Ashley Batz/Romper

Skip The Blanket — Here's How To Keep Your Newborn Warm & Safe While They Sleep

I have a picture of myself as a baby in my crib at home. I must be about 7 or 8 months old, and I'm sleeping on my stomach, with a pillow, in a crib that has the frilliest bumper the '80s could provide, with what looks like a twin sized duvet covering me. Given the current safe sleep recommendations and what we know, it's a wonder I survived. Fortunately, we know better, now, and there are great, safe ways to keep your newborn warm while they sleep that won't break the bank or give you a panic attack. It's all about strategy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has very specific guidelines on how to keep your baby safe and warm at night. These include having your baby sleep on their back with no plush comforters, toys, bumpers, pillows, or other objects in the crib with your baby. Assuring there's circulating air in the room with your baby, and keeping the room they sleep in a comfortable temperature that is neither too warm or too cold, is important, too. The AAP also suggest having your baby sleep in the same room as the parent for at least the first six months of life, but they've suggested that a full year is better. The website noted that to make sure your baby is the right temperature, make certain their core is warm, and their extremities are a bit cooler, letting you know they're at a safe, comfy temp. So how can you do that without blankets? Like this:


Keep The Room The Right Temperature

Keep the space your babies sleep in between 65 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit. This provides enough warmth without being too warm, according to New Kids Center. Also, babies tend to sleep better and are easier to rouse in cooler climates.


Invest In A Wearable Blanket

These are safe, easy, and the baby won't get tangled in the blanket. Their arms are free, so picky babies who don't like swaddling will be comfy and cozy. This is the most famous model, the Halo SleepSack ($15, Amazon), and it's reasonable enough that you can buy multiples.


Muslin Swaddle

If your baby loves being swaddled, a muslin swaddle blanket, breathable, and warmer than you think, is the way to go. Sure, there are lots of other swaddle blankets on the market, but trust me, these are worth the investment. You will get so much use out of them and they also last through more than one child.


Warm Footie Pajamas

These keep babies nice and toasty while providing all the movement a baby could want. They're also really easy to deal with during a middle of the night diaper change. This set is from Target, and thank goodness, has a zipper. Snaps are cute and all, but at 3 a.m., snaps are the devil from the very pits of hell.


Cotton Flannel Sheet

Provided it's breathable and tight fitting, a flannel sheet ($18, Target) is a soft, warm place for your baby to land at night. If you've never slept on a flannel bed sheet in the depths of winter, let me tell you, you're missing out. It's like a warm hug on your skin.


Change Their Diaper Often

Wet diapers can become cold diapers when gaps at the thigh or waist let in the cold air. Changing your baby frequently not only keeps their skin healthy and safe, but also keeps your baby toasty and warm. It may seem counter-intuitive to change a baby who is relaxed and not crying, but the crying will come if air hits their nether regions.

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