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Parenting is the toughest job that you will ever have.

Just when you think you have it figured out, your kid will throw in a curve ball just for fun. Then there are things that are very important, but things that you just would not think about such as “What should my baby wear to sleep?”.

As simple as that sounds, there are some things to really think about not only for comfort, but also safety for your little ones.

I am married with two kids. We have a not-so-little almost adult and a preschooler. You would think we had parenting covered, but we felt like first-time parents with our youngest as so many things had changed. There are always new advancements in education for parents.

Don’t Panic

Here’s a story, you know, to show that I am not a robot. Just joking!

I remember after giving birth to my oldest, they put a hat on him and wrapped him up. He mostly lived in a onesie – those cutesy one-piece shirts that have buttons snapped around the diaper. There really was not much thought put into dressing him and what not. He slept in whatever he was in when he was sleepy.

When I had my daughter, I remember learning about the importance of skin to skin, keeping baby warm, SIDs videos, crib safety, car seat safety – I could go on and on.

There was my peanut in one of those zip-up fuzzy-feeling pajamas. I remember touching her little nose and it was cold. I needed to make sure she was warm and keep her body temp up. So, I wrapped her in a blanket and held her in my arms.

Well, not too long after that, she broke out in these red splotches. It freaked me out so bad that I started pushing my panic button in the hospital room.

The nurses took one look at my tiny wrapped-up bundle of joy with some red splotches on her face. They unwrapped her with a smile on their faces and told me that it was like a heat rash from being too warm.

Just a simple thing, I thought, to keep baby warm because she was sleeping. But there is more that goes into it.

Suggestions on Keeping Baby Safe and Warm

So, what is the new way or recommended way to do this, you ask?

Well, first and foremost, make sure your peanut has a nice, safe sleeping area such as a play pen, bassinet, crib, co-sleep, or whatever you choose. Another huge thing is to keep all blankets, pillows, and all other items out of the crib. Research also says no type of bumpers (even mesh) are safe for a baby in a crib.

Next, how do you keep baby warm while sleeping?

You can use a baby blanket to wrap your peanut like a burrito, regular pajamas, or the fancy ones.

Just make sure to keep your little one’s hands free and always on their back. With my youngest, I used a sleeping sack. It slipped over her jammies like bibs overalls, but it was like a potato sack. There were Velcro flaps on each side to help wrap her up. For us, it worked like a charm.

On cold nights, we would have her in warm jammies and the sleeping sack; on warmer nights, sometimes she wore just the sleep sack.

No Need for Those “Extras”

Don’t put “extras” on baby when they are sleeping either.

They do not need things that may come off when they sleep. The research I have seen pretty much eludes to the fact that things like hats could come off and with baby not able to move on their own or use their hands well yet, it could get in their face and cause their airway to get obstructed.

Just remember that if there is research on something, it means that something has happened in the past to trigger that research. It’s the same thing when you think about new policies at work. Policies are made because someone in the past did something to trigger that.

Cold Hands and Feet

What if baby’s hands and/or feet are cold? Does that mean they are cold? Absolutely not!

Your little one will not be able to regulate their temperature for about 3 months. Your little one may have cold hands but still be completely comfortable.

I would suggest touching your babies to see if they are cold, sweaty, hot, or just fine.

Kids Will Be Kids

And finally, a funny story to finish off.

We tried out best to abide by all these “rules”. We checked on our baby often, laid her on her back, swaddled her, or used a sleep sack. There were no pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, or anything in her crib with her. We had a fancy video monitor to watch and listen to her. We kept up with all the safety stuff.

Well, Little Miss was on the floor, laying on her back and I went to use the bathroom. I swear I couldn’t have been longer than two minutes with the door cracked and my mom ears on superhero mode. When I came back to the living room, I saw that she had not only rolled over onto her tummy, but she had her hands down by her sides, butt up in the air with her knees underneath her, sleeping away.

So, no matter how safe you try to be, kids will be kids. For simple things like this (first take a picture because it’s adorable!), just place baby back on their back and just reinforce their safety.

Remember, you are all great parents!

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Jillian Robinson - one of the Stuff4Tots editorial team
Jillian Robinson (RN)

Jillian is a registered nurse and mom of two.  Her eldest being a teenager and her youngest a toddler.  The wide spread of ages, coupled with her medical background, give Jillian a unique insight into the challenges and joys families and parents face at each stage of life's journey.