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How to Dress a Newborn for Sleep in the Summer


You certainly don’t want a newborn to be cold. On the other hand, you don’t want the baby to be overdressed and get too hot. Since there’s a link between heat stress and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), this is really something to pay attention to.[1] In the summer, this risk may be higher. Dress your newborn in lightweight clothing and keep blankets and other items out of its crib. Take care to keep the room temperature comfortable as well, and you’ll help your newborn sleep soundly and safely during the warm months of the year.

EditSteps

EditDressing Your Baby

  1. Use lightweight clothing and breathable fabric. Light fabrics like cotton will keep your baby cool. Avoid heavy fabrics like wool or flannel. Short-sleeved onesies are usually fine in the summer.[2]
    Dress a Newborn for Sleep in the Summer Step 1.jpg
  2. Dress your baby in newborn sleepwear, if possible. Infant sleepwear is manufactured from approved materials, and is designed to fit safely. If you can find newborn summer sleepwear, dress your baby in this at night and nap times.[3]
    Dress a Newborn for Sleep in the Summer Step 2.jpg
  3. Choose clothes that will keep your newborn’s face clear. Avoid clothing with hoods, high collars, or other parts that might cover the baby’s face while it sleeps. That way it will stay cooler and be able to breathe safely.[4]
    Dress a Newborn for Sleep in the Summer Step 3.jpg
  4. Do not cover the infant’s head. An infant regulates its body temperature primarily through its head. Many people like to dress newborns in a cap for protection or comfort, but putting one on an infant sleeping in the summer can quickly make it overheat.[5]
    Dress a Newborn for Sleep in the Summer Step 4.jpg
  5. Use a sleepsack rather than a blanket. Experts recommend not putting a blanket in a newborn’s crib because it is a suffocation risk. A sleepsack (wearable blanket), however, wraps safely and securely around the baby with velcro or snaps, removing this risk. However, you should remove the sleep sack if the baby gets fussy or seems hot.[6]
    Dress a Newborn for Sleep in the Summer Step 5.jpg

EditControlling the Environment

  1. Keep toys, blankets, and pillows out of the crib. Experts recommend that nothing should be in a newborn’s crib or bassinet other than a tightly fitting sheet over the mattress. Toys, blankets, pillows, and other objects can be suffocation hazards and cause a baby to overheat.[7]
    Dress a Newborn for Sleep in the Summer Step 6.jpg
    • If you co-sleep, make sure that your bedding is kept away from your infant.
  2. Set the room to a temperature comfortable for adults. A sleeping newborn’s room doesn’t need to be significantly warmer or cooler than an adult’s. During the summer, a room temperature between 70-72F (about 21C) should be comfortable for a sleeping newborn.[8]
    Dress a Newborn for Sleep in the Summer Step 7.jpg
  3. Turn on a fan. If you don’t have air conditioning, or your baby’s room needs extra cooling, try a box or oscillating fan. However, set it so that it doesn’t blow directly on the baby’s face, and keep it well away from the crib or bassinet.[9]
    Dress a Newborn for Sleep in the Summer Step 8.jpg
    • Hanging up wet towels in the room is another way to help cool it.
  4. Keep your newborn out of direct sunlight. Even in a room that is relatively cool, sitting in direct sunlight can cause a baby to feel uncomfortable. Set its crib or bassinet in a shaded area of the room, or draw curtains/blinds closed when it’s napping.[10]
    Dress a Newborn for Sleep in the Summer Step 9.jpg
  5. Check to see if your baby is hot. There are a few classic signs that a baby is too hot. If you see any of the following signs, remove some of your newborn’s clothing, or take it to a cooler area:[11]
    Dress a Newborn for Sleep in the Summer Step 10.jpg
    • The baby’s forehead is sweating
    • Its ears feel hot to your touch
    • You can feel a dent at the top of the newborn’s forehead
    • Fussiness combined with any of the above

EditTips

  • Experts recommend than newborns sleep only on their back, face up, for safety reasons. Just remember the phrase “Back to Sleep.”[12]

EditSources and Citations

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