Babies who get too hot are at an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). They can overheat because the room temperature is too high or because they have too much bedding or clothing.
Below are a few guidelines you can follow to keep an eye on your baby’s temperature during all sleeps and naps.
Your FREE room thermometer
The safest temperature for your baby’s room is between 16-20ºC. Adults find it difficult to judge the temperature in the room, so use a thermometer in the rooms where your baby sleeps and naps.
We’re giving away free thermometers for any young parent in the UK who joins our Community. All you have to do is:
- Create an account for Little Lullaby.
- Email email@example.com and ask us for your free thermometer — it’s that easy!
The ideal room temperature for your baby
Babies do not need hot rooms, so all-night heating is never really necessary. Keep the room at a temperature between 16-20ºC.
18ºC is just about right.
Cooling your baby’s room down in summer
In summer, you can cool the room where your baby sleeps by closing the curtains and opening the windows during the day.
Offer your baby plenty to drink, and in very hot weather, sponge them down regularly with tepid water. You can use a fan to cool the room, but do not place it directly onto your baby.
Don’t give your baby lots of layers in winter
It’s tempting to give your baby lots of layers to wear in bed when the weather gets colder.
But it’s important that your baby doesn’t get too hot when they sleep because overheating can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
The safest ways to cover your baby for bed
Use lightweight blankets or a baby sleeping bag
If your baby feels too warm, reduce the number of layers or use a lower tog baby sleeping bag. In warm summer weather, your baby may not need any bedclothes at all.
Don’t use a duvet, quilt or pillow for babies under 12 months and never put a hat on your baby while they sleep.
Use fewer clothes and bedclothes if your baby is unwell and feverish
Even in winter, babies who are unwell and feverish need fewer clothes and bedclothes.
Feel the back of your baby’s neck or their tummy
When you check your baby, feel the back of their neck or their tummy. If they are sweating or their skin feels hot to the touch, take off some of the bedding.
Don’t worry if their hands or feet feel cool — this is normal.
Sleep your baby ‘feet to foot’
Babies need to lose excess heat from their heads. Make sure their head cannot be covered by the bedclothes by sleeping them ‘feet to foot’ (with their feet to the foot of the cot) so they don’t wriggle down under the covers.
Be aware of other sources of heat
Babies should never sleep with a hot water bottle or electric blanket, or next to a radiator, heater or fire, or in direct sunshine.
Remove hats and extra clothing as soon as you come indoors or enter a warm bus, train or shop, even if it means waking your baby.
A car can become very hot in the summer. Avoid direct sunlight on your baby.
In winter, keep the heating low, and remove your baby’s outdoor clothing. A thermometer may be helpful.
Protect your baby from the sun
Remember young skin is delicate and very easily damaged by the sun. All children, no matter whether they tan easily or not, should be protected from the sun.
Keep babies under six months out of direct sunlight, especially around midday. Read top tips for safe sun care by Cancer Research UK.