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Baby it’s cold outside

Finally, the colder temperatures have finally hit us. After months of hot, dry, humid weather, I don’t think there’s many Gold Coaster who don’t welcome the cooler changes, the opportunity to wear jeans and closed in shoes.

But this is also a time of confusion and some anxiety about what to dress your baby in for sleeping overnight I consistently get asked, what is the ideal temperature in my babies bedroom and what should I be dressing my child in overnight?  I wish that I could give you a simple answer. Still, different factors can affect the temperature fluctuation, how your baby copes with different temperatures and how many layers you should put your baby in, even at the same actual temperature.

All babies are different. Some babies prefer to sleep a little on the cool side, and some (like me) prefer to be a little more on the warm side.

Our goal is to try to dress our baby to comfortable for them!

This means that you need to learn from your baby. You may need to feel your babies chest regularly to make sure that they feel at a comfortable temperature if your baby is sweaty, clammy, or hot to touch you may need to remove layers and if your baby’s chest feels cool to touch you may need to add a layer. Many parents make the mistake of thinking that the baby is cold if their hands or feet feel chilly but often these are not a good way to measure their core temperature. Fingers and toes can often feel cold when the core temperature is perfect, so the best place to gauge your babies cord temperature is on their chest or back.

The way that your baby is sleeping can also help you know if they are a comfortable temperature or too hot or cold.

Babies sleeping with their hands up over the head would usually indicate that they’re too hot and trying to cool off.

If their hands are relaxed beside the face or beside their body, that tells you that they are a comfortable temperature.

If your baby is older and usually sleeps on the side or back they may roll onto their tummy to keep warm.

Older babies who are tummy sleepers will roll over onto their back if they are too hot, or they may go into the fetal position or tuck the hands in under their tummy if they are too cold.

You can also use a weather app to check what the outside temperature will drop to overnight each night and use an in-home thermometer to gauge the difference between temperatures from inside your home to the outside temperature. After a few days, you will be able to accurately measure how cold your child’s room is going to get overnight and therefore dress your little one accordingly at the beginning of the night.

Other factors like the region that you live in can affect what you dress your child in. For example, if you live in Queensland, the humidity can affect how the temperature feels, and 18° feels a hell of a lot colder to a Queenslander than 18° feels to someone who lives in South Australia. Other factors like whether or not your house has central heating, drafts like a classic Queenslander or insulation / thermal mass like in apartment buildings can affect how the temperature changes overnight. The ideal temperature for sleeping in is recommended between 18 and 22°. Honestly, you need to work out what works for your family by getting to know the above factors.

With all this being said parents still find themselves confused with what to dress their child in


As a rule of thumb in Qld this is my recommendation for clothing at night.

Summer room temperature of around 24-26 degrees is a good temp requiring short sleeves and a .2 or .5 tog sleeping bag

Autumn- 20-22 degrees 1.5 tog sleeping bag with a long arm top and no legs at 22 and a 1.5 tog sleeping bag with a long sleeve wondersuit and a 1.5 tog bag is perfect

Cooler temperatures 18-20

2.5 tog sleeping bag with long sleeve wondersuit with a singlet or a long sleeve singlet underneath

Below 18 degrees 3.5 tog sleeping bag with sleeves and a wonder suit.

Using a safe room heater would also be recommended to stop the room going below 16 degrees.

Know your Tog Rating–  TOG stands for ‘Thermal Overall Grade’, which is a unit of measurement used to calculate the thermal insulation of a product, usually in the textile industry. Sleeping bags and sleep suits are given a TOG rating according to the warmth they provide. Basically the higher the TOG, the warmer the product.

Along with a good quality sleeping bag, dressing your little one in cotton only at night, use a general rule same as you plus one layer. If you are covering your arms with a doona or long sleeves your little one needs their arms covered too. Avoid cot bumpers and blankets. Aim to use cotton sheets and a breathable mattress protector and any comforters should also be made of breathable SIDS safe material.

If you are using a heater, look at getting one with an automatic thermostat and keep the room ventilated.

You will learn what’s the right temperature for your baby and I will tell you to read your baby more than anything else.

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