How should you dress your baby to sleep? Although it may seem like an easy question, new parents know that even the most basic infant questions can have potentially dangerous consequences. (Who among us hasn’t googled every ingredient in every diaper cream?
Even something as simple as choosing PJs to wear with your tiny peanut can seem daunting when you’re a new parent and exhausted. We’re here to take the stress out of this decision with some basic tips and guidelines. We wish you and your baby a peaceful and restful night.
These are the basic rules.
You may have heard of the rule of thumb when dressing your baby for bed: Add one layer to their nightwear. This is logical since a baby shouldn’t sleep without a blanket or sheet. A two-piece cotton PJ set or footed onesie and a muslin wrap should be sufficient.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. This generalization will not apply to your baby’s bedroom environment. You should set the ideal room temperature between 68 and 72 degrees F. If your home is too hot or cold, add or remove a layer.
It is better to have your baby slightly less dressed than excessively. Although older generations may be more inclined to bundle their children in layers, overheating can pose a serious risk. Trusted Source. This danger is most apparent in the first 6 months, but it can also be a problem for toddlers.
You can feel more confident about your nightly pajama-picking process by using an indoor or home thermostat. You’ll also learn to trust your instincts and use common sense. You can feel comfortable in your cotton jammies, and your baby will, too.
To swaddle, or not to?
Swaddling is a good choice for newborns. Babies can feel secure and calm when they are wrapped in a snug bundling method. You can choose between cotton and muslin, which are both lightweight and breathable. They also offer flexibility for wrapping and tucking.
Parents who aren’t confident in their baby-burritoing skills may choose a swaddle bag or suit with Velcro and zipper “cheats.” (No, you’re not failing as parents if you can’t ninja-swaddle your baby like a maternity nurse).
It’s important to note that the swaddle should be removed once your baby begins to roll over. The baby can move to a wearable blanket or sleep slack. These would be great alternatives if your baby didn’t like the swaddle right away.
You can use swaddling or sleep sacks if neither of these options works for you. To increase warmth, choose footed sleepwear and slightly warmer fabrics.
Here are some examples of suitable sleepwear
If you are the type of person who likes to have a clear example, the following suggestions will help you with warm or cool nights.
Summer nights are a great time to lighten up.
Warm nights are best for keeping it light and breezy. A basic T-shirt or bodysuit made of cotton, organic cotton or short-sleeve cotton is fine.
If it is particularly hot, a bodysuit or tee can be worn by itself. If you have an air conditioner running, cotton long-sleeve pajamas can be worn with your footies.
Get ready for the winter chill
Make sure your child is prepared for winter with the right gear. You can choose to wear fleece pajamas, a microfleece swaddle, or a sleep sack instead of standard cotton jammies. Don’t forget to remove any blankets.
What about a hat?
Keep the accessories handy for your Instagram photoshoots. We love those adorable knit hospital caps, but they are not meant for sleeping once you’re off the maternity floor.
Avoid all loose articles. A hat can slip off your baby’s face and cover their nose, preventing them from breathing. A baby’s body heat is released through their newborn noggin. Therefore, a hat could cause overheating.
Keep it snug.
Starting at 9 months, some brands start to offer flame-resistant pajamas. These pajamas are made from materials that have been chemically treated in order to reduce the chance of them catching on fire.
Some pediatricians are concerned about the possible health risks of these chemicals. You can also opt for PJs made of cotton or natural-fiber material that are “snug fitting.” These PJs are not flame retardant and are designed to fit close to your body to reduce flammability.
Snug PJs are better than loose clothes or materials as they can catch on and cover a baby’s face while they sleep.
Functionality is more important than fashion.
Another thing to remember: convenience. In the beginning stages of infanthood, you will likely need to do a few diaper changes every night. It’s not fun to fiddle with complicated buttons at 3 AM. Strategically placed zippers and snaps can help make these diaper changes easier.
Also, save the fancy ensembles for the daytime.
How can you tell if your baby feels comfortable?
It can seem like babies don’t speak, so it’s difficult to understand their every cry and coo. Sometimes, we do it right. Sometimes, not so much. Sometimes, not so much. However, parents learn quickly to recognize their baby’s cues as clues to help them make informed decisions.
Your nugget may act disoriented even after being fed and changed. There are other physical signs you should look out for.
A baby may be overheating if they have rapid breathing, sweaty skin, dry hair, rash and red cheeks. Because their tiny circulatory system continues to develop, the baby’s extremities may feel cold.
If in doubt, check the skin around your baby’s neck and chest. These areas should be checked for heat and sweat immediately. Overheating can lead to SIDS. Keep the room at a lower temperature and/or take off one layer. Then, check back in a few moments.
Overheating is the main concern. However, it is important to ensure that your baby isn’t too cold. You might notice your infant’s hands or feet becoming bluish. Do not panic. Your baby’s cute fingers and toes will soon return to their normal rosy appearance.
Safer sleeping tips
Pajamas are an important safety tip, but there are other things you should keep in mind regarding your baby’s bedtime and nap time.
- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your baby should be resting on their back when they sleep. You don’t need to worry about your baby if they roll over once they are able to do so.
- The swaddle must be removed once your infant can roll. They might need to flip their arms over safely if swaddles are restricting their arm movement.
- You should not place any loose-fitting sheets or blankets in your crib/bassinet. Your baby and a pacifier should be allowed. A pacifier can be used to reduce SIDS risk.
- For the first six to twelve months, your baby should sleep in your bedroom — in their crib or bassinet — as this will make them feel more comfortable. According to the AAP, sharing a room can lower a baby’s chance of SIDS by as much as 50%. It is not recommended to co-sleep in the same room.
- A fan will not only cool your baby but also circulate the air and reduce the chance of SIDS.
Age is a consideration.
As your baby grows older, so will the way you manage their sleep. You might find that what worked for 3 months doesn’t work for 6 months. And things will change as your child grows older.
You might have to reconsider using certain sleep bags if an infant suddenly stands up or a toddler attempts to escape from the crib.
You may be able to give your baby the go-ahead to get a thin blanket when he or she reaches 12 months. However, you should carefully consider the pros and cons of this option. If in doubt, consult your pediatrician.
As a parent, you will have many decisions to make every day. Although there are many variables to consider, it is not something that you should lose sleepover. Parents need all the rest they can get.
Safety is the most important thing. Don’t be afraid of trying new swaddles and PJs to find what works for your baby. You are likely to get a restful night of sleep for both baby and you.