Whether your baby is born in a sweltering summer or cold winter, it's easy to worry that they won't be warm enough while they sleep. Newborns are so fragile and tiny, that you may be tempted to bundle them up in hopes to keep them toasty and comfortable. But what lengths should you take to keep your baby warm? Should you put a blanket in baby's crib? It's a question that can keep many moms up at night.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric's (AAP) expanded guidelines regarding infant sleep, parents should "keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib." This applies to blankets, crib bumpers, pillows, stuffed animals or anything that can pose a suffocation risk to baby. Baby Center also noted that these standards should apply until your baby passes their first birthday.
It may seem unnecessarily rigid, but according to the AAP, following these guidelines drastically reduces the potential risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
If you're worried that your baby isn't warm enough, a swaddle blanket and a warm onesie will be plenty to keep your little one at a safe and comfortable temperature. Healthy Children recommends swaddling your baby until they begin to roll over on their own. After that point, your baby likely won't want to be swaddled anyway. Using warm pajamas will be more than enough, as long as your baby's room is set at an appropriate temperature — between 60 and 70 degrees according to Parents.
Once your baby is past their first birthday, feel free to use a lightweight, breathable blanket in their crib if you think it's necessary or they enjoy it. Many babies use blankets to help them sleep, much like a pacifier. But if your baby doesn't need it, they're not necessary as long as their room is warm enough and they're dressed appropriately.