How to tell if baby is too cold when sleeping or too warm at night is a common question among new parents.
I’ve had a similar issue myself. I didn’t know then how to dress my newborn since I don’t want her to be too cold but I don’t want her to be sweaty either.
It can be hard to figure it out since one, well duh, you’re a new parent. It’s okay if you don’t know a lot of stuff.
And two, you’re still getting to know your newborn. And it can be tough to know if they’re hot or feeling cold when sleeping since they can’t talk yet!
So don’t worry, this article will cover your questions about signs that your baby is cold or too hot at night, what to do to keep them comfortable, what’s the average ideal room temperature for a baby’s room, how to dress your baby, and more.
Let’s start with your baby’s room temperature.
I hope you’ll love the products we recommend! Just a quick note: if you click on a product link below and decide to buy it, we may earn a small commission.
List of Contents
What’s the Ideal Temperature for a Baby’s Room?
Before we dive into recognizing the signs of a baby being too cold, let’s establish what the ideal room temperature is for your little bundle of joy.
The recommended room temperature for babies is generally between 68°F to 72°F (20°C to 22°C).
This range ensures a comfortable sleep environment for most infants.
Just take note that all babies are different.
Some can easily run cold, while some can get hot easily.
Take that into consideration if you want to adjust the AC or layer up or down your baby’s clothes.
Why Your Baby’s Hands Are Cold
If you’re worried about your newborn’s cold hands, especially at night, it’s actually normal.
Babies, especially newborns, often have cooler hands and feet compared to the rest of their bodies.
Their circulatory system is still developing, and their bodies prioritize keeping vital organs warm, hence your newborn’s cold hands.
So, don’t be alarmed if your baby’s hands feel chilly most of the time, especially at night.
If you want, you can put some baby gloves or mittens on your little one, just to make sure that their hands won’t feel cold.
How to Tell If Baby Is Too Cold When Sleeping
Signs Your Baby Is Too Cold at Night
- Cold Baby’s Skin
Feel your baby’s skin on their tummy or back, or the back of their neck with your hand.
If it feels unusually cold to the touch, it could indicate they need an extra layer to stay warm.
- Baby Shivers
If you notice your baby shivering or trembling, it’s a clear sign that they might be too cold.
Shivering is the body’s natural response to generate heat.
- Baby’s Face Feels Cold
Touch your baby’s cheeks gently.
If their face feels cold, it might be an indication that they need more warmth.
- Baby Appears Uncomfortable
A fussy or restless baby might be uncomfortable due to the cold.
If they seem restless during sleep, it could be worth checking if they need an extra blanket.
- Cold Hands and Feet
While it’s normal for babies to have slightly cooler extremities, if their hands and feet feel excessively cold, they might be too chilly.
How to Keep Your Baby Comfortably Warm at Night
To ensure your baby is cozy and snug during sleep, follow these tips:
- Appropriate Clothing
Dress your baby in comfortable, breathable layers of clothing appropriate for room temperature.
If it’s cold, add one more layer to their clothing.
If it’s slightly chilly or comfortably cool, a long-sleeved bodysuit might do, depending on how cold or warm your baby feels.
Avoid dressing them too warmly or too lightly.
- Use Sleep Sacks or Swaddles
Sleep sacks or swaddles are excellent alternatives to blankets, providing warmth without the risk of suffocation.
Find out here what should your baby wear under their swaddle or sleep sack.
- Use Room Thermometer
Consider using a room thermometer to measure the room temperature accurately then make necessary adjustments.
How to Tell If Baby Is Too Hot When Sleeping
Just like being too cold, being too hot can also be uncomfortable and unsafe for your baby. Here are signs to watch for:
Signs Your Baby Is Too Hot at Night
- Excessive Sweating
If your baby is sweating profusely, it could be an indication that they are feeling too hot.
- Hot Baby’s Skin
Feel your baby’s skin on their tummy, back, or back of their neck. If it feels overly warm or clammy, it might be overheating.
- Rapid Breathing
If your baby’s breathing appears faster than usual, it might be too hot.
- Flushed Face
A flushed or red face can be a sign of overheating.
How to Keep Your Baby Comfortably Cool at Night
To prevent your baby from overheating, consider the following:
- Light Clothing
Dress your baby in lightweight, breathable fabrics suitable for room temperature.
- Use a Fan
A fan can help circulate air in the room and keep it cooler.
- Avoid Over Bundling
Make sure not to overdress your baby or use too many layers of blankets.
Keep the room well-ventilated by cracking a window or using air conditioning.
Dressing Your Baby
Dressing your baby appropriately is essential to ensure their comfort and safety, both indoors and outdoors. Here are some guidelines:
How Should I Dress My Baby for the Weather?
When heading outside, dress your baby in layers so you can adjust according to the temperature.
So if it’s cold and they’re all layered up, then that’s fine then. If the weather suddenly changes, you can easily remove a layer or two to keep them comfortable.
Always remember to cover their head and extremities, and use a sun hat on sunny days.
How Should I Dress My Baby for Bedtime?
Dressing your baby for bedtime depends on the room temperature:
- Warm Weather: Use a onesie or short-sleeved light, breathable cotton rompers.
- Cool Weather: Add a layer, such as a onesie or a light sleep sack, depending on how cool it is or how easily your baby runs cold.
- Cold Weather: Layer your baby as well and use a warm sleep sack or footed pajamas, but avoid heavy blankets or quilts.
Are Blankets, Sleep Sacks, Socks, and Hats Necessary for Naps or Bedtime?
For babies under one-year-old, it’s best to avoid loose blankets.
Use a sleep sack or swaddle instead to provide warmth without the risk of suffocation.
Socks and hats are useful during colder nights, but make sure they are not too tight.
Remember, newborns and younger babies won’t need them.
Just choose a footed sleepsuit or pajamas on top of onesies, then layer with a swaddle or sleep sack for younger babies when it’s cold at night.
Does My Newborn Need More Layers Than I Do?
Remember, newborns are still adjusting to the world outside the womb and might need an extra layer of clothing compared to what adults wear for the same weather.
Safe Sleep for Baby
Ensuring a safe sleep environment is crucial for your baby’s well-being. Follow these tips:
Tips for Keeping Your Baby Safe While Sleeping
Always place your baby on their back to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Use a firm mattress and avoid putting pillows, stuffed animals, or loose bedding in the crib.
Keep the crib away from heaters, cords, and curtains.
What’s the Right Room Temperature for a Sick Baby?
The right room temperature for a sick baby is 70°F-74°F (21°C-23°C).
Remember to just dress them in a single layer of comfortable clothes so as not to overhead them.
If your baby has a fever, giving them a sponge bath or putting a cool, wet washcloth on their forehead can put them more at ease, to help bring the fever down temporarily.
You can also keep on sponging their exposed body parts to keep bringing their fever down.
Will My Baby Sleep More in Winter?
Babies may sleep a bit more during winter due to the colder weather, but individual sleep patterns can vary.
Baby Overheating or Getting Too Cold: Risks and Effects
Understanding the risks of both overheating and getting too cold is vital for your baby’s health.
What Are the Risks of a Baby Becoming Either Overheated or Too Cold?
Overheating can lead to dehydration, heat rash, and increased risk of SIDS.
On the other hand, being too cold can result in discomfort, disturbed sleep, and, in extreme cases, hypothermia.
What Are the Risks for Babies in Extreme Cold Weather?
In extremely cold weather, babies are at risk of frostbite and hypothermia, so it’s crucial to dress them appropriately and limit their time outdoors.
What Are the Effects of Cold Weather on a Baby?
Cold weather can lead to discomfort, making it difficult for your baby to sleep peacefully.
Should I Take My Baby Out in Cold Weather, and How Can I Protect Them?
It’s fine to take your baby outdoors in cold weather, but always layer them and cover their head, hands, and feet.
Use a stroller or baby carrier with a weather shield to protect them from wind and cold.
FAQ on Is Your Baby Too Hot or Too Cold While Sleeping?
How Can I Tell If a Baby Is Too Hot or Too Cold?
You can tell if your baby is too hot or too cold when you see signs of excessive sweating, rapid breathing, or shivering. Those signs will help you determine if your baby is too hot or cold.
What Happens If a Baby Is Too Cold at Night?
If a baby is too cold at night, it may be uncomfortable, restless, or wake up frequently.
How Do I Know If My Baby Is Cold Sleeping?
You will know if your baby is cold sleeping if their tummy and back feel cold and if they are shivering and have cold cheeks and hands.
Do Babies Wake Up If They Are Cold?
Yes, babies wake up if they are cold as they feel uncomfortable.
How Do I Make Sure My Baby Is Warm Enough at Night?
You can make sure that your baby is warm enough at night by dressing them in appropriate layers and by using sleep sacks or swaddles for extra warmth.
Best Swaddles/ Sleep Sacks for Babies
To ensure your baby’s comfort and safety while sleeping, invest in quality sleep sacks or swaddles. Look for products that are breathable, well-fitted, and suitable for room temperature, such as the following:
- HALO 100% Cotton Sleepsack Swaddle TOG 1.5
- HALO Sleepsack Swaddle TOG 3.0
- Love To Dream Swaddle
- SwaddleMe Pod
- Ollie World Swaddles
Related Article: How Many Swaddles Do I Need? (Types, Pros, Cons, and More)
How to Tell If Baby Is Too Cold When Sleeping: Final Thoughts
Just remember if you feel cold, then your baby is probably feeling cold too.
So learn to trust your instincts while paying attention to your baby’s comfort and safety while they sleep.
And that’s how to tell if baby is too cold when sleeping.
But again take note, every baby is unique, so adjust your expectations and their sleeping environment accordingly.
If you like this article, make sure to check out What To Do If Newborn Hates Getting Swaddled, My Baby Won’t Stop Crying: 19 Things to Check For, and How To Get Baby To Sleep Longer Stretches At Night.