Ensuring your baby’s safety and comfort while sleeping
Sleep can be an all-consuming element in your life when you have a baby. At ergoPouch, we are obsessed with sleep and we can empathise that it may seem overwhelming to wonder if all elements are aligned for a safe & comfortable sleep for your little one. Rest assured we have thought of everything so you don’t have to.
Here is our safe sleep for babies checklist. Read on for more information!
- Breathable fabrics and healthy skin
- Body temperature
- TOG rating
- Safe, snug and secure fit
- Healthy body positioning
Breathable Fabrics and Healthy Skin
We know babies and children sleep better in natural fibres for the simple reason that they improve breathability and keep your little one’s body at an even temperature, resulting in a safe and comfortable sleep for your mini. All ergoPouch sleepwear is TOG rated and made from breathable, natural fibres including organic cotton and bamboo.
Sleepwear that is filled with synthetic fibres (such as polyester) will make your child overheat, sweat, and may frequently wake them up throughout the night. Natural fibres such as cotton are the BEST choice for sleepwear as they allow children's sensitive skin to breathe, reducing the chance of overheating and encouraging a longer sleep - hooray!
Synthetic fibres and the irritation caused by synthetic fabrics rubbing on sweaty skin can also cause an eczema flare-up. For those babes who are prone to skin irritation through eczema, chemicals or other, breathable and organic fabrics will go a long way to keeping your mini's skin smooth and soft.
When it comes to safe sleep for babies, it's really important to dress your child correctly to accommodate the temperature of their room while they’re sleeping, as their little bodies are not as great at regulating temperature as our adult ones.
Choose an appropriate layer (pyjama/onesie) to dress your child in underneath their swaddle or sleeping bag. Their back and tummy should feel warm, not too hot or too cold. A baby who’s too warm may have damp hair or be sweaty, flushed and have a fast pulse. In this case, remove a layer of clothing, and you can even try moving your baby to another room that’s a bit cooler.
Often your baby’s feet or hands will actually feel cooler than their core temperature, which is normal! As a baby is developing their circulatory system, their body is giving their vital organs priority when it comes to blood. As babies and children use their extremities to get rid of heat when they feel too hot, don't make the mistake of covering hands and feet during sleep.
TOG Rating for Safe Sleep
TOG rated fabrics are an important tool that helps to take the guesswork out of choosing the right sleeping garment for your baby. As your baby cannot regulate their temperature like adults can, the layers they wear to sleep are integral to baby's safety by ensuring they are at just the right temperature. A TOG is a unit of measurement for insulation and warmth of sleepwear and bedding. Put simply, the lower the TOG rating, the lighter the fabric. The higher the rating, the more padded and insulated it is.
Refer to our What to Wear Temperature Guide for taking the guesswork out of dressing your little one for sleep.
Safe, Snug and Secure Fit
Your baby's sleepwear should be slim fitting on the body, to avoid the danger of loose fabrics around their face. A baby who does not have the coordination or muscle tone to move a piece of fabric from their face is at an increased risk of SUIDS / SIDS.
Make sure your baby's sleepwear is fitted around the neck hole, has child-safe mechanisms (such as zips and press studs) and does not restrict their movement in a way that is dangerous (e.g. a rolling baby's arms should not be contained).
Healthy Body Positioning
Little growing bodies need room to move & grow while they’re sleeping, both for healthy growth and joint development, but also to self soothe. There are three key areas here to consider when choosing sleepwear.
1. Chest Expansion
If choosing to swaddle your babe, make sure there is enough room around the chest to allow for full chest expansion. Those small and developing ribs need enough room to expand in and out with each tiny breath. The ergoPouch Cocoon Swaddle Bag is made from a fabric which allows for stretch in all directions across the chest. This blend creates a cosy yet comfortable swaddle for your baby to sleep and breathe in.
2. Hip Joints
To ensure the healthy development of their joints, baby's hips & legs should always have a natural bend up and out during sleep. It is always important to allow room for the hips to move. If they are wrapped straight down and pressed together, this can increase the risk of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH).
Here at ergoPouch, we have designed an easy to use Organic Cotton Cocoon Swaddle Bag that replaces a traditional wrap with a cloth or blanket. The Cocoon Swaddle Bag has received an acknowledgement from The International Hip Dysplasia Institute for being a “hip-healthy” product. The ergonomic bell-shaped design provides enough room for hip mobility and allows babies to move their legs comfortably and adopt ‘frog-leg’ position. All ergoPouch products are ergonomically designed for optimal hip development. We also offer hip harness sleeping bags for babies who wear a brace to treat Development Dysplasia of the Hip.
3. Arm Movement
Whilst the idea of a swaddle is to contain the startle (moro) reflex to keep baby from waking, babies also need some arm movement to promote healthy development and shoulder joints. A swaddle shouldn't be so tight that it pins your baby's arms in one place, but allow for some natural arm movement. Look for a swaddle with stretch, such as the Cocoon Swaddle Bag, to allow for this.
Sleep looks different for everyone. Let’s ALL stop being so hard on ourselves. Sleep is the main dominator we all have in common when we decide to embark on the magic that is parenthood. We all want to know if you're getting it and how much?
Eczema - or atopic dermatitis - causes dry, red and scaly skin - almost anywhere on the body. Eczema is extremely itchy and is a relatively common contributor to unsettled infant behaviour. If severe, the dry skin will eventually start to crack and bleed, leading to a risk of infection.
As a new parent, trying to get your little one to sleep in the bassinet can be daunting when all they want to do is sleep on you. We know that babies wanting to sleep on or near us is biologically normal and helps with brain development. During the day, we can enjoy those newborn snuggles (because we know they go way too fast!!), but it can be frustrating and dangerous at night if you're dozing off while holding your baby.