Because this website was made with the intention to collect and present the funniest baby onesies that we could find on the web, we want to answer some clothing-related questions that might come up. One of them that we asked ourselves and that we got asked from others too is ‘how to dress a newborn for sleep’?
As freshly made parents, we want to do everything right and as good as we possibly can, right?
May our little offspring never be too cold, too hot or feel any discomfort. Especially not during this precious sleeping time at night, when not only babies should sleep, but moms and dads as well!
We want to give you some tips here that we found during our research. In the end, you will know how to put your baby to bed in a safe and comfortable way.
Alright, long story short here is our quick answer on how to dress a newborn for sleep:
Do not use a blanket before your baby is at least 12 months old. Before that, use a comfy onesie or pajama. If it is colder, a baby sleep sack. A rule of thumb is, to dress your baby in one more layer than you would wear.
Of course, this is a very general answer to a lot of different aspects we should talk about here. And that’s what we will do :).
There are quite some things you can do wrong or that could even be dangerous. So check the following paragraphs to make sure, that your baby is safe and happy.
What Is The Best Room Temperature For A Sleeping Baby?
You probably already know that the room temperature is an essential criterion for us humans if we have a really good sleep or uncomfortable laying-awake-in-bed-experience. So no wonder that this is very important for your baby too. And even more so, since overheating increases the risk of SIDS.
So what is the best room temperature for your baby?
Generally, the best temperature for us humans (no matter if baby or adult) to sleep is 65°F (18.3°C). If you keep the room around this temperature, it is ideal for the body and therefore, the quality of your sleep.
How To Know If Your Baby Is Hot Or Cold?
First of all, you should know, that when your baby’s hands and feet are cold, it not automatically indicates that the little one feels cold. You probably know this from your own experiences, that sometimes your hands can feel cold, even though you feel warm or even hot.
Instead of testing like this, you should feel your infants back or belly. Also, a good place to check the temperature is the back of the neck. If it feels sweaty, you know that you have to remove a layer of clothes.
How To Keep Your Baby Warm In Its Crib?
We gave you already a few tips about the room temperature and how to check if your baby is too hot or cold. And it is easy to react if a baby is too hot and maybe even sweating. Remove clothes and put it back to sleep. Done!
The more tricky part is to keep your baby warm enough during its sleep. As you could read here in this article, blankets and dangerous clothes are taboo!
Should Babies Sleep With Blankets?
When you do some research on this, you can find numerous tragic stories, that will tell you one thing:
Do NOT use a blanket for your baby!
You might think you are safe, because the blanket is tugged in really good or because your baby doesn’t move around that much when it sleeps…NO. It can always happen to everyone if you take that risk.
Your little one can accidentally pull up the blanket in its sleep, wrap it around its head and then strangle itself or simply be unable to breathe properly.
There are alternative ways when it is cold, like the baby sleeping bags we will show you later on in this article. More layers of clothing can be another way to do it. But really think twice before you use a blanket.
Experts recommend a few things:
- No blanket until the baby is 1 year old!
- Let the newborn sleep in your room, until it is 6 months old at least. Preferably even up to 1 year. Note: in your room does NOT mean in your own bed! Actually, studies found that if you let babies sleep in your own bed next to you, the risk of SIDS increases!
- Always lay your baby on its back!
- Use a firm surface. No soft bedding, no pillows and no toys in the crib!
‘For more than a decade, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the NIH and safety experts have warned parents against using soft bedding in infants’ cribs, either over or under the baby. That includes blankets, quilts, cushiony crib bumpers, pillows and soft toys.’ [Source]
What Is The Best Fabric For Baby Bed Clothes?
In general, natural fibers are the best choice for your baby. When it is hot, they do a better job to absorb sweat and pull the moisture away from the body than synthetic fibers would. And if it is cold, they provide a better insulation and keep your little one warm.
So it might not be essential, but if you do have a choice, always go for natural fibers like cotton of course, but also silk, wool, linen, hemp, and cashmere are great choices. Those are great materials and a good clothing choice for babies (and grown-ups!).
What Is Swaddling?
Swaddling is another funky word for simply wrapping your baby like a turkish durum. You use a so-called ‘swaddling’ blanket for that, which get more and more popular again. But actually, this technique is used for hundreds of years already.
You have to make sure to do it right, so there won’t be any danger for the little one when it tries to move around in its sleep.
So if you do a good job in swaddling your baby, it actually can’t move around much and only its head is uncovered. Here is a picture of how it should look like:
Should You Swaddle Your Baby?
Experts say that inside this swaddling blanket, it would feel for the baby like it would be back in the mother’s womb. This association with this place where they grew for 9 months and the comfy and safe feeling would make the baby sleep better and longer.
Some parents say it helps them a lot, others don’t really like it and say it is unnecessary.
Usually, it is said in most sources, that if you ‘swaddle’, you should only use it up to 3 to 4 months of age. After that, your little rascal should be fine without it.
It is always important though to place your little one on its back. So in addition, swaddling after 3 to 4 months increases the chances that the baby intentionally starts to try to roll. If it then rolls over on his stomach, the risk of SIDS becomes higher.
Experts also warn against overheating and decreased arousal when it comes to swaddling. Those are also known risks to increase the chance of SIDS. For more information, check out this website.
Nonetheless, some parents refer to the positive aspects and experiences they made.
How To Swaddle The Right Way
If you are interested in how to do swaddling and you might want to try it yourself, here is an awesome video that explains in detail how to swaddle your baby the right way:
And here is our swaddle blanket of choice. Best reviews, ratings and price/value-ratio on amazon. You can’t go wrong with this set of quality products.
What About Baby Sleep Sacks, Sleeping Bags, Wearable Blankets,…?
There are some cool alternatives to the classic onesies and pajamas ( which are also called ‘sleepers’) that we mentioned earlier in this article.
Those alternatives come with many different names, but they essentially follow all the same principle: putting your baby in some kind of sleeping bag, that will keep him warm, but also reduces the risks that would come with a blanket.
Those baby sleeping bags are great if a onesie itself wouldn’t be enough to keep your baby warm at night. When we checked the web, we could find a lot of happy parents that recommended to use a baby sleeping bag in their crib.
Important is, that you make sure that the sleeping bag has a fitted neck and armholes, which assures that your little one can not sink in the sleeping bag. Needless to say that this could be dangerous because it would be hard to breathe for the baby if the head is inside the sleeping bag. But this danger is eliminated if you use a bag with armholes and a fitted neck.
In addition to this, you should also stay away from an unnecessary hood.
Baby Bed Safety – What Clothes Are Dangerous When A Baby Sleeps?
In addition to the dangers that we already mentioned in this article, there are also some clothes that you specifically should avoid when you put your little rascal to sleep.
One of the important things that you should also know about how to dress a newborn for sleep is, that its head should be uncovered! This means no hats, beanies or other things you would put on or wrap around your baby’s head.
On one hand, every object in a baby’s crib can be a choking hazard.
Another reason is, that our head is one of the most important organs to regulate our body temperature. And this is also the case for our little ones of course. Simply put: if your baby’s head is covered by additional clothes or hats, it can easily overheat and feel more like crying, rather than resting and sleeping. Even worse outcomes could be the case.
So hats off, when it’s nap-time! Unless you are trying to make your baby sleep outside on a windy winter day, brrrrr… (please don’t, haha).
Other Clothes That Can Be Dangerous When You Put A Baby To Sleep
In addition to everything that is mentioned here, you should make sure that whatever piece of clothing you decide on, no matter if onesie, pajama, or baby sleeping sack, it should fulfill the following demands:
- No hoods
- No ribbons, strings, ties or anything else, that the baby might get tangled up
- A one-piece sleepwear
Closing Words On How To Dress A Newborn For Sleep
In this article, we gave you many tips and suggestions on how to dress a newborn for sleep. You know now what needs to be considered and what can be a risk.
As always, we would love if you give our shop a quick look and check out our collection on funny baby onesies, as well as some other funny baby stuff or also useful & smart baby gadgets, that will save you a lot of time and nerves.
So long, have a great day and hopefully see you in the next article! 🙂