safe motherhood


Temperature changes

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) says that overheating can increase the risk of cot death. It’s important, therefore, to think about how much clothing and bedding your baby needs in order to keep him or her comfortable, but not too hot.

Babies need to have their clothing adjusted to suit the weather, or the level of heating in the house, just as children and adults do. If you have central heating, your baby will be happy with a vest and a stretchsuit while they are inside. When you put them down to sleep, give your baby as many blankets as you would want if you were sleeping in their bedroom. Don’t forget that a folded blanket counts as two.

Your baby doesn’t need a specially heated room to sleep in, so you don’t have to keep the central heating on all night. Most adults and babies sleep best in a cool room, with the temperature at about 18°C (65°F). In summer, your baby, like yourself, may not need any bedclothes at all, but simply a vest or lightweight sleepsuit.

Never use:

• A hot water bottle in your baby’s cot; or
• An electric blanket; or
• A duvet, quilt, baby nest, sheepskin or pillows.

Never place your baby:

• Next to a radiator; or
• Fire; or
• In direct sunshine.

If it’s cold outside, obviously wrap your baby up before taking him or her out. However, when you return home, or if you are travelling in a car, take off some of their clothing so they don’t get too hot.

Follow the same guidelines on overheating if your baby sleeps with you in your bed. See: ‘Sleeping: sleeping safely/cot death.’

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