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Your baby must feel cozy while sleeping. This will ensure that he naps well through the night. When the nights get cold, you try to dress your baby in comfy sleepwear and maintain a soothing temperature in the room so he gets sound sleep. However, winter nights still pose a risk for babies that is very easy to overlook!
Sleeping well is an important aspect of growth in babies. When they sleep comfortably, they are more at ease and show less crankiness. For parents, therefore, it becomes important to tuck their infants into bed with utmost care so they can ensure maximum relaxation for their darling. Now that winter is here, you instinctively opt for thicker clothes and keep your baby well covered. This is natural as you want to preserve their body heat and keep them from catching a cold or an infection. However, in doing this, we sometimes unknowingly make a mistake that exposes our babies to a serious risk!
Studies have proven that the most common risk babies face at bedtime during winter is this: overheating. We tend to dress our child in multiple layers and often cover his head or swaddle him tightly. However, overheating has been seen to trigger severe reactions in children, including sweating, discomfort, irritability, poor sleep, and in serious cases, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)! The risk of SIDS multiplies if your child is overheated and this is the easiest thing to overlook when the temperatures are dipping!
As a rule of thumb, dress your little one in only ONE light layer more than you have on at present. Ideally, do not cover his head. They need to breathe properly and feel comfortable and the head is what regulates their overall warmth. Also, while swaddling, remember to never do this very tightly, even though you only want to protect baby from the cold. It is advisable to use a light swaddle while ensuring your baby wears warm clothes underneath, such as thick pajamas, so his feet remain covered. This way, he will conserve his body heat while escaping the risk of getting heated too much.
How To Ensure your Baby Gets a Good Night’s Sleep In Winter
Apart from the above thumbrule, here are a few more guidelines you should remember when dressing your baby for bed in winter.
1. Choose Appropriate Baby Sleepwear
Choosing appropriate sleepwear is an important aspect of giving good sleep to your baby and keeping warm in winter is one way to ensure that. So, what should your baby wear to sleep?
1. Pick clothes that fit well and is neither too loose nor too tight around the arms, neck and feet.
2. When selecting the sleepwear, ensure that it provides warmth even without using a blanket. If the dress has different layers, you can easily remove or add the layers according to temperature changes.
3. Avoid using bonnets or hats while tucking your baby to sleep. Using these head protection gear can overheat his body, making him uncomfortable. Also, the use of head wear with fancy ribbons or strings can turn out to be a strangulation hazard. Therefore always make sure that you put your baby to sleep without covering his head with anything.
2. Swaddle your Baby Correctly
1. Wrapping your baby cozily in a comfortable blanket is the best way to tuck him in for deep sleep, especially when the nights are cold. It also gives the baby a safe position and settles him steadily. Use a lightweight muslin or cotton wrap. While you wrap him, leave his head, chin and ears uncovered. Babies can be wrapped till they reach the age of 6 months.
2. Infant sleeping bags also serve as a good sleeping aid. Use a size that comfortably fits your baby, while leaving their face and head uncovered.
3. Maintain Ideal Surrounding Temperature for Baby’s Safe Sleep
1. You can feel the temperature of your baby’s body by touching his tummy or back. While you dress him in layers of clothing, adjust the layers according to the body temperature. During colder days, dress him in multiple layers to ensure body heat retention but never pile on too many layers! Choose instead to install baby-safe room heating that can maintain an optimal temperature inside the house.
2. Babies generally sleep well when the surrounding temperature is neither too hot nor too cold. If your baby feels warm, make the room temperature comfortable for him to sleep. Keeping the surrounding temperature between 21-22 degrees centigrade is an optimal range for babies. However, it can be adjusted according to your little one’s body temperature.
Your darling needs good sleep every day to remain healthy and reach new developmental milestones at lightning speed. When you put your baby to sleep, just ensure that he is comfortably warm, and feels neither too sweaty, hot or too cold. This way keeping your baby warm in winter will not just make him comfortable but also safe. More sleep for baby and you!