5 May 2022 | 4 min Read
Author | 216 Articles
When a baby is born, the skin colour is dark red to purple. The colour changes to red as the baby begins to breathe air. The redness usually begins to fade on the first day. A baby’s hands and feet might stay bluish in colour for several days and this is a normal response to a baby’s immature blood circulation. However, blue colouring of other parts of the body is not normal.
The skin of the newborn depends on the length of the pregnancy. Premature infants have thin and transparent skin. Whereas, the skin of a full-term infant is thicker.
The newborn’s skin may also be covered with fine hair, especially in preterm babies. This hair is called lanugo and should disappear within the first few weeks. Some newborns are born with skin that is cracking, blotchy, or peeling. But, this improves over time. All these conditions make it essential to maintain the right temperature for babies.
Keeping your baby’s room cool and comfortable is one of the ways to maintain a safe environment. It is recommended to maintain the temperature of the room the baby sleeps in between 68 degrees to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees to 22.2 degrees Celsius).
Babies are more sensitive to changes in room temperature because they’re small and their bodies are still growing. Around 11 weeks, their bodies start to regulate their temperature at night just like adults.
Babies reach a minimum core body temperature of 97.5 degrees Fahrenheit within four hours of bedtime.
If your room doesn’t have a thermostat, you can monitor the temperature in your baby’s room with an indoor thermometer.
Yes, your room temperature can change your baby’s skin colour.
Those thighs might be chubby, but the skin is ultra-thin. In fact, you can see most of your baby’s blood vessels underneath.
If the little one is exposed to higher temperature, the skin will turn pink and mottled (spots of colors). On the contrary, when your baby feels cold, her/his feet and hands might actually turn blue.
Getting too warm or too cold can not only change the baby’s skin tone to a darker complexion but also puts them at an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Overcooling and overheating can lead to SIDS. It can impact the health and well being of infants. Hence, it is important for parents to continue to monitor, touch and feel their baby to ensure the baby is neither too hot nor too cold.
Although children are at the risk of SIDS throughout their toddler years, the highest risk is within the first six months of life.
When the temperature outside is warm, the little one doesn’t need to wear as much clothing. You can consider using a fan in their room to circulate the air. Studies have shown that using a fan in your baby’s room instead of an air conditioner can reduce the risk of SIDS.
Dr. Pooja Marathe says, “Since the baby’s body is still growing, his/her body is more sensitive to changes in room temperature. Genetics determine the amount of melanin in your baby’s skin. Melanin is the pigmentation that is responsible for the skin colour. The more melanin your baby’s skin has, the darker his/ her complexion will be. Lower room temperature affects the melanin that protects the little one’s skin from the harmful rays of the sun. These rays cause sunburns and even skin cancer.”
According to the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), you should maintain your baby’s room at lower temperatures and avoid overdressing them when putting them to bed. One of the foolproof ways to check for comfort is to feel your own self.
If you feel too cold in your baby’s room, there are chances that the little one might be feeling cold, too. You can opt for minimal bedding in their crib, and consider using a lightweight sleep sack to keep them comfortable. It is advisable not to use hot water bottles or electric blankets in your baby’s crib.
DISCLAIMER: We have taken steps to check the accuracy of information & practices shared above; however, it is not a replacement for a doctor’s opinion. Please check with either your doctor, or an expert, before trying any suggestion, practice, or medication mentioned here.