Dressing Bub For Bed
Is my bub too hot, or are they too cold? It's the million-dollar question that parents are asking themselves each and every time they put their baby to sleep. So, we've done the research for you and answered some of the most frequently asked questions for dressing your baby for bed and how you can get their temperature, as Goldilocks would put it, just right.
As a general rule of thumb, you should dress your bub in clothes to keep them warm enough without a blanket. The reason for this, is that once your bub starts to roll over, they can get out from underneath the blanket and become cold. If you dress of your baby in layers of fitted clothing, you can take or add as the temperature changes.
Psst… here's a little hint as well. When dressing your baby think about what you'd wear to bed and use that as a guide.
Should they wear hats or beanies?
To put it plainly, no. Babies cool themselves down by releasing heat from their heads and faces, so if they have a beanie or hat on your bub may quickly overheat and become too hot while the sleep. Plus they're also a choking hazard - so please keep your child's head uncovered during sleep.
How do I work out their body temperature?
The best way to determine your bub's temperature is by feeling their back or tummy. While you may be tempted to touch their hands or feet - this isn't a good indicator, so just stick to the back or tum!
...and what about monitoring room temperature?
There is no need to monitor the temperature in your bub's room. Remember, the best starting point is to dress your baby as you would yourself. If you think it's too hot, a potential solution would be to use a floor fan to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. But if you are going to do this, the safest place is on the opposite side of the room, away from bub. If the room is too cold, dress your little one as you would yourself. Never use electric blankets or hot water bottles.
It’s also important to know that getting too hot has been linked with sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents. Your baby should be a comfortable temperature - not hot, sweat or cold.
Can I wrap my baby?
Yes, you can! Wrapping or swaddling helps your baby settle for sleep and stay in the safe sleeping position on their back.
If you choose to utilise the swaddling method, it's best to use lightweight cotton or muslin wraps. It mustn't go above their shoulders, cover their head, ears or chin. Swaddles that are too high can obstruct your little one's breathing and cause them to overheat.
Another essential check is to make sure that there is enough room for bub to stretch their legs and that the swaddle isn't too tight around their chest and hips. This can lead to breathing and hip problems. Bubs can be swaddled from birth until they start showing signs that they can roll onto their tummies, which is usually around four months.
What about baby sleeping bags?
A safe infant sleeping bag can be a good option for dressing bub for bed - but let us stress that it's essential to have a correctly sized sleeping bag. A correctly sized sleeping bag can help to keep your baby's head and face uncovered and can help to reduce the risk of sudden unexpected death incidents (SUDI). These bags can also help to stop your baby from rolling onto their tum during sleep.
If your bub was to need extra warmth, you could place a single, lightweight blanket over the sleeping bag - but make sure the blanket is firmly tucked in and doesn't go past your baby's chest. If you're going to use a sleeping bag check that it's IMPOSSIBLE for your baby to slip down into the bag and become completely covered. Red Nose recommends that you should use a sleeping bag that has a fitted neck and armholes but no hood.
Have you got a few more questions about dressing your bub for bed? Leave a comment below or better yet, book into Tiny Heart's Bump, Birth and Beyond course. Our educator will take you through everything you need to know about your parenting journey, including the first few weeks bub and the crucial things you need to know like dressing bub. Click here now to book or view dates.