New parents get a lot of child-rearing advice from family and friends.
But when someone tells you to turn up the heat because your house is much too cold for an infant, should you listen?
Contrary to this advice, keeping babies warm doesn’t require a high heating bill.
“If the room temperature is comfortable for an adult it’s comfortable for a baby,” said Dr. Julia Kyle, a Marshfield Clinic pediatrician.
Healthy, full-term babies can regulate their body temperatures and are comfortable indoors between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit when dressed in light layers, she said. Talk to your pediatrician about specific recommendations for babies who are pre-term.
Follow these tips to keep your little one warm when temperatures dip.
Avoid using blankets
“Loose blankets in the crib increase the risk of suffocation,” Kyle said.
Dress infants in pajamas with feet or sleep sacks that won’t get tangled or cover their heads.
Don’t use a space heater to warm your little one’s room. Space heaters are fire hazards and can cause serious burns.
Choose layered clothing
Keep your baby comfortable as the temperature changes by using light layers of clothing.
Remove layers if your baby is too hot. An overheated infant may be flushed, warm to the touch, damp from sweat or breathing rapidly. Overheating puts babies at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Add layers and a light hat if your baby’s skin feels cool to the touch or her nose, fingertips or ears are pale or blue.
Dress your baby in one more layer than you’re wearing when you venture outdoors in cold weather. Don’t forget a hat, mittens and warm boots.