As the weather gets colder, it can feel difficult to know how to keep your baby warm on winter nights. After all, babies and sleep are two words that don’t go together as easily as any new parent would like. Whether they’re newborn or nearing their first birthday, read our guide to help you keep your baby warm and comfortable throughout the cold weather.
How to help babies get to sleep on cold nights
No matter the season, we all know how important a bedtime routine is to a successful night’s sleep. For babies, this is essential especially in wintertime. Bathtime before bed helps to warm your baby up on chillier days and as part of this routine will signal to your baby that it’s almost time to sleep. Make sure that you dry them up thoroughly and wrap your baby up after their bath: look for a towel with a hood to put over their little head to keep the heat in and prevent a chill. Next, it’s time for a snuggly sleepsuit, some milk and a bedtime story to help them drift off into dreamland, happily. Be sure to move baby from bath to bed within thirty minutes, otherwise they might start to wake up again and want to play when you’re desperate to catch up on your favourite show, instead!
What is the right temperature for a baby to sleep in in Winter?
When it comes to sleeping in any season, the most important thing is that the temperature in the room where your baby is sleeping stays consistent within a safe range. For babies, a comfortable sleeping temperature is between 16-20°C. This is to avoid your baby becoming either too hot or too cold during the night, which can be a worry, even in summer.
The easiest way for you to check your baby’s temperature is to gently touch your hand to the skin on the back of their neck. This will give you an accurate indication of their body temperature, rather than their little hands or feet, which will be the coolest parts of their small bodies. To regulate this temperature, set your thermostat within this range and keep a thermometer in the room where your baby sleeps. If they are sleeping in the same room as you, this might mean that you need a few extra blankets on your bed during colder months to keep you warm.
How to dress your baby for sleep in winter
During winter, your baby will naturally need to sleep in warmer clothing than during summertime, whether at night or during naptime. When it comes to choosing what your baby should wear, opt for natural fibres like cotton, which will help to regulate baby’s body temperature. Cotton is used in all My 1st Years clothing, pyjamas and sleepsuits, to keep babies and toddlers comfortable, whatever the occasion.
For sleeptime, newborns and young babies should sleep in a sleepsuit, which will keep them cosy in cold winter weather. For older babies and toddlers, pyjamas are more versatile and allow for more movement. Now, we’re not saying that a personalised sleepsuit or pyjama set will definitely help your baby to sleep better, but it won’t hurt. Lastly, if your baby is feeling unwell then we understand that your instinct may be to dress them up warmer. They will actually need fewer layers to make it easier for them to regulate their own body temperature and sleep safely through the night.
Should my baby sleep with a blanket at night?
According to many experts, babies should not sleep with any blankets until they are a year old. Babies should sleep in either just their sleepsuit or in a sleeping bag without a blanket, depending on preference, room temperature and time of year. This is to avoid your baby getting tangled up in their blanket, which can increase their risk of suffocation and, tragically, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.)
As your child gets older, you can introduce a warmer knitted or lightweight cellular blanket. Personalised cellular blankets are a particularly popular gift for newborns thanks to their unique ‘cellular structure’, woven in a series of tiny holes that allow air to pass through and regulate a baby’s body temperature.
What tog sleeping bags should I use for a baby in Winter?
A sleeping bag is not only the safest way for your baby to sleep, it’s also the easiest way to keep their body temperature consistent throughout the night. The most important things are that the sleeping bag fits your baby correctly – with enough room to move around but not too much so that they can slip or wriggle their way out – and that it’s the correct tog for the temperature. If their nursery is on the cooler end of the recommended range (16 degrees), they will need a tog 3 sleeping bag; however on the warmer end (18-20 degrees) then tog 2 will keep them comfortable.
If a sleeping bag isn’t the right choice for your family, then swaddling is a good alternative that will keep your baby warm and secured throughout the night. Just be sure that you don’t wrap your baby up too tightly to avoid affecting their breathing or hip mobility while they sleep. Choose a cellular blanket for a breathable swaddle that will also keep your baby toasty, thanks to the tiny ‘cells’ knitted into the blanket that can trap pockets of air to insulate the swaddle.
To shop for everything your baby needs for a safe and snug night’s sleep (and more!), find it all on our website. The best bit is, it can all be personalised with a baby’s name to help them to feel extra comforted on chilly nights.
My 1st Years x