The Right Baby Temperatures…
Can you believe how many million little decisions you have to make for your baby? Among them is deciding the safest and most comfortable temperatures that he experiences. Whether he’s sleeping, eating, or just enjoying a bath, it falls to you to regulate his temperature so that he’s as comfy, cozy, and safe as possible.
The ideal bath water temperature for your baby is thought to be somewhere between 95°F and 100°F. Water warmer than 105°F is considered to be too hot and cooler than 90°F, too cold. Remember though, babies do NOT like lukewarm water for their baths, so getting it right is important! Many water heaters are installed at 140°F to 150°F. At 140°F, it only takes 3 seconds for a child to get a third-degree burn. Pay a quick visit to your water heater and make sure that the upper temperature limit is set to no higher than 120°F. Also use a bath water thermometer to make doubly sure it’s not too hot.
A baby getting overheated is a risk factor for SIDS and if your baby gets too cold, he will likely get fussy, have trouble sleeping, and may have other medical problems, so the temperature of his nursery is also important to think about when you bring your new baby home. Most experts recommend that you:
*Keep his nursery at a temperature of between 68 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
*Don’t over-bundle your baby, instead dress him in one more layer than you would dress yourself by adding a lightweight, cotton swaddle (in the spring and summer) or a plush, thick one (in the fall and winter) to his onesie. After he’s no longer being swaddled because he can roll from his back to his front, in the cooler months dress him in a wearable blanket placed over his footed pajamas — but always make sure that your baby never seems overheated.
*His nursery might seem cold to you, but it’s important that it not get above 75 degrees, for his safety.
The thinking that you shouldn’t accustom your baby to something that he can’t have when he’s not at home is not the case with wipe warmers! We think it’s a must-have because your nursery temperature will be cold (see above) and babies really don’t like the wipes to be cold on their tushies. When you’re out and about with your baby, odds are your wipes won’t be quite as cold. We think it’s a luxury you should indulge in for the many, many, many diaper changes he’ll receive at home!
*If you’re combination method feeding, we suggest you invest in a bottle warmer for home to warm up your pumped breast milk (or supplemented formula), because the breast milk coming directly from you is warm too and your baby will prefer it. If you’re out at a restaurant, you can always ask the server for a small bowl of hot water (or a tea kettle of hot water and a bowl separately) and submerge the bottled milk in the bowl with the water for a couple of minutes to warm it up.
*If you’re exclusively formula feeding, we think you should always serve the formula at room temperature (keeping the nursery water out of the fridge), and then serve it colder when you’re out and about by storing it in a refrigerated, insulated bottle tote to keep it from souring. Bonus: when you switch to cold milk at one year, the transition will be seamless.