Babies eventually learn to regulate their body temperature, but it can be concerning to feel their cold little hands when they are small.
Since blankets aren’t allowed for small babies when they sleep, you need other ways to keep their hands warm at night.
To keep your baby’s hands warm at night, you have many options. Pajamas with mittens, swaddle blankets, sleep sacks, and crib placement are just a few. Choose a safe option so your baby’s sleep space stays protected but their hands stay warm.
Knowing why your child’s hands get cold and how to help them will give you peace of mind at naps and bedtimes.
Baby Has Cold Hands at Night
Your baby’s hands may seem colder at night when you are trying to put them down to sleep. This makes many parents worry about whether the baby will be okay throughout the night.
Why Does My Baby Have Cold Hands?
Your baby’s hands may be cold because it’s easier for heat to escape from extremities due to their exposure to the air and immature circulatory systems.
Though your child’s feet may be protected from the cold in a footed onesie, their hands will still be exposed.
Is It Okay That Baby’s Hands Are Cold at Night?
If your child’s hands are too cold at night, it could be a sign that they are too cold overall. It’s especially problematic if your child’s hands are turning colors or very pale because they are cold.
Baby’s Hands and Feet Feel Cold but Body Is Warm
If your child’s body is warm, then their hands and feet being cold may not be extremely problematic as long as you monitor the situation.
Hands and feet get cold faster because they are exposed more than the rest of your child’s body.
Do Baby’s Hands Need To Be Covered at Night?
Your baby’s hands don’t have to be covered at night. However, if you notice that your child is getting cold and is uncomfortable, it might be a good idea to dress them a little more warmly and find a way to cover their hands.
Should Babies Wear Mittens To Bed?
Your baby can wear mittens to bed, but they must be the right kind. You don’t want mittens that your baby can get off at night. Babies like to chew on their hands, and they could choke on a mitten that gets in their mouth.
There are mittens that are made to stay on your child’s hands (like these), and you need to ensure those are the ones you use.
Signs Baby Is Cold at Night
There are ways to know if your child is too cold at night. You need to know the signs.
- Your baby’s body is cold. Though hands and feet may get cold because they are exposed, your baby’s body should not get cold as easily. If your child’s chest or back is cold to the touch, they are too cold.
- Pale or blotchy skin is also a sign that your child is too cold. You may need a nightlight or other light source to check your child’s color when he is sleeping.
- If it’s hard to wake your baby from sleep, they may be too cold. If they wake often and are cranky, this may also be a sign that they are too cold to rest.
When To Be Concerned
A baby who is shivering, pale, and not breathing at a normal rate is too cold. You may notice your baby’s breath is slower and that they aren’t moving often.
How To Keep Baby’s Hands Warm at Night
If you know your baby’s hands are too cold at night, you have safe options to help. While you don’t want to add pillows or blankets to an infant’s bed, you can do other things to keep them warm.
Swaddling can ensure your baby’s hands stay warm and help him or her sleep better at night. You can use a swaddle blanket or a regular blanket to swaddle your baby.
You will place your child’s hands down and inside the swaddle blanket before tightening it, so it should keep your child’s hands warm and secure.
Swaddling is not a long-term solution, however. When your child is old enough to roll over, you must discontinue swaddling. For most babies, this is around the 2- or 3-month mark.
2. Sleep Sack
Though most sleep sacks are not designed to cover your child’s hands, they can be used to keep your child warmer overall. This one by Burt’s Bees is a favorite among parents.
Sleep sacks can usually be used until a child weighs 40 pounds. Since each child is different, this can be as early as 18 months or as late as 2 years old.
3. Baby Sleeper With Mittens
There are plenty of baby sleepers with built-in mittens so you don’t have to worry about your baby taking them off in their sleep. These keep your baby’s hands warm and ensure that your baby doesn’t scratch herself while resting.
4. Be Sure Baby Is Dressed Appropriately
Most parents dress their babies in one more layer of clothing than what they themselves are comfortable wearing, and this seems to work well.
You don’t want your baby to overheat, but you do want to make sure they are wearing enough to stay warm, especially in winter.
Don’t leave your child’s arms and legs exposed because they won’t have a blanket to pull over themselves.
5. Maintain Proper Room Temperature
The proper room temperature for a baby is usually between 68 and 72 degrees. Anything over 72 degrees Fahrenheit has been associated with an increased risk of SIDS and can cause your baby to overheat.
6. Move Crib Away From Drafts
Make sure to keep your baby’s crib away from fans, vents, and exterior walls. This will keep them warmer at night.
Covering Baby With Blanket at Night
Don’t cover your newborn with a blanket. In fact, you should keep blankets out of the crib for at least the first year.
Best Room Temperature for Baby
Though the American Academy of Pediatrics has never given an exact temperature that is best for babies, no higher than 72 degrees Fahrenheit is a good rule.
- Ideal Temperature for Baby Room in Winter – In winter, between 68-72℉ should work in your baby’s room.
- Ideal Temperature for Baby Room in Summer – The same ideal temperature (between 68-72℉) works in summer as well. You can run a fan to ensure the room doesn’t get too hot in the summer months.
Will Baby Cry if Too Cold at Night?
If your child gets extremely cold, she will probably cry. To determine if her cries are coming from cold, feel her stomach, face, and hands to determine how cold they are.
This will let you know if you need to adjust the temperature, dress your baby warmer, or swaddle them.
If My Baby’s Nose Is Cold, Is She Cold?
Your baby’s nose is exposed at all times, so it’s not always the best indicator that her entire body is cold. If her arms, chest, or back are cold, then she is probably too cold.
It’s important to dress your child properly for sleep and to keep their room at the right temperature. Just remember that the best indicator of a comfortable baby is not necessarily the temperature of their hands.
Kristy is the mother of four, including identical twins. With a background in education and research, she is constantly learning more about parenting and raising multiples. When she has spare time, she enjoys hiking into the woods with a great book to take a break.