We are aware that families may struggle over the winter. It’s possible that you’ll have to choose between heating and eating. Or perhaps you’re concerned about paying your heating costs because energy prices are anticipated to increase once more. You can also worry about attempting to keep your house warm, prevent draughts, and provide a warm environment for your baby. Here s our guide to safe sleep during winter.
Although it can be tempting to wrap your baby in lots of blankets to keep them warm, we are aware that doing so increases the risk of SIDS. It is best for babies to be cooler than overheated, according to research, so keep that in mind.
Things to think about for your baby and their sleeping area in the winter
A crib or Moses basket, or another clear, dedicated sleeping area, is the safest location for a newborn to sleep.
Bedding – Cot / Crib / Moses baskets
- Instead of using a duvet or heavy, padded or fleece blankets, layer your sheets and blankets.
- Babies under the age of 12 months shouldn’t use duvets.
- If you believe your baby is cold, cover him or her with an additional blanket, muslin or layer of clothing.
- To reduce the chance that your baby’s head will be accidentally covered by loose bedding, sheets and blankets should be properly tucked in (no higher than the shoulders). Babies’ heads are a crucial heat-loss and overheat prevention mechanism for them.
- Put your infant to sleep with their feet touching the bottom of the crib.
- Avoid the temptation to cover the baby sleeping bag with more blankets if you are using one.
- For each season, wear a different type of clothing. If you believe your infant is cold, put on a layer of additional clothing.
- Check the instructions for the baby sleeping bag you select from the manufacturer. Check they are using the correct TOG.
Bedding – sharing a bed
- When sharing a bed, a baby sleeping bag is suggested because we don’t advise loose bedding. Many infants who pass away from SIDS are discovered with their heads covered by loose bedding.
- To help keep your infant at the proper temperature, you can select different sleeping bag TOGS for the various seasons.
- When sharing a bed with an adult, keep any adult bedding and any other materials that could restrict your baby’s airflow or cause them to overheat away from them.
- Don’t give in to the feel you need to cover your infant with adult blankets so they can stay warm. Keep in mind that the warmth produced by an adult in the same bed as a child may result in a warmer environment.
- Do not allow pets (dogs and cats) or other children to share your bed with your infant.
- Ensure that your infant won’t roll off the bed or become wedged in between the mattress and a wall.
When not to share a bed
It is important to know that sharing a bed with your baby is very dangerous in the following circumstances:
- You or your spouse may smoke (even if you do not smoke in the bedroom)
- You or your partner have both consumed drink or drugs (including medications that may make you drowsy)
- Your child was born too soon (before 37 weeks)
- Your child weighed no more than 2.5 kg (5 12 pounds) at birth.
- Never put your infant to sleep on a sofa or armchair as this might 50 times increase the risk of SIDS.
If any of the above circumstances apply to you or your partner, you should never sleep with your baby in the same bed. In these circumstances, your baby should always be placed in their own secure sleeping area, such as a cot or Moses basket.
The safest spot for your infant to sleep is always going to be on a completely flat, firm surface, without any soft or thick cushioning or bedding surrounding them. Anything with raised edges or cushioned parts could be dangerous if a baby wriggles into a position that makes it hard for them to breathe or covers their face. Additionally, it may cause overheating.
The following should be avoided throughout the year but we know that it is in the winter when it may cross your mind to add the following
Babies sleeping with hats, hoods, or outside attire is not something we advise. When inside or in a car, take off hats or hoods to prevent babies from overheating because they lose heat via their heads. Keep in mind that babies don’t need to be dressed for the outdoors, such as in snowsuits or padded strollers, to sleep indoors.
Babies and young children may be in danger of a serious accident if you decide to use a cot bumper. Infants have fallen after pushing themselves up on the bumpers or been caught in the ties and material in a number of accidents both in the UK and overseas. Don’t give in to the need to utilise them to cozy up your baby’s resting space and make it look pretty for Instagram!
These should not be used on babies under the age of one year. A baby may be restricted by weighted blankets (either their breathing or positioning).
Heaters and Radiators
Placing your baby’s cot near a radiator or directing a heat source, such as a portable heater, directly at your child is dangerous since infants are unable to control their body temperature and may end up becoming overheated. They are also unable to move away from a heat source.
Hot Water Bottles
Do not use hot water bottles in any area where a baby sleeps, whether it be a cot, crib, Moses basket, or adult bed.
How can I tell if my child is overheating?
Because each child is different, check your baby’s chest and/or back of neck to ensure the skin isn’t clammy or sweaty (their hands and feet will always feel cold to the touch). If it feels sweaty or clammy, they are too hot, so take off a layer of clothing or bedding. Warmth is fine. Babies who are ill require fewer rather than more clothes.