Raising a newborn is like running an obstacle race, except there’s no finish line in sight. Every new day comes with a new obstacle. One of them is that your baby feels cold to touch when sleeping! And if you are wondering why your little bundle of joy feels like a tiny ice cube when you check on them during their nap? You are not alone.
It is no secret that babies aren’t great at regulating their body temperature yet. They’re like little humans wrapped up in burritos, but with a lot less insulation. So when they’re sleeping and not moving around, their little bodies can lose heat quickly. It’s like they’re tiny heat-seeking missiles, but they haven’t quite figured out how to launch themselves yet.
In this blog post, I would cover details about what to do when your baby feels cold to touch when sleeping and how to recognize the signs your baby is cold at night and how you can keep your baby warm.
Understanding the Need for Temperature Regulation in Babies
Keeping your baby at a comfortable temperature is essential to their health and happiness. Too cold, and they might turn into a little snowman before you know it. Too hot, and they’ll be sweating like a sumo wrestler in a sauna. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the ideal temperature range for a baby’s room is between 68-72°F (20-22.2°C). This temperature range is comfortable for most adults too, so you don’t need to worry about feeling too cold or too hot while taking care of your baby.
The AAP also recommends using a room thermometer to monitor the temperature and ensure that it stays within the safe range. It’s important to remember that babies are more sensitive to temperature changes than adults, so even a slight deviation from the recommended range can affect their comfort and well-being.
But how can you tell if your baby is too hot or too cold? Well, they’re not exactly going to hold up a thermometer for you, are they? Signs of discomfort include fussiness, sweating, cool or clammy skin, and rapid breathing. Basically, they’ll look like a tiny diva throwing a tantrum.
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Signs baby feels cold to touch when sleeping
It’s essential to keep your baby warm and comfortable while they sleep. If you suspect that your baby is feeling cold, here are some signs to look out for:
- Cool or clammy skin: If your baby’s skin feels cool or clammy to the touch, they may be feeling cold.
- Fussiness or crying: A baby who feels too cold may fuss or cry, especially if they’re not able to get comfortable.
- Increased breathing rate: When a baby feels cold, their body may try to generate heat by increasing their breathing rate. You may notice your baby breathing faster than usual.
- Poor sleep: If your baby is feeling cold, they may have trouble settling down and getting comfortable. They may wake up frequently or have trouble staying asleep.
- Blue lips or extremities: In severe cases, a baby who is too cold may develop blue lips or extremities. This is a sign that they’re not getting enough oxygen and need to be warmed up immediately.
Dressing Your Baby for Bedtime in Cold Weather
When dressing your baby for bedtime, it is essential to consider the room temperature and how it may affect their comfort. Here are some tips on how to dress your baby for cold weather at bedtime:
- Layering: Dress your baby in lightweight layers that are easy to remove if they become too warm. A general rule of thumb is to dress your baby in one more layer than you are wearing.
- Natural Fibers: Choose clothing made from natural fibers like cotton or bamboo, which allow your baby’s skin to breathe and help prevent overheating.
- Avoid Overheating: Take off your baby’s hat or beanie before they go to sleep. It is important for their head to be uncovered, as they control their body temperature through their face and head.
- Safe Sleeping Guidelines: Always follow safe sleeping guidelines when putting your baby to bed. Place your baby on their back and avoid using soft bedding like doonas, pillows, or cot bumpers, which can cause overheating and cover their face.
Sleepwear for Cold Weather
When selecting sleepwear for your baby, consider the following:
- Night Clothes: Dress your baby in comfortable night clothes that are suitable for the room temperature.
- Sleeping Bags: Use a correct-sized sleeping bag with a fitted neck, armholes or sleeves, and no hood to keep your baby warm and ensure their face and head remain uncovered.
- Blankets: Use layers of lightweight blankets that can be added or removed as needed. Tuck the blankets under the mattress to ensure sleep safety.
Taking Your Baby Out in Cold Weather
It is safe to take your baby out in cold weather, provided they are dressed warmly and protected from the wind and rain. Outdoor play and activities help children learn about how their body responds to the environment. Here are some tips for taking your baby out in cold weather:
- Extra Layer of Clothing: Dress your baby in an additional layer of clothing and bring a lightweight blanket to cover them in a pram or stroller.
- Cover Arms and Legs: Choose clothing that covers your baby’s arms and legs. An all-in-one jumpsuit is a good alternative to separates, as it will not ride up and need tucking in.
- Carriers or Slings: If you carry your baby in a carrier or sling, remember that your body heat will help to keep them warm. Follow safety guidelines to ensure your baby stays safe in the carrier or sling.
It’s normal for babies to feel cold to the touch when sleeping, but it’s important to take steps to ensure their comfort and well-being. By understanding the signs that your baby is cold and taking measures to keep them warm, you can help your little one sleep soundly and comfortably.
Remember to keep your baby’s room temperature within the recommended range of 68-72°F (20-22.2°C) and use a room thermometer to monitor the temperature. Dressing your baby in light layers and checking their body temperature regularly can also help ensure that they’re comfortable and healthy.
Raising a baby comes with many challenges, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can overcome them all. So, don’t let the fear of your baby feeling cold keep you up at night. Follow the tips in this blog post, and you and your baby can both get a good night’s sleep!
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