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Tips for baby sleep on chilly nights

As the nights draw in and things get chillier, you might be wondering about keeping your baby warm enough at night. Being too cold is likely to cause unnecessary wakes, but overheating is dangerous - what’s a parent to do?


The key is to find what your own baby needs to feel cosy. Here are a few tricks that might help on cold nights.


  • Sleeping bags are great for all ages because babies and toddlers can kick off blankets or duvets and then wake because they are cold. They can’t kick off a sleeping bag! You can get sleeping bags suitable for newborns - just check that they meet the minimum weight stated on the packaging.


  • A room temperature of 16-18 degrees might feel chilly to us but it is actually optimal for inducing sleep. Think - cool room, cosy body. Dress young babies in one layer more that you would wear at night.


  • Babies' hands and feet are often cold so they aren’t a good indicator of how they are doing. Check their chest or back. If it is feeling warm and cosy, they are dressed well for the temperature.


  • It is very common for room temperature to drop during the night. Our core body temperature also drops at night so it’s not unusual for little ones to wake in the early morning (around 4am) because they are cold. If you think this is happening in your house, stave it off by popping on a pair of socks and an extra cellular blanket when they wake in the middle of the night, so they are warmer by 4am.


  • Consider adjusting the central heating to come on for an hour at 3am to take the edge off that chill.


  • You can also use a plug in radiator on a plug-in timer switch, which should be cheaper than setting the central heating to come on.


  • Your own bed is the warmest and cosiest place in the house! Lots of people find part-time bed sharing to be a useful tool; bringing baby into bed at some point in the night before the chilly early morning hours might buy you all more sleep. If you do consider bed sharing, be sure to follow safety guidance.



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So much of my work is about normalising the normal: helping parents develop more realistic expectations about what biologically normal infant sleep actually looks like. More often than not, a baby wak