How will I know if my baby is too hot or cold?
A sick or unwell baby is prone to having an unstable temperature or may drop their temperature, whilst a baby is born prematurely or low birth weight has very little fat, which enables them to control the rate at which they lose heat, leaving them susceptible to becoming cold very quickly.
By having skin to skin with your baby it will help you get used to feeling your baby’s normal temperature. Your baby’s normal central temperature range should be between 36.5 and 37.4 degrees.
If the back of their neck (or their tummy) feels nicely warm then they are find, if their skin feels damp they may be too hot. Do not worry if their hands or feet feel cool as this is quite normal and helps them to maintain a regular temperature.
It is not recommended to put a hat or hood on your baby when they are in bed as this can cause them to overheat.
It is better for your baby to be cool rather than hot, overheating is known to be a factor in cot death.
Signs alerting you to problems with temperature
- Mottled, pale or red
- Tired or irritable
- Increased oxygen requirements
- Apnoea (stop breathing)
- Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
- Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
- Feed intolerance
Newborns can’t regulate their temperature and are vulnerable to overheating. Don’t overdress your baby in bed
TOG guidance and ratings
A tog measurement is a European warmth rating and has nothing to do with weight; the higher the tog rating, the warmer the product.
Approximately 10 togs of clothing is recommended for 0-1 month old babies at a room temperature of 18 to 20 degrees celsius. The following data can be used as a guide to tog rating in baby clothing and bedding.
Swaddling can increase the tog rating by up to four times. Likewise a blanket folded in half doubles the tog rating.
General guide to tog ratings for clothing and bedding
|Clothing type||Tog rating|
Sleeping bags are usually given a tog rating according to the warmth they provide. Commercial sleeping bags have the following ratings
- 2.5 TOG – For use all year and for standard room temperatures of 16-20C
- 1.0 TOG – For use in warmer weather and in warmer rooms of 20-24C
- 0.5 TOG – For use in warmer weather and in warmer rooms of 24-27C