Is 78 Degrees Too Hot For Baby To Sleep? (How To Check If Baby Is Overheating In Sleep & Ways To Prevent It)

The ideal room temperature recommended for babies is between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 to 22 degrees Celsius. Anything above that can become uncomfortable and too hot to handle for a baby. Since your baby won’t be able to verbally let you know their discomfort, you can look for signs like irritability, restlessness, and disturbance in sleep when they’re overheated. Keep a separate thermostat for the baby’s nursery to keep the temperature just right and ensure the room is ventilated. Keeping a fan on while the baby sleeps lowers the risk of SIDS by keeping the room ventilated.

SIDS is the leading cause of death in children between one month to one year of age in the United States.

As a leading cause, parents’ number one concern regarding their kids is ensuring they’re not too hot while sleeping.

As a new parent, the biggest fear is overdressing the baby, which can cause their body to overheat and lead to various complications.

Since newborn babies can’t speak, a parent always has to ensure they’re not adding many layers and that the nursery is maintained at the right temperature.

What’s the ideal room temperature for a baby?

When sleeping, our body temperature drops down slightly to induce sleep. This temperature again rises around 4 am, and the body prepares to wake up.

👉 Pediatricians recommend keeping the room temperature between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit, around 20-22 degrees Celsius. This seems like the ideal temperature for your baby to have a peaceful night’s sleep and not feel cold or hot while sleeping.

Keeping a room thermostat in your baby’s nursery is necessary. Don’t measure this temperature with a thermostat in the main part of the house.

While there’s a lot of fuss trying to find the ideal temperature for a baby, the basics lay in how the adult feels.

If you feel chilly, it’s cold for your baby too, and if you feel warm, it’s warm for your baby too.

However, we can’t always depend on this parameter, and it’s necessary to keep a thermostat to know the exact temperature in the nursery.

Is 78 degrees too hot for a baby to sleep?

Mom is holding and playing with her infant son before putting him down for naptime

The ideal temperature for your baby to sleep is between 68 to 72 degrees, and a temperature up to 75 degrees is also acceptable in hot climates. You have to ensure your baby is dressed appropriately to avoid overheating.

However, anything above 75 degrees will become unbearable for your baby, and they might start fussing about it.

But the best temperature for your family and baby may vary from another family. Give preference to the ideal temperature, but it’s not an absolute rule, and you may want to use it as a reference.

You may want to check and make sure if your baby is overheated or not. But how do you determine this?

How to check if a baby is overheating in sleep?

The room temperature and over-layering can cause the baby to overheat.

Overheating is one of the leading causes of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and parents should know the indicators of their baby feeling too hot.

  • Warm to touch
  • Flushed or red skin
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fast breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargic or unresponsive
  • Sweaty neck or damp hair
  • Heat rash
  • Restless and unable to sleep

Why maintaining the baby’s room temperature is important?

Mom is trying to comfort her newborn son who she is trying to put down for a nap

The reason why maintaining room temperature is a big deal is to prevent SIDS and to make sure the baby is getting a peaceful sleep.

Overheating is a major cause of SIDS, but others include sleeping on the stomach, environmental stresses, getting tangled in bedding, a minor illness, or a breathing obstruction.

Parents must pay attention to the room temperature and air circulation since babies can’t express their discomfort.

Also, infants aren’t great at regulating their core temperature.

A baby’s body’s temperature rises much faster than an adult’s, and they sweat less, which hinders their body from cooling down.

They’re also prone to be affected by heat-related illnesses because their sweat glands are still developing.

Their fragile body can develop a heat rash quickly or get a high fever and develop rapid breathing.

If a baby’s body temperature gets too hot, they could go into a deep sleep, and parents may find it difficult to wake them up.

How should I dress my baby for sleep?

Instead of buying a heavy jacket for winter or several thin tops and shorts for your baby, invest in layers of clothing.

The best way to dress your baby for any season and any time of the day is by adding an extra layer or removing it.

You must have heard that a general rule of thumb for dressing up your baby is by adding one more layer than you.

Breathable fabrics like a simple cotton onesie and a swaddle blanket are good for the baby in summer to sleep in, considering the ideal room temperature is maintained.

For winter months, you can go with an additional layer of a long-sleeved onesie under their sleeper. Don’t add loose blankets, as it has a chance of suffocating the baby.

Makes sure the swaddling cloth isn’t too large for its size to avoid entanglement. Once the baby learns how to turn over, stop using a swaddle, or it can be suffocating.

Dressing them up doesn’t have to be that different from your clothes.

How to prevent a baby from overheating?

Make sure the ideal room temperature is maintained. For summer, don’t place the baby directly under the fan or the air conditioner as you don’t want them in line of direct air.

Ensure there’s good ventilation and the room doesn’t feel suffocated. You should open the window for a while at least once a day.

While adults can wear scarves and hats during winter, it’s a health hazard for your baby. So avoid using a hat or a scarf and just focus on maintaining an ideal temperature.

You can add one more layer of clothing, but it should be thin. Don’t place heaters in the room; don’t cover your baby with blankets or quilts when sleeping.

Keeping your baby hydrated is vital. Babies don’t sweat, but they still could be overheated.

When breastfeeding a baby under 6 months of age, nurse often so they aren’t dehydrated.

If they’re over 6 months of age, also start giving them water with breastfeeding. We have another article regarding giving formula-fed babies water.


How can I tell if my baby is hot?

Since babies cannot convey when they feel heated, parents have other clues to look for and decide what to do next.

When a sleeping baby is feeling hot, they will be restless and unable to sleep. Although if they’re severely overheated, they might go into a deep sleep, and there’s a risk of SIDS.

To check if your baby is hot, place two fingers on the back of their neck and see if it’s warm or sweaty. Their ears could be red too.

You can remove their clothes to cool down the body and ensure their room has an ideal temperature. If you can, open the window for ventilation if the weather outside allows it.

Ensure they’re hydrated well enough; even a bath in normal water can help cool them down.

In the worst-case scenario, they could be vomiting, develop a fever, show a sudden change in mood, or become irritable and lethargic.

If the baby is unresponsive, call 911 immediately.

How do I know if my baby is cold?

Place your finger to check the back of your baby’s neck, ears, feet, and hands. If they have freezing hands and feet, they could be too cold.

Newborns don’t generate body heat in a cold environment, and they use oxygen and energy to generate heat when they get too cold.

They could have paler skin and often sneeze, get fussy, and become quiet. You can tell from your baby’s actions and behavior alone if they’re too cold; transferring them to a warmer room is better.

Don’t place them directly in front of a heater but make sure to layer them over what they’re wearing.

Feeding them can also help warm up their body from the inside out.

Should babies sleep with a fan on?

Ventilation can be really good for your baby and avoid SIDS risk. Running a fan in a baby’s room can help lower the risk of SIDS by 72 percent.

But don’t place the fan directly in front of the baby, as they shouldn’t be facing direct air. Place the fan slightly away from their crib and away from it.

A fan can help ventilate the room and maintain a cool temperature while eliminating the risk of suffocation.

To summarise

Overheating is one of the major concerns of parents when it comes to their baby.

Finding an ideal room temperature can be tricky but don’t depend on your thermostat in the main living area; instead, have a separate one for your baby’s nursery.

The ideal temperature is 72 degrees, but if it’s 78 degrees, it can become too hot for your baby to handle, and you risk overheating. Since babies can’t talk, it becomes tricky to tell if the temperature is right for them.

When they’re sleeping, keep the room at an ideal temperature and ventilated enough. If you think it’s hot, it’s probably warmer for your baby too!

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As a writer for 1happykiddo, Saumya wants to help new parents and older siblings help raise the newest member added to the family. Her parenting tips come from her experience of being 15 years older than her youngest sibling. When not writing, you can find her reading novels, traveling, and cooking nutritious meals.

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