Compared to other baby-related tasks, dressing a baby for nighttime seems like an easy thing to do. But that assumption can quickly change once you actually have the first-hand experience in this task.
There is a good deal of factors that needs to be considered when prepping your child’s attire for nighttime. Should you add more blankets or beanie hats? Is swaddling alright or should you avoid doing it? How can you make sure that your child is always safe during his or her sleep?
Let’s find out more about proper ways to dress a baby for sleep.
5 Basic Rules When Dressing Your Baby For Sleep and Nap Time
Babies and toddlers usually spend the majority of their days taking a nap and resting. But at the same time, they are experiencing rapid growth and development. Keeping your baby comfortable during his or her sleep is an important factor if you want your young ones to grow healthy and strong.
For a seasoned parent, choosing the right sleeping dress for a baby is a matter-of-fact task. However, it can be a bit daunting for new parents who haven’t dealt with this problem before. Here are five proven and tested rules to consider when dressing your baby for a comfy and long sleep.
1. Room Temperature
The general rule when it comes to choosing your baby’s sleeping attire is to always add an extra layer of clothing. One of the most popular combinations is adding a swaddle or a blanket after the main cotton dress. During the colder seasons, especially in winter, adding extra blankets or using a thicker pair of onesies is recommended.
When the summertime or warmer months arrive, you can remove the outer layers and go for a lighter undershirt. In some areas, a single layer is enough to prevent overheating. Of course, feel free to add or remove layers of clothing to accommodate temperature changes.
The most important thing when dressing your baby for sleep is to keep the temperature between 68° and 72°F. You can use fans, ACs, or any other methods to keep the room temperature stable.
2. No Accessories
Beanies and hats are fun accessories that allow you and your baby to get into fashion early. Unfortunately, these accessories need to go during nap time. Toddlers and babies usually cool themselves by releasing heat on their heads and faces.
Additionally, beanies and hats might also cause suffocation problems. To keep your young ones safe and comfortable, it’s better to keep their heads uncovered while sleeping. The only instance where hats and beanies are necessities is during winter or if your region has constantly cool weather.
3. Comfort And Comfort Over Fashion
One of the main reasons why baby accessories and products are made is due to their aesthetic appeal. Some parents cannot help but buy things that will look cute and charming to their new child. Unfortunately, most fashionable options are not convenient for parents nor comfortable for the child.
If you’re filling your child’s closet, choose items that are easy to wear and remove at one go (to avoid waking up the baby when changing diapers). Cotton-made baby apparel is highly recommended when dressing your baby for sleep due to its comfortable fit both on warm and cool days.
4. Snug Fit
There are various options when it comes to baby sleep apparel: rompers, bodysuits, leggings, sleepers, and more. Although you have a variety of products to choose from, your baby might not feel comfortable on any clothing unless it fits snugly. When dressing your baby for sleep avoid giving clothes that are either too small or either too large to avoid any sleep interruptions (and keep your sanity, as well).
Don’t forget to check your child’s temperature before giving your goodnight kiss. Take note: you can get a more accurate indication of the child’s temperature by feeling the baby’s back or tummy. Your baby’s hands might feel cool, but your child might be overheating.
5. Learn From Experience
It might take a while before a parent can learn how to handle a baby’s finicky sleep schedule and sleepwear preference. But in general, you will immediately know when your baby’s not comfortable by noting some changes in behavior. For example, if your baby is fully fed, and if the temperature is ideal, his or her current baby sleep apparel might be causing discomfort. If there is an apparent discomfort, you might want to change your baby’s nightclothes right away.
What About Swaddling?
Swaddling is a very effective way of keeping your newborn sleep safely and soundly. By wrapping your child with a lightweight material, it blocks various stimulus that makes sleeping more comfortable and less distracting. In general, swaddling is permissible on newborn babies who are still not as active and don’t know how to roll yet. But once your young ones had started to roll over and make some movements, you might want to forego the swaddle altogether when dressing your baby for sleep.
This is to avoid any chance of accident suffocation or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).