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How to Keep Your Baby Warm at Night During the Cold Winter Nights

In this post, you can find tips and products to help your baby sleep safely and keep them warm at night during the cold winter months.

Brrr. It’s getting so cold out. I am thinking of all of you new parents with a newborn right now. Keeping a baby warm during the cold winter days and nights can be quite the challenge.

Luckily, I had my son Lennox in the summer. So, by the time the cold weather came, he had already backed on a couple of pounds of baby chub to help keep him warm during the bone-chilling winter months.

Nevertheless, it was still a struggle to keep him warm and comfortable at night on colder nights.

After nights of fighting with space heaters to combat extremely cold temperatures, and and trials and errors with what different clothing to dress our baby in, we figured out a system that works.

That’s why today, I want to share five tips to help you keep your baby warm at night.

How to Keep Baby Warm At night

1. Practice Safe Sleeping Practices

The most important thing to remember when dressing your baby for nighttime sleep is to follow safe sleep guidelines.

Experts say that until a baby’s first year of life, “soft objects, loose bedding, or any objects that can increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation, or strangulation” should be kept out of the baby’s sleep area.

So even if you are tempted to add in an extra blanket, DON’T. Absolutely no loose blankets in the bed with baby. For your baby’s safety, it is essential to follow all of the safety protocols for infant sleep. You can find more in-depth information regarding infant safe sleeping practices here at Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Here are some important highlights:

  • Young babies should sleep on their back for every sleep
  • They should sleep on a firm sleep surface
  • Soft objects should not be placed in the crib because it increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
    • No pillows, quilts, sheepskin, or loose bedding (blankets, non-fitted sheets). These all pose a suffocation hazard.
    • Infant Sleep Clothing is preferred
    • Avoid the use of bumper pads and crib liners

So now that we have a basis for the safe sleep guidelines, let’s look at ways to keep your baby warm once cooler weather hits.

How to Keep Baby Warm At Night

2. Keep the temperature of the room between 65-70°

Our first winter month with Lennox was a struggle for Carlos and me. We lived on the bottom floor of an apartment complex, and let me tell you, there were lots of bone-shattering cold nights. Brr.

That’s why we ended up getting a rinky-dinky space heater, thinking that it would be a good choice to put in Lennox’s room to keep him warm.

However, that thing had a mind of its own. Sometimes we would look at the monitor, and it would have a red alert saying too hot, and at other times it was pushing into the low 60s.

I recommend that if you use a space heater, invest in a room thermometer to ensure your baby is sleeping at a comfortable temperature.

We only ended up using our space heater for a couple of days or so, during which sleep was not a thing.

How to Keep Baby Warm At Night

Why? Well, first starters, Lennox was an extremely sensitive sleeper until seven months old. Secondly, with the space heater, we constantly checked the room temperature to make sure Lennox was okay.

My advice is to ditch the space heater unless you invest in a nice one that maintains consistent heat and is safe for a nursery. 

Raisingthem.com has a whole article on safe space heaters and offers some great recommendations.’

Once we ditched the space heater, we monitored the central air in my apartment. I kept it a little higher, so that way during the nighttime, Lennox’s room would maintain a temperature of 65-70°, which is the recommended ideal room temperature for your baby’s room. [1]

Now that I live in a townhouse, it is harder to keep the upstairs heated. So to help direct heat to Lennox’s room, I close the vents to less-frequently used areas in the house.

How to Keep Baby Warm At Night

3. Keep a humidifier running.

Now, since you will be running your heat more often, it is a good idea to keeo a humidifier plugged in and running. This will prevent your baby from getting a common cold or drying out your baby’s skin.
Lennox has Eczema, and the dry air from the heat has always triggered it even more, so our humidifier is necessary.
We have two of these Vick’s Starry Night Cool Moisture Humidifiers. They are fantastic, and to this day, Lennox uses the stars that project from the humidifier as his night light.

4. Have the right fitted sheets

Since babies shouldn’t sleep with loose objects, investing in the perfect fitted sheets is vital.

An awesome mom in my mom group recommended these Soft Chenille Fitted Crib Sheets to me during Lennox’s first winter. To this day, we still put them on his toddler bed to keep him extra warm at night.

These soft chenille fitted crib sheets are soft, warm, and provide a layer of comfort to your infant’s sleep, all while following the safety protocol.

RelatedFuchsia Wild Flower Crib Sheets. The Softness Your Baby Deserves

5. Layers, Layers, Layers to provide extra warmth

If your baby is out of the swaddle, here are some great baby clothes options to layer your baby in to keep her warm at night and to aid comfortable sleeping.

You will want a light layer of clothing, such as a short sleeve onesie for your first layer of clothing.

If you are using a sleeveless sleep-sack, you can use a long-sleeved onesie to keep your baby’s arms warm.

Make sure to keep this first layer light. You don’t want your baby overheating either.

Then, add a pair of baby socks to your baby’s feet and some sleep mittens on those cold hands.

Lastly, you can add an additional layer of either of the following options to your baby’s sleepwear.

Swaddle Blankets

Swaddles are a safe option to use for newborns until 3 months of age.

Not only do they keep newborns warm, but they help calm their Moro reflex, which gives them the feeling of being startled.

Swaddles blankets will help your baby sleep longer, as well as provides a womb-like sensation.

The first time you use a swaddle on your squirmy baby, they might not like it, but once they get used to the sensation of being wrapped, it will be very soothing for them.

Muslin blankets are a great choice if you like making your own swaddle.

If you struggle with making your own swaddle (it’s not an easy task, I don’t blame you) then try these adjustable velcro swaddle blankets.

Sleep Sacks

Sleep sacks are like a wearable blanket that keeps your baby warm without posing a suffocation risk.

You stick your baby into the sleep sack like a dress and zip it up! It’s as easy as that!

Many long-sleeved sacks also have built-in mittens to keep the baby’s hands warm. Even better, they have zippers for easy diaper changes in the middle of the night.

Here are some great options for sleep sacks below:

Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit

This product is incredible. It serves as a transition from the swaddle to normal sleep. In addition, it provides an extra layer of warmth and establishes good sleeping habits. It’s like a baby sleeping bag!

Footed Pajamas

Footed pajamas are another great choice for keeping your baby warm, especially the fleece ones. Don’t forget to get ones that have zippers! Way easier to put on and off, and to change diapers in the middle of the night!

Well, I hope these tips and items help you. The Soft Chenille Fitted Crib Sheets are a must-have you need to get now!! I wish that I could sleep with sheets like this, but unfortunately, DH gets hot with regular sheets alone, so I am out of luck.

To wrap things up, here are some takeaway notes and extra tips:

  • When the colder weather hits, absolutely NO blankets in the crib with baby. Instead, dress baby in a number of layers with breathable fabrics or use one of the layering options listed above.
  • Keep a thermometer in your baby’s room to make sure the room stays at an ideal temperature of 65-70°.
  • If you bathe your baby at night, and if you baby has a lot of hair, make sure to dry hair. You don’t want your baby going to sleep with damp hair.-Keep a humidifier running to prevent your baby’s delicate skin from drying out from higher heat levels in the house.

Do you have more tips on how you keep your baby warm at night? Then share them with us in the comments below!

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Lisa

Wednesday 31st of March 2021

Hahahhaa I totally get you! I used to get cold pretty easily but then I've met my husband. He taught me to ventilate the room every evening and... sleep in the tent in winter! Amazing adventure. I also wanted our child to be resilient... We've been using sleep training pretty soon. It was this book: https://www.parental-love.com/shop/baby-sleep-training we were following since newborn and the main training at 4 months. Great stuff! Although at 3 months we took Mia for her first camping trip in a tent! Amazing! It was late fall and we've had a very warm swaddle prepared and she's been sleeping like an angel!

Bea

Monday 31st of January 2022

@Lisa, I also used parental-love HWL method and it is amazing how fast it works!

Ann H

Thursday 28th of January 2021

Thank for great tips! Although my baby is most comfortable at 72 degrees. Although maybe the warmer swaddle would work as well? Anyway, we're having this sleep training program to follow and it's been going great but I was obsessed if Nancy isn't cold. And in fact - I believe those 2 degrees make difference! Now, with this right temperature and this book - https://sleepingshouldbeeasy.com/newborn-fighting-sleep/ - she's a sleeping angel!

Ariana

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Great tips! We had that merlin sleep suit. We used sleep sacs prior but my daughter loved to escape so it was too dangerous!

Rebecca

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

I love using sleep sacks for my kiddos! I switch them up depending on the season. They're currently using the fleece sleep sacks from Halo. They even have ones with foot holes for older toddlers! Love them!

Jen Van Haitsma

Monday 6th of January 2020

Thanks for these tips! Safety is so important! I’m glad mine run hot like my husband lol