The nights are coming in fast, it’s becoming chillier outside day by day and your mind can only think of cozy jumpers, steaming mugs of coffee and plenty of exercises to keep warm.
Technically, this can only mean one thing – winter. And with it comes the challenges of keeping your baby’s room warm when you are within and without. Fortunately, baby shops are more than happy to ride with the tide by filling their display windows with dazzling winter baby clothes and accessories.
Nevertheless, the big question is; what do you really need for your baby’s room and when do you need it? Well, getting practical and actionable answers to these questions can be a daunting undertaking.
Fortunately, that’s where I come in! If you are fed up of wading through stacks of baby books that are providing little or no actionable information on how to keep the room warm and cozy or you are exhausted and simply can’t figure out how to go about it, I’ve got you covered.
In this post, I have discussed into details simple but effective ways to keep your baby’s room warm.
1. Heating the room It goes without saying that this is one of the most effective ways of maintaining cozy temperatures in your baby’s room. To achieve this, you will have to invest in an efficient AC system especially if you are looking to warm up your entire household.
Unfortunately, such a system is not an affordable or practical choice for many homes. However, this doesn’t imply that your baby’s room should not be heated. There are several other practical options such as panel heaters, space heaters and oil heaters which provide adequate background warmth at a lower cost. After installing any of these, take note that the World Health Organization recommends that homes with babies and small children should be heated to a minimum of 20.
2. Bedding layers Just like you would layer your body with warm clothes on cold days and nights, it is also important to layer your kid’s bedding. This will come in handy especially on those nights or days when the weather can’t make up its mind. To achieve this, spread a blanket at the bottom of the baby’s bed beyond their feet so that they or you can pull it up when it becomes chilly. Woolen underlays or polar fleece sheets are good pieces to regulate temperatures this way.
Duvets can also be a good option but they have the tendency to fall off as a result of subconscious movements. Luckily, you can keep them into place by strapping them with grips that go below the mattress. If these are not practical options for you, why not place a blanket or sheet across the bottom half of the baby’s bed and tuck it on both sides to keep the heat in.
3. Keep the cold out Fitting thermal curtains on external doors and windows will come in handy in keeping cold air at bay. If there are gaps in the room, weatherstrip them to stop draughts since these also have the capacity to bring cold air in. And if you can, insulating the entire room will produce meticulous results when it comes to keeping the room warm.
4. Take the chill off Placing a hot water bottle under the covers before bedtime will help a lot in warming the beddings before your baby goes to sleep. Just remember to cover it up and be very careful when emptying and refilling it and don’t leave it under the beddings or else it could be disastrous.
If you have access to an electric blanket, it will also do a perfect job in pre-warming the beddings before bedtime. You only need to turn it on 30 minutes before your baby goes to sleep and plug it off as soon as they go to sleep for extra safety. NB: electric blankets should only be used for babies who are toilet trained.
5. Embrace the open air If there is one thing I have learned since becoming a mother is that a baby’s room should never be hot. Even when the weather outside is chilly, temperatures within the house can still be high. Luckily, the simplest solution for a hot nursery is the one that we all turn to on a hot night – opening the windows.
This not only refreshes the room but also allows cooler air to circulate. However, the weather can change drastically. So if you are intending to leave the windows open ensure that you are in and out of the room regularly to ensure that it doesn’t become unbearable for the baby.
NB: this should only be done on hot days with close and regular supervision Is there anything I should not do? Well, the most important thing here is to avoid overheating since it can increase the risk associated with cot death or what is known as SIDS.
Besides this, here are a few of the don’ts when warming your baby’s room.
- Never dress a baby in a hat when going to bed or when indoors because babies lose excess heat through their heads. Covering the head could result in overheating which could be disastrous.
- Stay away from duvets because they can suffocate babies under one year. Since duvets are heavy, babies can’t move them away from their faces. Additionally, they can also cause overheating.
- Never leave a hot water bottle or electric blanket on while the baby is asleep. Though they can be very comforting to you on chilly nights, remember that unlike adults, babies can’t regulate their body temperatures until they are two years old when their ability to shiver and sweat is fully developed.
- Never leave your baby to sleep next to or near a radiator or any other heat source. This could result in nasty burns as well as overheating which can be mortal.
Bottom line Check your baby for signs of overheating After achieving a cozy room temperature, you will still need to closely monitor your baby to ensure that they are comfortable. Feel the baby’s abdomen, back and chest to track the temperatures. Be on the lookout for signs of overheating and if you notice any turn off air conditioners, remove some clothing and find other ways to bring the room temperatures down.
A baby that is overheating will be moist and damp as a result of sweat more so on the chest, back and the head. He/she might also have a rapid pulse, red ears or even develop a fever.