As a new parent, you’ll encounter no shortage of dilemmas. Should you use disposable diapers or do the environment a solid by opting for eco-friendly reusable options? How do you know when your baby is hungry, tired, in need of a change, or simply crying because he’s cranky? Is it okay to put blankets, pillows, and toys in his crib? When is it permissible (or wise) to start leaving him with a sitter? Should you switch to non-toxic, green cleaning solvents? What is the proper temperature for bathwater and bottles? Questions that you’ve never considered as an adult will soon take on extreme significance when it comes to the health and well-being of your infant, mainly because you are solely responsible for keeping this totally dependent little person safe, healthy, and happy. It’s a huge burden to bear, especially for the new parent that is learning it all on the fly. And while you can adjust the thermostat at any time for your own comfort, your baby can’t really tell you when he’s too cold or hot. So what is the proper temperature to keep your baby’s room at?
You might think that ideal room temperatures vary from person to person, but the truth is that on average, people are the most comfortable when the ambient temperature falls in a very small range of 68-72? Fahrenheit. Some people may like their indoor temperature a bit on the cooler side while others prefer the warmer end, but this range of a mere four degrees provides the perfect temperature for nearly any human being, and that includes your newborn. Of course, your baby’s nursery probably doesn’t have its own thermostat, so you’ll have to set the one for your household accordingly. But a good place to start is by placing a thermometer in your baby’s room to make sure that you’re maintaining the temperature you prefer.
But how do you know if your infant is getting too hot or too cold? You can gauge this to some extent by your own level of comfort. If you happen to feel too warm or cool in the room, there’s a good chance your newborn is having the same reaction. But make sure to take the amount of clothing you’re wearing into consideration. If, for example, you keep the temperature on the low side but then throw on a sweater and heavy socks, it’s important to realize that a thin onesie will not keep your baby as warm. That said, you’ll want to keep an eye on your child to make sure he’s not showing signs of overheating or getting the chills.
For example, if your baby appears flushed, damp, or outright sweaty, there’s a good chance you’ve got the thermostat set a bit too high for his taste. Or you may simply be bogging his bedding down with too many plush blankets. On the other hand, if his nose and extremities always seem cold and clammy, then you may want to bump up the temperature a bit. Although energy saving tips dictate that you keep your home at a set temperature rather than constantly fiddling with the thermostat, the health of your child is likely worth spending a few extra bucks every month on the energy bill. In time you’ll find the right setting to suit your child. Like every parent you’ll simply have to learn through trial and error. But having a small range to start with can get you on the right track.