There are many reasons parents don’t use heaters. These reasons stem from concerns about the baby’s safety, health concerns like sinus problems, to the cost of running a heater. Whatever the reason you don’t have a heater available, your primary concern is likely to turn to your baby, asking yourself, ‘How do I keep baby warm at night?’
It might make you feel better in knowing that it’s not necessary to keep a heater in a baby’s room, according to Red Nose. They also point out that as long as you dress your baby properly, there shouldn’t be a concern.
But what does it mean for a baby to be ‘properly dressed?’ It means dressing to the room’s temperature by layering, ensuring you don’t cover their face and head. Babies control their temperature through their face and their head. They are also unable to regulate their body temperature as adults do. It’s harder for them to warm up or cool down, so it’s important to ensure baby is warm but not too warm to reduce the risk of overheating.
How to keep a baby warm with layering
When there’s no heater, and you’re dressing your baby for frigid temperatures ( 12°C and under), it’s essential to choose the right layers and follow the rule of layering – base layer, middle and top layer. For layering to be most effective, the fibres of the layers are important. Layers need to be breathable, safe and preferably natural.
Dressing your child in layers will keep them more comfortable than a single thick layer. Layers trap warm air and maintain heat. You can also remove a layer as needed.
Merino wool is the ideal fibre to use as all three layering options because it’s breathable, moisture wicking, reduces overheating and is warmer than any other fibre. The creases in Merino Wool fibres help create space in the fabric where tiny air pockets can be trapped, providing better insulation. Once your child starts to sweat in their sleep, the Merino fibre will also draw the moisture away from their skin and help them stay dry.
The Base Layer: This is the layer that touches your child’s skin and is arguably the most crucial layer out of the three. For this layer, Merino wool is the best choice. Merino wool will keep your child’s skin dry with its ability to wick moisture away from their skin, particularly if they sweat a lot at night. We recommend Merino wool sleepwear instead of cotton because cotton doesn’t retain heat; it holds onto moisture.
The Middle Layer: With the base layer doing its job at keeping the skin warm and dry, the middle layer’s job is to provide insulation. A slightly thicker fabric works with this layer.
The Top Layer: The top layer protects your child from temperature drops. For this layer, choose something warm but not too bulky. It has to be comfortable for your child to sleep in. Sleepwear, such as a sleeping bag, is easy to remove while your child is asleep and is a good option for the top layer.
If you have hard floors such as tiles or floorboards, particularly in the baby’s room, consider covering them with a rug. Rugs are more than just an attractive feature. They trap any cool air that might otherwise creep up into the nursery.
Windows and Doors
Let your house warm up on a sunny day, but don’t let that warmth escape through the windows! Close your curtains and consider a pelmet up the top to block the further loss of warm air. Get to those cold draughts, too. If there are any gaps around doors and windows in the nursery, take a quick trip to Bunnings and seal them up. Sealing gaps could be as simple as using a door snake, door strips, seals, or caulking. If you’re renting, check with your landlord first!
Crazy as it might sound, but if you’re looking for solutions on how to stay warm without a heater, fans can help. Switch your fans to reverse to make the fan turn anti-clockwise. Because warm air rises, this reverse direction pushes the warm air down to the floor. Using fans is an excellent option to move warm air through the house if you have only one heating source.
When there’s no heater about, it’s our first instinct to bundle up our babies and do what we can to keep them warm. Keeping a baby warm at night need not require layer upon layer or heat packs. The answer to how to keep a baby warm at night without a heater is Merino Wool. You’ll save on electricity, too!