Discover How to Keep Baby Warm in Crib and What to Avoid
Does your baby cry each time you attempt to put him in the crib? When I had my first born child, one of the top purchases I made was the crib. I needed to make sure that my baby would have a comfortable place to sleep in peacefully. However, during the first week, I was caught in a huge dilemma when my son cried every time he was placed in his crib. It even came to a point when I questioned the quality of the crib I bought.
Was it causing discomfort to my baby? Was it not worth its value? Did it deliver false claims to lure customers like me to purchase it? But then, after talking to other moms and reading forums on the web, I discovered the problem was not the crib per se, but it was the surrounding temperature.
This problem is worse during the cold season, and you cannot help but wonder how to keep baby warm in a crib.
Contributing Factors to the Cold Temperature in the Crib
My first born child used to sleep in bed with us. Although his crib is next to our bed, it made no difference at all. When he slept in his crib, he had a blanket that covered his body to keep him warm. On the contrary, when he was in our bed, he slept soundly under the blanket while receiving heat from my body.
One time, I let my baby sleep in the crib for 2 hours. When he woke up to breastfeed, his hands and nose were cold. So, I examined every corner of the room to determine what contributed to the cold sensation in some areas of my baby’s body.
Extremely cold room temperature
One of the most important things to do to secure your baby’s comfort is to check the temperature in his room. Some say babies can only have a safe and sound sleep when the room temperature is kept between 16ᵒ and 20ᵒ C. But in my experience, I’d say it is solely reliant on you and your baby and the kind of blankets you use.
Thin layers of clothing
If you are someone who puts your baby in a sleep sack at night, it’s time to re-think. Before putting your baby in a sleep sack, did you check the room temperature? The thing is, never let your baby wear a short-sleeved onesie in a room with a temperature below 14ᵒ C.
How to Keep Baby Warm in a Crib
So, let’s get straight now to the solutions on how to keep baby warm in a crib. First of all, it is a good idea to ensure your baby’s comfort while sleeping. However, let us not forget to take into account our baby’s safety too. Consider the following questions:
- Is the sleeping surface hot/cold?
- What is your baby’s body temperature?
- What is your baby’s favorite sleeping position?
Body temperatures, sleeping surfaces, and the baby’s positions while sleeping have been associated with SIDS or the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Therefore, it is essential to have the right knowledge about the ideal sleeping practices, such as keeping the baby warm to avoid SIDS.
Arrange the baby’s room so that it promotes safety and warmth
As we all know, babies are incapable of regulating their own temperatures. So, they are usually exposed to overheating come summer season or catching colds come wintertime. Hence, it is important to know the best way to regulate the nursery room’s temperature so that your baby can sleep soundly.
What is the temperature in the nursery room? Find it out
The ideal temperature for your baby’s room is between 16ᵒ and 20ᵒ C. To some mothers, this temperature can be quite chilly. Nonetheless, it has been proven safe and effective in providing comfort to your sleeping baby. If you are tempted to swaddle your infant in blankets, increase the thermostat. Having a cooler room is more beneficial compared to a warmer room.
Planning is vital to every endeavor. Use a thermometer to get the temperature of the nursery room. There are different types of thermometers available in the market. They are multi-functional. Some thermometers change color when the room is extremely hot, or extremely cold.
Regulate the heater
To keep your baby’s room warm and safe, regulate the heater now and then. Turn the heater on and make sure it only emits gentle hit. Do not cover your child in a layer of blankets because this can be risky, particularly when it covers their face. As an alternative, you can make use of a sleeping bag or thicker layers of blankets. Avoid putting an electric blanket or a hot water bottle in the crib.
If your baby’s legs and hands feel cold, do not worry. Simply make sure that their heads and bodies are warm. Is there any discoloration on his hands and feet? That is a sign that your baby feels cold.
Welcome the open air or use a fan or an AC
I used to dislike opening the windows to welcome the open air. But with time, I realized the significance of an open air in regulating the temperature of a room. An open air allows the cooler air to flow into the room. Moreover, it refreshes the air we breathed in.
A fan or an AC can also keep the room temperature cool. A fan can reduce the risk of SIDS by 72% while an AC can improve the quality of air so long as it is constantly regulated and maintained. In addition, ACs can produce repetitive noises which can aid in putting the baby to sleep.
When you choose to have a fan or an AC in your baby’s room, position the crib in a good location. The crib must be positioned in such a way that it receives the right temperature. It will also help to consider the factors that impact the room temperature, particularly when you place furniture inside.
Make sure that the crib is far from the air vents, windows, heaters, and fans so that the baby is not directly positioned in the hot or cool air. Positioning the baby away from the windows will prevent untoward accidents from happening. When the wind blows the curtain cords, and the baby is positioned near the window, this has the potential of putting the babies in danger of strangulation.
Purchase a crib that has CPC certification
You might wonder what a certified crib is. A certified crib is one that has a Children’s Product Certificate (CPC). This kind of crib follows the standards of CPC. It does not pose dangers to the baby, and the frameworks are carefully structured. The bars must neither too wide nor too narrow, and the crib must be free from dangling objects that can cause choking or strangulation hazards.
Go ahead and press down the crib’s surface. Make sure that the sleeping surface is firm or stable enough to support your baby’s back. It is ideal to place the baby in a crib rather than let him sleep in a bed with you as this can increase the risk of overheating and smothering.
Purchase a firm mattress
Now that you have your certified crib, the next thing that you want to purchase is a firm mattress. Make sure that the mattress you plan to buy from the store is not too plush because this kind of mattress is usually made of soft materials. Mattresses that are too soft can cause smothering.
Why choose a firm mattress? Ideally, a firm mattress can support your baby’s back during sleep thereby decreasing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Your baby may want to sleep on her tummy once she learns how to roll over.
The baby can be kept warm on the firm mattress through the use of a tight flannel sheet. In this case, the sheet must not be bunched up because this can cover the mouth and nose of the baby, thus increasing the danger of suffocation.
Consider warming up the crib using a heating pad or a hot water bottle.
Warming up the crib with a heating pad or a hot water bottle is essential in keeping baby warm in a crib. Preheating is great particularly when the house is cold. Make the baby’s room warm enough to give your baby a comfortable sleeping space. When the room is warm, you can let your baby wear lightweight pajamas. In this situation, heavy blankets are no longer necessary.
Before putting the baby in his crib, use an electric blanket or a hot water bottle and place it on the mattress for a short period. Make sure that you remove the electric blanket or hot water bottle from the crib before putting down the baby to avoid burns or overheating. Remember, babies are incapable of regulating their own temperature; hence, they do not know when it is too hot or too cold. Never utilize loose blankets as they can cause SIDS.
Other Ways in Keeping Baby Safe and Warm
Having considered the crib, it is time to think of other ways to ensure your baby’s safety and comfort. Here are other ways you can implement to make sure your baby is warm and safe.
Let your baby wear pajamas
Pajamas are designed to keep babies warm and comfortable at night. If the nursery room’s temperature is slightly elevated, let your babies wear light clothes. If it is a bit cold, you may opt for onesies or lightweight pajamas which cover the entire body. Avoid putting several layers of clothing on your baby to prevent SIDS.
If you intend to swaddle your baby, let him wear onesies to avoid the risk of overheating. Swaddling is a great way to maintain your baby’s body heat and enables him to sleep on her back comfortably. Swaddling blankets come in various styles. There are swaddling blankets which are light-weight and those that have easy-to-use closures.
How to Swaddle:
Fold the blanket diagonally, forming a triangular shape.
Position the baby at the center of the triangle, feet directed at the bottom
Grab one side of the blanket and place it over your baby’s chest. Make sure your baby’s arms are free for sucking.
Grab the bottom of the blanket and flip it over your baby’s feet, placing it on the chest.
Get hold of the other corner and place it over the chest to wrap the baby securely. Now that you have swaddled your baby, put the baby in his crib, with his back flat. You need to be careful with your baby’s position because incorrect positioning can increase the possible occurrence of SIDS.
The supine position is an ideal position for your baby. Never let the baby sleep in a prone position or on his stomach because this can increase the risk of suffocation or choke on his bedding and clothing.
Free up baby’s crib from clutter
Always make sure your baby’s crib is organized and clean. It must be free from clutter. Never use any loose materials or blankets that can cause suffocation. Keep baby warm in crib using a lightweight blanket. Tuck the blanket into the mattress securely. Loose blankets and toys can cause smothering and increase the risk of SIDS. So, always keep these objects away from the crib. Let your baby sleep on the mattress without any pillows to avoid smothering.
Take extra caution not to overheat your baby
As mentioned earlier, babies do not have the ability to determine the temperature. Hence, as parents, it is our duty to look after our child and constantly monitor them when they are asleep. When the room is too warm, this can lead to overheating. When the baby is overheated, it can cause SIDS or dehydration because of too much sweating.
Monitor the nursery room’s temperature to ensure it does not reach 100 °F (37.7 °C). Check your baby for any indications of overheating, including sweat in his hairline or chest. Avoid covering your baby’s face with an over-bundle or blanket. Instead, wrap or cloth the baby with one layer of clothing. On warm seasons, let your baby sleep in his diaper or a light onesie.
Your baby’s crib must be a haven for him, providing comfort and security whenever he sleeps. As parents, we must be mindful regarding securing our child’s nursery room or sleeping space. Check the temperature, organize the things in the room, choose the right clothing, and most importantly, monitor your baby while he sleeps.
There are a whole bunch of other ideas on how to keep baby warm in a crib. Kindly share yours.