Baby bedding advice: newborns
When your baby arrives, you may find that their favorite (and often only!) place to sleep is on you.
When you feel ready, try to get in the habit of placing your baby into a cradle or bassinet when they fall asleep so that they get used to sleeping independently. Make sure the mattress in the cradle fits well and use a tight-fitting sheet, as any loose covers could cover your baby’s face and cause harm.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies sleep in the same room as their parents for the first year of their lives. This reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Should I swaddle my baby?
When your baby is a newborn you may find that swaddling them with a blanket can help to soothe and encourage longer periods of sleep. This is because the feeling of being wrapped up tightly replicates the environment in the womb and stops the baby flailing their arms around and waking themselves up.
A wool baby blanket is perfect for swaddling thanks to thermo-regulating properties that help to prevent infants from overheating. The AAP recommends that you stop swaddling your baby no later than two months.
When to put baby in a crib
When is it safe to put your baby in a crib? There is no reason you can’t put your newborn straight into a crib as long as you follow advice about keeping the crib free from items such as loose covers and stuffed toys.
Whether you use a bassinet or cradle is down to personal preference. Parents often choose a cradle because it takes up less space in their bedroom than a crib, is more portable and provides a small, cozy environment; a tiny baby can look lost in a large crib. If you do use a cradle, you may find your baby stays in it for a surprisingly short amount of time – perhaps only a couple of months depending on size. You should always check the manufacturer’s instructions for weight limits and never allow your baby to remain in this kind of infant bed once they are able to sit, as they may topple out.
Make sure that the crib you choose has a brand new, breathable mattress that is firm enough to promote a healthy sleep position for your baby’s growing spine.
Should I use a sleep positioner?
It can be tempting to use a ‘nest’ or ‘wedge’ that promises to keep your baby comfortable, helping them to sleep longer. Very often these products claim to be suitable for babies up to the age of six months. However, at the end of 2017 the FDA linked these types of sleep positioners to at least 12 baby deaths in the US, stating that they pose a risk of suffocation. Instead, they recommend that infants sleep on their backs on a flat mattress in an empty crib.
When can my baby sleep with a blanket?
Are you wondering at what age it is safe for a baby to sleep with a blanket? Advice from the AAP is that no loose covers should be introduced into a cot until at least 12 months of age. Before this, a baby may wriggle down underneath the blankets and either overheat or suffocate.
Before this time, baby sleeping bags are a great alternative. Fastening above and below the shoulders, sleeping bags act like mini wearable comforters and are available in different seasonal weights. There are many advantages to these - not only in terms of safety as your little one will be prevented from wriggling down under the covers, but they have also been proven to extend sleep periods as covers cannot be lost during the night. As a bonus they also limit movement once your child is beginning to pull themselves up and climb.
When to give toddlers a pillow
If you’re wondering “when does my baby need a pillow?” The answer is they don’t. There is no necessity to introduce a pillow to your child if they have been and continue to sleep well without one.
Avoid giving your toddler a pillow until they are at least 18 months old and have the ability to move around independently in the bed. If you choose to introduce a pillow, a good time may be as you transition to a ‘big kid’ bed, usually between the ages of two and three.
How to introduce a comforter to your baby
What is a baby comforter?
A baby comforter is a smaller, lighter version of a quilt that doesn’t have the soft insulation of a standard comforter.
When can baby sleep with a comforter?
Manufacturers deem baby comforters to be safe for infants under the age of one, however AAP guidance recommends that you avoid placing loose covers in the crib. We suggest you should opt instead for swaddling blankets or a baby sleeping bag depending on the age and size of your child.
How to use a baby comforter
As with the pillow, many parents introduce a comforter as their child moves out of their crib. Don’t be in too much of a hurry though. You may temporarily experience more frequent wake-ups as your child gains the strength and dexterity to adjust their covers in the night to keep themselves warm.
When can my baby sleep with a stuffed animal
As with pillows and blankets, a stuffed toy should not be introduced into your child’s crib until you are confident they can move around independently and not before 12 months of age. When choosing a soft toy make sure it doesn’t have small, hard eyes or a button nose that could present a choking hazard.
Should I use wool baby bedding?
Wool baby bedding can be a great option when you’re kitting out your baby’s nursery.
As well as its thermo-regulating properties helping your baby to achieve a consistent body temperature, wool is naturally hypoallergenic making it a healthy choice too.
So, when can a baby sleep with a blanket? When can a toddler sleep with a blanket and pillow? And when should a baby sleep in a crib?
Hopefully our baby bedding advice guide has given you all the answers you needed to help you get that nursery ready for your new arrival.