Guide to Optimizing Room Temperature to Help Your Baby Sleep

Written by: Alyssa Larsen

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Time to read 6 min

The whole family will benefit when your baby sleeps comfortably throughout the night. Mom and Dad can finally get consecutive hours of rest and babies are happier and healthier when they wake. The room temperature in the nursery significantly impacts how well your little one is able to sleep—and how much sleep you’ll be able to get!

 

Follow along with this guide to learn how to set your sweet baby up with a sleep spot at the ideal temperature.

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Why Is the Right Temperature in the Nursery Important?

There are many important aspects to designing a cozy nursery conducive to your baby’s growth and development. Since proper sleep is critical to your baby’s health and overall wellness, finding the ideal room temperature is a fundamental step in creating a comfortable sleeping environment.

 

The Cleveland Clinic suggests that a room temperature between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 21 degrees Celsius) is best for a baby’s room. This range is slightly higher than the recommended temperature for adults because babies can’t yet regulate their body temperature.

 

We’ve put together a guide of strategies and tips for keeping your little one’s nursery at the perfect temperature for their best night’s sleep.

How Does Temperature Affect Your Baby’s Sleep?

Everyone has experienced waking up in the night because the temperature in the room was too extreme one way or the other. You might have thrown off your blanket when you woke up sweating or cuddled close to your partner when you were too cold.

 

Since babies can’t adjust their clothes or bedding on their own, parents and caregivers need to understand how room temperature influences their baby’s sleep.

If Your Baby’s Room Is Too Cold

A nursery that’s too cold can cause your little one to wake frequently and cry more often during the night. When you get up to soothe them in your nursery glider, they may quickly doze off in your snuggles, but any interruptions to their natural sleep cycle prevent your baby from getting quality sleep. A night of restless sleep makes babies—and parents—grouchy and overtired in the morning.

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If Your Baby’s Room Is Too Hot

Besides becoming uncomfortably sweaty, overheating while asleep is a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Although SIDS it’s categorized as the unexplained death of a baby, there are some preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of SIDS. Placing your baby to sleep on their back, dressing them in appropriate layers of clothing, and keeping the crib free of loose blankets and plush toys can help keep your baby sleeping safely.

How Do You Keep Your Baby’s Room at the Ideal Temperature?

So, you know the best room temperature for your little one’s nursery, but how can you maintain that ideal range? In warm weather and cold weather, you can use these practical tips for regulating a comfortable temperature in your baby’s room.

Warm Weather

  • Keep your whole house thermostat set between 65 and 70 ℉ (18-21 ℃).

     

  • Use an air conditioner or fan to keep the room cool, but do not place the crib in the direct path of forced air.

     

  • Dress your baby in a single layer of light clothing.

Cold Weather

  • Monitor the room temperature with the house thermostat or an indoor thermometer in the room.

     

  • Use a sleep sack to cover your baby instead of blankets or swaddles to avoid suffocation.

     

  • Dress your baby in one extra layer than you’re wearing as a general rule of thumb.

Read your baby’s cues to know if they’re too hot or too cold. Nighttime restlessness and crying outside of normal wake times might mean your little one is uncomfortably cold. If your baby’s skin on the back of their neck feels sweaty or their cheeks are flushed they need your help to cool down.

More Tips to Ensure Your Baby’s Comfort

After you’ve set your baby’s room temperature, consider these other factors when it comes to making sure your little one sleeps comfortably.

Nursery Room

Monitor the Temperature

As the outside temperature fluctuates from day to night, so can the temperature in your nursery. If you don’t have a home thermostat with climate control, it can be helpful to use an indoor thermometer in your baby’s room. Another option is to find a baby monitor that displays the temperature of the nursery.

Dress Your Baby for the Season

In the hot summer months, your baby may need nothing more than a single-layer onesie to sleep comfortably. When the colder seasons start to roll in you can add additional layers of snug-fitting clothing to help maintain your baby’s body temperature.

 

Skip the hat for naps and bedtime. Keeping your baby’s head free from coverings prevents overheating and lessens the chance of anything blocking your baby’s airway.

Consider the Bedding

In the winter months, a thick flannel fitted sheet is a great choice to give your little one a warm place to rest their head. During summer, a breathable cotton material, like what this crib sheet set is made of, will ensure that your baby doesn’t get too hot.

 

Remember, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nothing more than a fitted sheet on a firm mattress during at least the first year of life to create a safe sleeping environment for your baby and reduce the risk of SIDS.

Provide Ventilation

The nursery may start to feel stuffy if the air isn’t moving and the door is closed—especially in the warmer months. Try a fan in the room to circulate the air. Adjust the fan to point away from The Crib or up at the ceiling, but not directly towards your sleeping baby. You could also leave the door or window open for a natural breeze if it’s safe to do so.

Check for Heat Loss

At the start of the winter season, make a point to look for any cold drafts leaking in around windows, doors, and vents. Address them right away and you’ll have an easier time continuing a consistently ideal temperature in your baby’s room.

Use Curtains or Blinds

Controlling the amount of sunlight in the room will help you control the temperature. In the sweltering heat of summer, blocking out the intense rays during the hottest parts of the day can help the room stay cool during daytime naps.

Use a Humidifier or Dehumidifier

Removing humidity can aid in cooling your baby’s room on particularly hot summer days. Likewise, some moisture in the air, at the right temperature, can create a comfortable atmosphere that promotes easy breathing when you use a humidifier during the frigid nights of winter.

Avoid Exposure to Extreme Temperatures

Take extra care when placing your baby’s crib or bassinet in the nursery. Make sure the sleeping area isn’t blocking an air vent, near a heater or air conditioner, or against a window in direct sunlight. No matter what the temperature of the room reads, it won’t be accurate to what your baby feels if he or she is exposed too closely to these heating and cooling sources.

 

Maintaining the ideal room temperature in your baby’s nursery is a necessity when you’re creating a space for your little one to feel safe and cozy enough to fall asleep. Everyone has their own preferred sleeping temperature and babies are no different!

 

Use our tips as a guide to get started, but notice what works well for you and your baby and make adjustments when it doesn’t. Your pediatrician is an invaluable resource when it comes to making sleep decisions specific to your situation and you should reach out to them whenever you have questions or concerns.

 

When you’re ready to create a snug sleep space for your little one, visit the Nurture& online store to discover the best nursery furniture to start building your baby’s room. In our Journal, you can find more baby tips and nursery guides from one parent to another.

Alyssa Larsen

Alyssa Larsen

Alyssa Larsen is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for writing. Before starting her career as a freelance writer, Alyssa devoted all of her time to her family and raising her young children. The evolution of her motherhood journey and parenting experience inspires her work. She strives to always tell a story that is helpful and relatable to the person reading it. Alyssa lives in Ohio with her husband and four hilarious kids.