Before you bring home a new baby, a sleep space is one of the most important things to plan for. First off, newborns spend almost all of their time sleeping. Next, babies will settle faster and sleep longer in a comfortable environment. A well-rested baby will be happier and easier to handle. Plus, parents can get some rest of their own when the baby does.
Setting up a sleep space is also a matter of safety. babies are incredibly vulnerable and you will want to provide them with a safe space for sleep. You may have heard of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which describes an unexplained death of a baby under age one, while asleep. SIDS is every new parent’s worst fear, but the good news is that an infant in an environment that meets the safe sleep guidelines has a very slim chance of facing this tragedy.
What Should the Temperature Be?
The temperature of your baby’s sleep space will make a big difference in how she sleeps. Becoming too hot or too cold may wake a sleeping baby or make it difficult to settle.
Become overheated has also been found to be a risk factor for SIDS. An over-bundled infant may get so hot that he does not rouse when he should.
Generally, an infant should sleep in a room between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3-23.8 degrees Celsius).
New parents are naturally anxious about making sure they have it all right. MonBaby’s newly-updated smart baby monitor can help put your mind at ease.
The newest version features a temperature sensor, on top of tracking breathing movements and body position. Parents will be able to know the exact temperature of their baby’s immediate surroundings at any given time. If the ambient temperature around the baby becomes too hot or too cold, an alert will be triggered.
How To Dress Baby
Babies do best when they are not over-bundled. Generally, you will want to put one more layer on an infant that you would on yourself. Stick with snug-fitting clothing without any hoods or hats.
To ensure that the baby is dressed properly, you can use the room’s temperature to determine how many layers you should dress him in. This will be a more exact determination.
Prepare with these sleeping garments:
- Short-sleeved onesies
- Long-sleeved, footed pajamas
- Sleepsacks or swaddling blankets (cotton and wool for those in colder climates)
As a guideline, if it’s over 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23.9 degrees Celsius), dress the baby in just the onesie. For 70-74 degrees Fahrenheit (21.1-23.3 degrees Celsius), add the footed pajamas. If it is less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.1 degrees Celcius), use the sleep sack as a third layer.
The room’s temperature gives you a baseline, but also feel the back of the baby’s head and neck to check their temperature. Hands and feet are not a good indication, as they tend to be colder than the rest of the body.
Where Should My Baby Sleep?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the same room as their mothers, but not in the same bed. Room sharing keeps both mom and baby close and alert, drastically reducing the SIDS risk. However, bed-sharing increases the risk, so it is important to make this distinction.
Arrange the baby’s crib so that it is away from windows, cords, or anything that could fall or be pulled in. It is best to think ahead so you do not have to constantly rearrange as baby learns to sit, pull up, and stand. It happens faster than you think.
Choosing a Bed
The type of bed you buy matters. Only products labeled with the terms crib, bassinet, or play yard meet the rigorous standards for safe sleep. These products have undergone extensive testing to ensure that they are safe. Products marketed as “sleepers” or “nappers” have not met the standards and are not recommended.
The mattress needs to be firm and covered with a tightly fitting sheet. Never add anything that does not come with the bed, or make any changes to it.
The baby should be the only thing the crib, other than a single pacifier without a clip or any attachments. No blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals should be inside.
Keep your baby safe and comfortable with a well thought out sleep environment!