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How mothers keep their babies warm.
  1. C J Bacon,
  2. S A Bell,
  3. E E Clulow,
  4. A B Beattie
  1. Department of Child Health, Medical School, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.


    Details of room temperature, clothing, and bedding used by night and by day and in winter and in summer were recorded for 649 babies aged 8 to 26 weeks. Room temperature at night was significantly related to outside temperature and duration of heating. Total insulation was significantly related to outside temperature and to minimum room temperature, but there was wide variation in insulation at the same room temperature. High levels of insulation for a given room temperature were found particularly at night and in winter, and were associated with the use of thick or doubled duvets and with swaddling. At least half the babies threw off some or all of their bedding at night, and at least a quarter sweated. Younger mothers and mothers in the lower social groups put more bedclothes over their babies, and the latter also kept their rooms warmer. Many mothers kept their babies warmer during infections.

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