Helping your baby to maintain a healthy body temperature, by monitoring room temperatures, is extremely important, particularly in the first weeks of their lives. This is because, unlike ours, their bodies do not have the ability to thermoregulate. Because they are not able to speak, it is also important to protect your baby by monitoring not just room temperatures within your home but also the temperatures of the milk in their bottle feeds, baby food and bath water, to prevent scalding.
What is thermoregulation?
Thermoregulation refers to the body’s ability to maintain its temperature. It is an essential mechanism that helps us to survive and withstand variations in environmental temperatures. It means that we are able to maintain a stable internal temperature even when external temperatures are very warm, for example on the beach during the height of summer, or very cold, like a Boxing Day ‘dip’ in the sea, at the height of winter.
Why is monitoring temperature important for your baby?
Babies start to develop the ability to thermoregulate from around 11 weeks old. With overheating being a risk factor in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) for infants under 6 months old however, it’s important to continue to monitor temperatures and ensure that your baby is not too hot when they are sleeping.
Just like regular nappy checking, checking the temperature of your baby’s bedroom, bath water, bottles and solid food to make sure that they are not too hot or cold helps prevent any discomfort or nasty burns.
Babies under 3 months old naturally have colder feet and hands because they are not moving around as much. When checking by touch whether your baby is too warm you should feel the back of your baby’s neck, rather than their hands and feet. A baby who is too hot may also appear flushed in the face and irritable.
Baby’s room temperature
Making sure that your baby’s room is comfortable but not too warm is key to helping them to maintain a good body temperature. This is especially important while they are sleeping. One of the best ways to determine whether the room is too hot or cold is to check how you feel in the room – do you feel too cold or too hot? If you’re comfortable, which for most of us is at around 20-22 degrees Celsius, then chances are that your baby will be too.
Because your baby is not as good at regulating their body temperature as you are and can’t tell you how they are feeling, it’s important not to wrap them up in too many layers at bedtime. Keeping your baby warm but with their arms free in a 100% cotton Quilted Sleeping Bag on cooler nights will stop them getting cold, keeping them cosy all night long. Suitable for use from 6-18 months it also provides easy access via a side zip for those late-night nappy changes. Nuby baby sleeping bags are also available in a cute star design.
In the early weeks of your baby’s life, or if you are practicing attachment parenting, you may want to keep them close to you. The Nuby Sleep by Me Crib has a zipped side-panel design. This means that you can keep your baby close enough to touch – to check their temperature or for easy nighttime feeding, without having them sleeping in your bed where they can easily overheat. The mesh sides also promote air flow and enable you to see your baby while they are sleeping, even when you are lying down.
Baby’s Bath Temperature
Keep bath time fun by making sure that your baby’s bath water is at the perfect temperature. Use the Nuby Penguin Bath Thermometer to check that the water is not too hot and, to keep an eye on the temperature dropping, so that your baby doesn’t become uncomfortable as the water cools.
We’ve pulled together some further tips for bathing your baby as well as advice on the importance of a bath, book, bed routine and how to establish one to help you maintain a relaxing bedtime routine with your baby as they grow into a toddler and beyond.
Baby’s bottle and food temperature
When heating your baby’s milk, it’s important to ensure that it is neither too hot nor too cold. By using the Nuby RapidCool formula feed maker you can ensure that your baby always has a fresh, safe formula bottle, perfectly prepared to the correct temperature in minutes whether wherever you are.
The electric Nuby Bottle & Food Warmer will heat bottles of formula or breast milk and small jars of baby food in just 3 minutes. You should always allow the bottle or food to cool down and check the temperature before feeding your baby. We have prepared a guide tosterilising baby bottles as well as advice on how to make up baby bottles to help you.