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Room Temperature for Newborn Baby

(13 Posts)
guyshahar Mon 21-Sep-09 11:05:33


We have a 3-way disagreement in our house about what temperature is right for our living room when our newborn baby Daniel is there.

Most of the books say something like 16-21 degrees is the right range, but I am not comfortable in this. I will be cold when breastfeeding, and worry that I will be ill. I am from Russia, and it is normal for us to have the heating on much warmer than this, and all of our babies are fine - there is no SIDS in Russia! I have said that I can live with the heating on a minimum of 22 degrees now - maybe I will need it to be warmer in the winter.

My husband thinks that 20 degrees is enough. He thinks that Daniel is more likely to be ill not because of a cooler room, but if there is a big temperature difference between the room and outside - and when he undergoes big temperature changes. He has said that he will accept 22 degrees if I really need it, as it is important for me not to be stressed and ill, but still thinks that less is better for Daniel.

My mother is also staying with us from Russia for the first 6 months. She is very worried that Daniel will be cold and ill even at 22 degrees, and would like the temperature to be much hotter, like in Russia.

Yesterday, we went to a gathering of all the parents from our anti-natal classes. Many of them had similar problems, with the grandparents wanting much hotter rooms. But for them, the new parents agreed with each other, and do not put the temperature up. In our case, I think I agree more with my mother than with my husband (he is not very happy about this....).

Who is right, and what should the best temperature be for our baby?

Best Wishes


rubyslippers Mon 21-Sep-09 11:08:22

the books are right

if you are cold when breastfeeding then put a shawl or blanket round you (Breastfeeding always made me really warm though)

it is much easier to add an extra blanket to a baby, than try to cool an over heated one down

very young babies find it difficult to regluate their temperatures (unlike adults) hence the guidance to keep the room at between 16 & 21 degrees

BertieBotts Mon 21-Sep-09 14:07:31

I was told that if a baby is too cold, it will wake up and cry to let you know. Whereas if they are too hot, they will continue to sleep (as they are nice and cosy!) but with the danger of overheating which is thought to lead to SIDS. So letting them get too hot is more dangerous than letting them get too cold.

kathyis6incheshigh Mon 21-Sep-09 14:14:34

I'd be surprised if there really was no SIDS in Russia - are you sure it's not just diagnosed as something else?

I remember when ds was born visiting relatives would say put a hat on him, so I would do so for a quiet life, then if I forgot to take it off before the HV came I would get told off grin
It's part of having a new baby - you'll laugh about it in a year or so.

Your ds definitely won't be ill from the cold at 22 degrees, and the recommendations are all evidence-based, but it's probably not worth getting too wound up about getting the temperature exactly right - just have it as cool as you can feel comfortable in and keep a close eye on him to make sure he's not overheating.

LuluMamaaaaarrrrr Mon 21-Sep-09 14:19:06

you must not overheat the room and i do not believe there is no SIDS in russia

overheating is very dangerous for a new born, they cannot regulate their own temperatures

IIRC, i kept my babies rooms at 18 - 19 degrees and added anotehr blanket if needed.

the best way to check the temperature of a new born is to feel their chest , rather than hands or feet.

Gemzooks Mon 21-Sep-09 23:58:49

Oksana, I lived in Kazakhstan for 4 years and know the Russian culture. I also experienced great surprise from Russian friends that we had the room cold and also that we put the baby on the floor, (even on a special baby gym, Russian friends thought this was terrible)! (saying 'he has to be 'na rukach!' I felt sorry sometimes for really over-wrapped children playing outside wearing thick coats and leggings in 20 degrees just because it was still early spring.

I think you have to reach a compromise between your feelings and the way it's done in W/ Europe. I really think 20 degrees is more than warm enough, after all, the baby is not naked, he will be dressed.

Just feel the baby, if his chest is warm, he's ok. If his hands are a bit cold, that's OK. If you pick him up from bed and he's been sweating or feels damp, that's a real sign that he's too warm. he must never get sweaty. if he's too hot, he will also keep falling asleep and not take a good feed.

I definitely advise you to get a nice comfortable warm dressing gown for getting up to feed in the night. Mother is important too! the main thing is to learn to compromise on aspects of baby care with your husband, and let him get involved, this is really important, otherwise you end up doing all the work! good luck!

bevlin Tue 22-Sep-09 15:51:26

guyshahar. When my DS was 2 weeks old, we were both very tired and I went for a nap in our bedroom (around 7pm) and left DS with DH in the back room. I told DH that as the heating had just came on and the room was warming up, to leave the doors to the kitchen and hall open for some cooler air to circulate as DS was wrapped in a blanket in his moses basket. My usually sensible husband in his tired state, didn't listen and fell asleep on the sofa with doors shut. My DS stopped breathing. Luckily we had a moniter with a sensor pad attached which lay under the matress and sounded an alarm if baby didn't breath for more than 20 seconds. It is a tommy tipee monitor and costs the same as most. I just bought it being a new mum and wanting peace of mind - glad I did. When the alarm went off my DH jumped up and tried to wake him to no avail. He unwrapped him and gently shook him for a while before he took a breath. He was very pale with blueish lips and the heat had built up in the room so much my DH got a fright when he woke, he knew DS must have overheated. We spent a night in hospital with DS being monitered and docs agreed he must have overheated. Moral of the story is, he won't die from being cool - and he can let you know by crying.
Can you back up the information that SIDS doesn't exsist in Russia? Is there a marked difference ie - do all children get vaccinated, is there a huge difference in the way russian care for babies - just curious?

stillstanding Tue 22-Sep-09 15:54:10

I personally think that 16 is freezing and wouldnt do that. But I would stick to the upper limit of the recommended range. Above 20 is hardly too cold. Really is better to be safe than sorry.

LucyBlack Sat 24-Oct-09 08:45:08

Oksana,I have a 2 month old baby girl and I don't agree with keeping the temperature in the room low. Its always around 22 degrees when my baby is out of her basket playing. Also don't think that young babies should be on the floor because of the draught. Just do what you think it's best for your baby and when you feel it's too cold in the room for you, it's most likely too cold for your baby as well.
Don't listen to anybody and do what your instinct tells you and you will and your baby will be fine.
And note to bevlin, cold is very dangerous for newborns, it's not true that they can't die from it. And baby just doesn't stop breathing from being hot, but it can from the lack of oxygen...

ParanoidAtAllTimes Sat 24-Oct-09 17:17:54

We put ds to sleep in a grobag which comes with a handy thermometer and guide to how many layers to use in any temperature. We find 21-22 degrees is ideal, dressing ds in a babygrow and 1 tog grobag. As we live in a new flat it tends to be warm rather than cold and in the summer we couldn't get the room below 24 degrees. In this case we just ensured that ds (newborn at the time) wasn't wearing much. I've always erred on the side of less layers rather than more though, IYSWIM.

Bevlin- what a frightening experience, so glad your LO's ok.

tam1e Tue 17-Nov-09 18:18:18

just read these messages as I hve been worried that my newborn will get too cold at 21 degrees. My concern now is how many layers does he need at 21 degrees? I have swaddled him in a blanket but now I'm worried he will over heat!

nannynz Tue 17-Nov-09 18:54:17

I don't take the temp in any room and don't really recomend parents I work for to do it either. I do like the thermometer that comes with the grobags though as it gives you ideas of how many layers for baby to have.

I suggest that baby wears one more layer than what you are comfortable in. At the moment I have a sweater and three quarter top on and jeans, so a baby with me would wear a onesie, sleepsuit and cardigan. If I had swaddled them I would take off cardigan. If we went outside they would have all three of above and snowsuit and facing away from wind or pram cover. If we went into shop snowsuit would come off. Makes it so much easier and all the parents I've worked for like the simplicity.

PurpleCrazyHorse Tue 17-Nov-09 21:27:59

Our bedroom is about 21 degrees with the heating on and DD (3 months) is in a long sleeve vest, babygro and 3tog grobag. The grobag poppers down the front so I leave it unpoppered during the evening and do it up when the heating goes off and the room cools to 16-18 degrees. That way I can keep her cool and then warm without waking her up.

I do leave the bedroom window open during the day so it's well aired and not too stuffy. But I find it really tricky to work out how many layers she needs and will often feel the temperature of her tummy when I change her.

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