Parents have more than a few questions when it comes to putting baby to bed safely. After all, following those seemingly endless recommendations can be overwhelming. Even if you're aware of the basic rules for laying your baby down to sleep, you may still have reservations about the miscellaneous things. So if you're asking yourself, "Can my baby sleep with a hat on?" know that you're not alone. I guarantee you, dear reader, plenty of parents have asked themselves the very same question.
If you gave birth in the hospital, it's safe to assume that's probably where your confusion started. According to Baby Center, nurses generally put a cap on your infant for a specific reason — the outside world might feel a little cold compared to the warm, safe environment they've just left (also known as the womb). Baby Center goes on to add that if it makes you and baby comfortable to keep the hat on, and they're not overheated, it's perfectly fine for them to wear the hat during the day. Again, that's during the day. So what about when it's time for sleep?
If you've come home from the hospital, and are well into the full-blown parenting phase, you'll likely take all the precautions you've already read up on to ensure baby's sleep is restful and safe. It may seem like a lot, especially initially, but knowing whether or not your baby can actually sleep in a hat or not just takes a little research (and some common sense).
The American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) offers parents safe sleep guidelines to help determine what's OK and what should be avoided. For example, a baby should always sleep on their back, always sleep on their own sturdy sleep surface free of blankets, pillows, and any toys, and sleep in the same room as their parents (also known as co-sleeping) until they hit 1 year of age.
When it comes to clothing, however, Sleep.org says clothing that's too loose — such as the hat falling over baby's face — can cause suffocation and/or overheating, especially if extra clothing (like a hat, and regardless of how cute it is) isn't necessary.
Because Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a real concern when caring for infants and until they reach their first birthday, Dr. David Meduna, MD and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP), cites on Complete Children's Health that babies shouldn't wear those cute, little hats once they're home from the hospital because, once again, it increases the risk of SIDS. If you think about it, laying your baby down to sleep with any excess items in their crib and/or sleep space is a risk — even a hat that seems secure when you lay your little one down to sleep.
It seems most experts are on the same page when it comes to safe sleep practices. For a sleeping baby, no hat is the safest option. And because you can never be too safe, making sure your baby is dressed properly, is in a crib without excess bedding or other items, and laying him, or her, on their back are great ways to lower the risk of SIDS and increase your chances of a carefree night or actual sleep. You know, the ultimate parenting dream.