Having a newborn is the most challenging and exciting time of your life. On one hand you’re stoked because your precious little baby has finally arrived. But on the other hand, now you are in charge of taking care of them for a really long time. Congratulations! This can be very overwhelming and pressuring for parents. And after a while everything becomes a dilemma. How do we get the baby to fall asleep? How often should they sleep? What should they wear while they are sleeping? You’ve probably heard a million different accounts as all babies are different and what works for someone else’s infant may not work for your own. But there are some general guidelines that you can follow in order to keep your child safe and warm while they are asleep. Here are a couple of ways to keep your baby covered at night without causing them any discomfort.
1. Choose Appropriate Layers
Dress your baby up in one layer of clothing. We know you might think that this won’t be enough to keep them warm, but you’d be surprised. Babies tend to overheat rather quickly so it’s better to dress them lightly. Choose just 1 layer of clothing to dress your baby in, such as a 1-piece sleeping suit or a pair of pajamas. It’s also best to opt for a material that is more breathable in nature like cotton, linen or wool. You can do this by checking the label of the clothing item to determine the fabric before you buy it. If it is a cool night, instead of putting your baby in a sweater, choose a slightly thicker fabric onesie like merino wool.
2. Place Your Baby In A Swaddle If They Wiggle Around Too Much
Babies move around in their sleep just like adults do. The only problem with them is that they might unintentionally hurt themselves or wake themselves up due to uncontrolled movements. And we all know that a crying baby in the middle of the night is a parent’s worst nightmare. Swaddling your baby can help prevent these random midnight wake up calls and can actually help put your baby to sleep faster as it calms them down. In addition to all that, they can keep your baby warmer. Whilst you shouldn’t place regular blankets over a newborn, it is fine to wrap them in a swaddle blanket, as this can’t end up over their face. You can use a piece of cloth that is big enough to wrap your baby in or buy a swaddle blanket from the store. This is a game changer!
3. Avoid Quilts, Duvets, Blankets And Pillows In The Cradle
All of these things may make your baby’s crib look aesthetically pleasing but they are not to be used for your baby. It’s only natural to want to tuck your baby into bed and cover them up with cozy blankets and soft sheets but they have the potential to suffocate your baby during the night. As a result, it is best to get rid of these bedding items before your child is laid down to sleep in their cradle. Instead, rely on your baby’s clothing and swaddle to keep them warm and comfortable throughout the night. You can slowly introduce a blanket or a pillow when your child is a toddler, that is, upon reaching 2 years of age.
4. Use A Baby Sleeping Bag
Okay now let’s consider that it really is too cold to let your child sleep in only one layer and that they have crossed the swaddling phase, now what? There is no reason to fear when the baby sleeping bag is here. All you need to do is simply place your baby inside the sleeping bag and position their arms inside the armholes. Then you just do up the buttons or the zip. Easy! You must make sure however, to choose a sleeping bag specifically made for babies in order to keep your newborn safe in bed instead of opting for a child size or adult size sleeping bag. If done well, the sleeping bag can also encourage uninterrupted sleep which is a major bonus.
5. Tuck The Sheets In Firmly
This may sound obvious but make sure to use a fitted sheet and tuck them in firmly so that your baby doesn’t get a hold of them during the night. If loosened, they can pose a choking hazard. Also don’t use sheets as a top sheet as this has been correlated with an increase in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (1).
Not everything that has to do with your baby has to be complicated. Sometimes all your baby needs is a cute onesie and some cuddles to drift off to sleep. We hope this article helps you decide what to pick out for your baby during the night. Happy parenting!