Nursery Temperature / What Does Your Baby Wear?

Updated on April 22, 2010
R.M. asks from Tucson, AZ
15 answers

Hello ladies / gentlemen (if any),
I am wondering how warm or cool you keep your nursery and what your baby wears at night.
Our daughter is 4 months old, and upon the pediatrician's recommendation we are letting her sleep through the night, which she is handling rather well. ("She said: An 18 pound baby does not need to eat at night." LOL) My concern is trying to get the room temperature / clothing right, now that I am not in there every 3 hours to check on her.
The first night I put her in a long sleeved onesie and a Halo sleepsack (organic cotton, not too heavy, not too light). The baby monitor (which I now believe is off by as much as 5 degrees) indicated that the temperature in the evening was 78 and 73 in the morning. However, in the morning her little hands were COLD, as were her ears, so I concluded that she was cold. The second night it was the same setup, except now I put socks on her too, which of course fell off during the night, and set her room heater to 75 (monitor thermostat recorded this as 78). She seemed to do well with this temp. Last night though, I put her in a footie pajama, thinking this will keep her toes warm, and again set her heater to 75. It seemed to me this morning that her room and she were both way too hot.

Our house tends to be cold because we run the AC (we're in Tucson), which is why I have the heater in her room. Her room is on the west side of the house, so it tends to be warm in the evening and cools off considerably by the morning. I don't want to make it very cold in there before she goes to bed because she takes a bath and her hair is wet in the evening.

Any thoughts?

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answers from Chicago on

My son sleeps better with it cooler. Hands being cold is not necessarily a sign of them being cold. But every kid is different. He never wanted to be swaddled and will not keep a blanket on him either.

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answers from Atlanta on

I didn't read any of your other answers. My M. had always kept our house and bedrooms very cold. In the north too. Under 68, and she would keep the vents closed in our bedroom. My sister had croup and it helped. She always said "you breathe better at night when it's cold." And told us to put more clothes on, or we had heating blankets. Now I have a 21 mon old and we keep our house at 68 in the winter and 72 in the summer. All of the vents in the bedrooms are closed. I always thought my M. was just saying that so we would be quiet... but my ped agrees. I also have heard that if you are cold your baby is cold, if you are hot... When we left the hospital the nurse told us babies should just have one more layer of clothes on than we do, or a blanket. If I had a t-shirt on, I would put long sleeves on her for bed. You get the idea.
I have to say that I think your nursery is too hot but keep the clothes on. Cool down the room but dress warm. Your body heat is what keeps you warm, and maybe a blanket.
This past winter we kept our daughter in a onesie, socks, and long sleeve PJ's. When it got warmer outside we did away with the onesie. Now she is wearing spring and summer PJ's. I try to keep socks on her but she pulls them off. I never wore socks as a child either.
The outside temp is going to change but inside should be fairly constant. If you look at some websites they recommend the nursery be anywhere from 61-68 degrees. Colder air is easier to breathe into the lungs.
I would take the heater out. You are taking moisture out of the air while heating it, making it dry. The humidity is good. Especially in the winter when most people have to add a humidifier.
I lived in Tucson so I know the weather. If you keep your AC on in the main areas but the vent closed in her room, the outside temp will be enough to keep her room at a constant temp... hopefully below 68. You electric bill will thank you (less AC and no heater).
And before I forget overly warm babies, and I am sure the room temp adds to this, have an increased risk for SIDS.
Do some research... having a cold nursery or being cold isn't bad for your baby.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Stationed Overseas on

I'm in Central America and we always run the a/c never and I mean never a heater. When my daughter was 4mo I dressed her in a onesie and footed pjs and that's all she never would wear a sleep sack. If your child were cold she would wake up and cry it is normal for her hands and ears to be a little bit cold. We keep our a/c around 70 to 72 depending on how hot it is outside but we like our house to be cold. I would be a bit concerned about running a heater at night I've heard just too many horror stories about them malfunctioning. But I think you have the right idea about trying different kinds of outfits and different temps. But I also think you need to get the baby used to sleeping in an environment that everyone else sleeps in. What would you do if you have to go out of town? Really up the temp so that you are sweating while the baby is comfortable? Just something to think about.

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answers from Sacramento on

Every baby is different, just like every person is different. If she is sleeping soundly the temperature is fine with her. I believe the recommendation is to err on the side of a cool room to avoid stuffiness, so if she's sleeping well and waking up happy, I'd stick with what you're doing on the cooler end.

My son, on the other hand would NOT sleep unless his room was warm and he was tightly swaddled. Like I said every baby's different.

If she's not happy, she'll let you know. You're a good mommy. Enjoy your sweet, plump girl.


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answers from Dallas on

Is there a way to set your thermostat so that the temperature adjusts automatically? We used to have one where you could set different temperatures at different times - it was great, cause we could set the house to be comfortable while we were there, but not have it running full steam for an empty house. If you don't have one, maybe you can get one at home depot or something. That way, you can regulate the room to match what happens with the temperature of the day. For my little guy, he "runs hotter" than I do - like his daddy. If I'm cold, he's comfortable LOL. It's an individual thing comfort-wise. But you're paying attention, so she'll be fine :)

Good luck!

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answers from Washington DC on

A baby of that age who doesn't roll around much while asleep will always have cold hands , it doesn't mean they are cold though. A persons body temp is controlled by the feet and head , so as long as you have her feet covered then she will be ok. The temp of her room sounds fine and if she was not comfortable (either cold or hot) then I think she would wake up. We are in VA and the weather is still up & down at the moment , I don't have the heat on or the AC , when we got up this morning the temp in the house was 68 , my youngest (22 months) sleeps in PJ's without feet and a sleep bag and she was fine.

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answers from Little Rock on

We have our house set at 68 with the central air on and 70 during the cold months. All of our bedrooms are upstairs so the temp it is downstairs can vary. Anyways I have always dressed my children in all cotton long pajamas. I don't use blanket sleepers and the young ones don't use a blanket till they are in their own beds.They have all just chosen it to be this way on their own so I don't push the issue as they know when they are hot or not. My pajamas of choice are the Hanna Andersson zippers. They don't have feet in them but are long sleeve and full length on the legs too. Super cuddly soft organic cotton too so they love how they feel on their skin as well. If you are comfortable and baby isn't waking during the night for being cold then I wouldn't worry about it. With that being said I wouldn't overheat them either with a heater or those blanket sleepers as I really worry about SIDS.
As for her ped saying an 18lb baby doesn't need to eat at night, theres no certain weight or age for a baby to NOT NEED to eat at night. Theres alot of factors if they are nursing or formula fed, if they are big eaters, weight gain etc etc. I have never heard any Dr. say that and to limit a baby simply by their weight doesn't sound like good advice at all. If your baby wakes to eat during the night then feed her but I woudn't wake her on purpose to feed her at that age either if that makes sense?!?

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answers from Seattle on

The recommendation I've heard is 68 during the day, 65 at night. It is good to have it cooler at night for breathing, and helps you sleep. I typically see babies overdressed, which is hard because they can't sweat. One layer more than you're wearing is all they need. But I do agree that if she were cold or hot she wouldn't sleep well and would cry to let you know she was uncomfortable!



answers from Orlando on

In general, they say to dress babies in one more layer than what you would wear



answers from Phoenix on

The idea of a heater in your baby's room seems kinda scary to me. We have the A/C on and our little guy who is 5 mos sleeps in our room and sometimes wakes up with cold hands and feet. However, I feel like it's safer for him to be a little cold rather than too hot. I put him in a onesie now that its spring and sometimes I add babylegs (like legwarmers) and socks if I think he might be cold.



answers from Tucson on

We have a similar issue in our house. baby's room faces NW and there is an issue with the central heat/air in her room so its 10 degrees warmer/cooler than the rest of the house. They say perfect sleep temp for a baby is 65-70 degrees. My daughter is 14 months old and is wearing short sleeve PJ's with no footies ad doing just fine. If your daughter were too cold or too hot, she would most likely being stirring quite a bit throughout the night. The pediatrician (as well as all the baby books) say they sleep more soundly in a cooler room and with less layers (once they are done with the newborn swaddling stage).



answers from Tucson on

I live in Tucson too and when my son was that age, we set the AC at 74 and turned his ceiling fan on low for air circulation. I think long sleeves and a sleep sack (or foot pajamas) are ok but the heater may be overkill. If she's uncomfortable, she'll let you know!



answers from Phoenix on

ahhhhh... no response on what to wear but- do not put sucks on her at night!!!! She can pull them off (even at her age) and put them in her mouth and gag/choke herself.

Personally, my kids slept in a 1 piece jammie outfit at night. You know, like a carter's one-sie with long sleeves, snaps down the front and the legs, etc... they always had feet on them.

Also, it is not recommended to be bathing babies every night. It is really hard on their skin and hair. If you bathe them every night their skin never learns how to develop it's own natural oils to keep their skin moisturized. Obviously use a washcloth to wipe off a few key areas, especially their neck from milk... But most books will tell you that babies at that age only need to be bathed 1-2 times per week, and then you won't have her going to bed with wet hair... but NO MORE SOCKS to bed... :-) Good Luck



answers from Phoenix on

Babies sleep better when it is cooler. Don't do the heater. I also loved the sleep sack, but don't buy the fleece version (it's at babies r us) since it's getting so late in the season, she will get too hot. And babies sweat a lot too, that is also part of their growing.

You might be worrying about a lot of little things, so enjoy that your baby is finally sleeping, stop checking on her and get some sleep yourself.



answers from Phoenix on

My daughter will officially be 4 months old tomorrow. She has been sleeping in her own room for a little over a month now. Everyone says to dress her how I would be comfortable, but I run cold, and my fiance runs hot. So, we shut the vent in her room and keep her in long sleeves/long arm & long sleeves and under a blanket, which she always kicks off by the am. Her hands are sometimes a little bit cold, but mine get that way and its not too uncomfortable for me and she's not fussy about it.

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