’s the international standard for warmth and thermal effectiveness, parents can use the rating as a general guide to help dress their babies in the appropriate level of warmth.
After your baby has transitioned from swaddling, dress him or her in a wearable blanket with an appropriate TOG rating. SwaddleDesigns offers assorted zzZipMe Sacks for babies older than three months that come in various TOG levels. These ratings are on the product hangtags and the SwaddleDesigns website to help parents make educated decisions on which wearable blanket is appropriate for the present temperature.
2. Layer Clothing
When you feel cold, your baby is probably cold; likewise when you feel hot, your baby is hot. Layering clothing is another way to adjust your baby’s temperature to the current conditions. A good rule of thumb to follow, as advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is to dress your baby in no more than one layer more than an adult is comfortable in.
As a clothing base, dress your baby in a long-sleeve or short-sleeve bodysuit, depending on the environment. Then, cover with an appropriate wearable blanket, according to the TOG level. If the atmosphere is feeling a little crisper than earlier in the day, long johns or pajamas can be worn between the bodysuit and the blanket. In a warmer room, a short sleeve bodysuit or just a diaper can be used under the wearable blanket. Keep in mind, no blanket or product can regulate a baby’s temperature, so use your touch to get a good reading on your baby’s state.
Note: The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to avoid head coverings during sleep. This comes after a systematic review found that 24.6 percent of SIDS victims wore head coverings.
3. The Human Touch
The human touch can assess a baby’s temperature with reasonable accuracy. Frequently touch your baby’s trunk, hands, and feet to make sure he or she is comfortably warm. Your baby’s hands and feet should be pink and warm, according to the World Health Organization. (Plus, there are positive psychological side effects for your baby by frequently touching your baby’s hands and feet.)
Any sign of sweat, especially on the neck and back, can indicate that your baby is overheated. Remove a layer of clothing if this is the case. If his or her tummy is cold, warm your baby by holding him or her skin to skin, and then add a layer of clothing to help him or her get back to thermal comfort.
4. Comfortable Room Temperature
Maintaining a comfortable temperature in your baby’s room can help him or her sleep more soundly. The AAP recommends setting the thermostat to somewhere between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain an ideal sleeping environment.
Keep your baby’s nursery well ventilated by circulating air freely around the room. A small fan can help as long as it’s not blowing directly on your baby.
Follow these four tips for keeping baby’s temperature at a consistent, comfortable level.