No matter when your baby is born, stressing out over their temperature is just par for the course of new-motherhood. Since babies aren't able to regulate their internal temperature as well as adults, questions about layers, heaters, hats, blankets, and the like are common and actually very necessary. You baby's tiny head might seem extra vulnerable to cold, and it may seem tempting to cover it up along with the rest of their body. But does baby need to sleep with a hat? The experts seem to all agree that they're not necessary.
According to Complete Children's Health, babies shouldn't wear hats to sleep once they're home from the hospital, where their temperature is still stabilizing after birth. Wearing a hat to sleep raises the risk of accidental suffocation, since the hat may slide off and cover their face.
If you're worried that your baby may be too cold, Belly Belly suggests doing some skin-to-skin time or breastfeeding to help warm them up. To avoid overheating your baby when they're sleeping, keep this as a rule of thumb: newborns only need about one more layer than an adult would to stay warm, according to Baby Center. So a safe swaddle blanket over the top of pajamas or a onesie should be the only thing in the bassinet or crib with your baby.
When your baby is awake, or when you're out and about in cold weather, it's totally fine — and smart — to dress your baby in a hat (plus, there aren't many things cuter than a baby in a tiny hat.) Just remember to take it off once you lay your baby down to sleep, since they don't really need it to stay warm if the temperature inside is warm enough.
As a rule, the less things on or around your baby while they're sleeping is the safest bet. Parents noted that long as they're appropriately dressed and the indoor temperature is set accordingly, there shouldn't be a need for any other accessories or extras.