Making sure your baby is the right temperature is a common concern for new parents. Although it’s important, there are simple things you can do to keep your little one comfortable:
Keep your baby’s room at the right temperature
It’s important to make sure that your baby’s room is at a suitable temperature; a room that is too hot may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Keep the room your baby sleeps in at 20 to 22 degrees, a wall thermometer can help you monitor and maintain the temperature of the room.
On very warm days keep the curtains drawn and the window open, cot bumpers can trap heat inside a baby’s cot so make sure you remove them. In really hot weather you may wish to place a fan in your baby’s room. Make sure this is not pointing directly at your baby in their cot but just cooling the air temperature around them. You may have your baby sleep in just a nappy or vest in very hot weather if you do check them and their room regularly to ensure they are not becoming too cold.
Check their bedding is right
A baby who is under a year old shouldn’t sleep under a blanket or duvet, instead, we would recommend a lightweight sleeping bag that is suitable for the time of year. This should be the right size for your baby, to prevent them from sliding down inside it. If your baby has a fever this means they need to sleep in a cooler bed with fewer layers, not a warmer one.
Taking your baby’s temperature
Gently touch your baby on their head, stomach or back, if they feel hotter to the touch than usual, are sweaty or clammy or have flushed cheeks then they may be showing signs of a fever. The only way to know for sure is to check their temperature with a digital thermometer.
Hold your baby on your knee and put the thermometer in their armpit, gently hold it in place and follow the manufacturers’ instructions to ensure you get an accurate reading.
If your baby does have a fever, then this may be a sign that they are trying to fight an infection. If this is the case then you can usually look after them at home, if you are breastfeeding make sure you feed them regularly or give them plenty of drinks to avoid them becoming dehydrated.
Always contact your doctor if your baby has a rash with a fever and if their temperature is very high. Some babies and young children may also develop a fever after a vaccination. This should go away by itself.