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Will a baby wake if they are cold at night?

Tips for keeping baby warm at night in winter.

As winter approaches, one question that plagues new parents is, “Will a baby wake if cold at night?” The answer is yes. Babies are sensitive to temperature changes and can wake up if they feel too cold.

In this blog post, we look at reasons why your little one might wake during the night and provide tips on how to ensure your baby stays warm at night throughout the winter season.

Baby swaddled and sleeping

Why might babies wake up when cold?

Babies have a less developed thermoregulation system compared to adults. This means they cannot regulate their own body temperature as efficiently. When the temperature drops during the night, your baby may wake up because they’re cold and not comfortable enough to sleep.

Being cold can lead to frequent awakenings and a disrupted sleep cycle, so lets look at ways that we can ensure baby (and you!) gets a god night sleep.

To test and see whether your baby might be too cold, check this list:

1. Cold hands and feet: This is a common sign but not always an accurate indicator as babies often have cool limbs.

2. Back and tummy: Check these areas with your hand, if they feel cold then you may need to add an extra layer of clothing. If they’re sweaty, you may need to remove a layer.

3. Unsettled behaviour: If you’ve tried all the usual tricks to help baby get to sleep and they’re still waking, they may be cold.

Keeping baby warm at night in winter: Practical tips.

1. Dress them appropriately. Dressing your baby in layers is an effective way to keep them warm without overheating them. Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton and avoid bulky clothing that may cause them to overheat.

2. Use a sleeping bag. A wearable sleeping bag designed for babies can provide warmth without the risk of covering their face like traditional blankets.

3. Keep room temperature consistent. The recommended room temperature for a baby’s room is between 16-20 degrees. You might want to invest in a room thermometer to ensure you maintain this temperature range.

Avoiding overheating.

Whilst keeping your little one warm during the winter, it is equally crucial not to overheat them as it increases the risk of SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Overheating signs include sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash and rapid breathing.

To avoid overheating:

1. Don’t over-bundle: Stick to one more layer than you yourself would were comfortably.

2. Check regularly: Feel your child’s tummy or back of their neck to see if they feel too hot.

3. Keep face uncovered: Make sure blankets or other beddings don’t cover their face.

4. Always check the temperature of the room to ensure it stays at the right temperature for your baby. 

Remember - every child is unique. What might work for one child, might not work for another. Ensure to always follow the safe sleep guide provided by the Lullaby Trust:

Baby wearing Gummee mitts