Protecting Baby From Overheating During Sleep

Babies control their temperature predominantly through the face and head. Sleeping baby on the back with the head and face uncovered is the best way to protect baby from overheating.

It is not necessary to monitor the room temperature or to leave the heating or cooling on all night, as long as the baby is dressed appropriately for the room temperature: Dress baby as you would dress yourself – comfortably warm, not hot or cold. A good way to check baby’s temperature is to feel the baby’s back or tummy, which should feel warm (don’t worry if baby’s hands and feet feel cool, this is normal).

A good way to avoid face covering is to use a safe baby sleeping bag (one with fitted neck, armholes or sleeves and no hood). If using bedclothes rather than a sleeping bag, it is the best to use layers of lightweight blankets that can be added or removed easily according to the room temperature and which can be firmly tucked in. The bed should always be made up so that the baby is at the foot of the cot so the blanket can only rise as far as baby’s chest.

Remove baby’s bonnet, beanie or hat as soon as you go indoors or enter a warm car, bus or train, even if it means waking the baby.

  • Never use electric blankets, wheat bags, heat packs or hot water bottles for babies
  • Never leave baby in a car to sleep while unsupervised


Last modified: 9/11/16