How do I dress my baby for sleep?

Jul 14, 2023
Choose the right clothes and dress your baby warmly enough so that he/she is not cold without a blanket. Once your baby can roll over and move around, he/she will be able to get out from under the blanket and may freeze. If you dress your baby in fitted clothes, you can add or subtract clothes as the temperature changes. When you dress your baby for bed, a tip is to think about what you should wear to bed and use that as a guide.

To sleep with or without a hat
Babies lose heat and cool down through their head and face. If your baby wears a hat to bed, he may quickly overheat. That's why it's important to keep your baby's head exposed while he sleeps so he doesn't get too hot. Take off your baby's hat when you go indoors or into any enclosed or warm space, such as a car, so that he doesn't overheat.

How to sense when your baby is hot or cold
Your baby's hands and feet may be cool to the touch, but this is not a good indication of his body temperature. Parents can tell if their baby is cold or hot by touching his back or stomach. If you use a baby carrier or carrier towel, your baby will be warmed by your body heat as well as your clothes.
There is no need to monitor the temperature of your baby's room, just dress your baby as you would dress yourself. If your baby's room is too hot, you can use a fan. Keep the fan as far away from your baby as possible. Never use an electric blanket or hot water bottle to keep your baby warm in colder weather.

Swaddle your baby.
It can help your baby fall asleep or keep him or her in a safe sleeping position on his or her back. If you choose to swaddle your baby, it is best to use a thin cotton or muslin wrap. Make sure the wrap doesn't go higher than your baby's shoulders and doesn't cover your baby's head, ears, or chin. Too much can obstruct your baby's breathing and cause him or her to overheat. Also check that your baby has enough room to stretch his or her legs and that the wraps around the chest and hips are not too tight. Wrapping your baby's legs and chest too tightly can lead to hip and breathing problems. Babies can be wrapped from birth until they are almost ready to roll over, usually around 4 months.

Infant Sleeping Bags
A safe infant sleeping bag is a good alternative to dressing for bed. A properly sized sleeping bag is the best way to keep your baby's head and face uncovered, and it can help reduce the risk of SIDS and fatal sleep accidents. It also reduces the need for your baby to roll over in their sleep and prevents them from sticking their legs out over the crib rails. If your baby is still cold, place a lightweight blanket over the sleeping bag. Make sure the blanket is tucked in tightly though and doesn't go over your baby's chest. A sleeping bag with a loose neck and armpits, but without a hood, is recommended.

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