Helping Your Baby Sleep Comfortably by Tessa Little
Most people who have expected a baby or cared for a baby will agree that for such a small version of a human, taking care of one takes an extraordinary amount of planning. One such aspect is finding the right product that would help your baby sleep comfortably by maintaining warmth and comfort through naptime or night time sleep. There are a variety of items on the market and though I am less than a year into my mummy journey, I have already used a few of them. Hopefully, as you plan what you need for your baby’s sleep time or try to find the best gift for an expectant parent, this list will help make the process easier.
This is one of my favourites because of its practicality and for sentimental reasons as well. It was summer when we had our daughter and we brought her home in this blanket. It was also one of the props in her newborn photo shoot (where did the time go?). Made from a blend of cotton and bamboo, it is beautifully woven and perfect for use during warmer weather. The weave of the bamboo blanket is loose enough to allow you to breathe through it and it is lightweight. One of my favourite features is that the blanket can be washed and dried easily. Spring has already given us some very warm days so it has come out of storage and resumed its role of being ‘blanket of choice’, especially for daytime naps.
Swaddling is the wrapping of a baby to restrict the movement of its limbs and helps new babies feel secure as they start life outside the womb. The swaddling blanket can take many forms ranging from simple fabric that baby can be wrapped in, to specially designed blankets that you could just lay your baby in and secure them into place. We were gifted a specially designed one with poppers to keep baby swaddled but we also used our bamboo blanket or large muslins. Though some babies enjoy being swaddled for many months, by the age of three weeks our little one mounted a baby protest so we had to move on to something else. I would recommend that if you get one, ensure it has more than one use to extend its use.
Baby Sleeping Bags
This is another item we loved since it eliminated the need for blankets just as a little someone was learning how to kick and wriggle! We had a variety of sizes and togs so we were able to change them as baby grew and the weather got colder. If you are getting a sleeping bag that is ‘all seasons’ or has a lower tog rating, during the colder months you can layer your baby’s clothing to help them stay comfortably warm and then shed layers as the weather warms up.
Which version of these you get would probably be based on whether you are buying all your baby kit at once or shopping as your baby grows. We started off with the above items but now that the seasons are changing and our daughter is growing and has gained a significant amount of motor control, we are going to add a blanket set to our bedding accessories. We will choose one that is cotton with a hypo-allergenic filler to help baby sleep comfortably during cooler summer nights. The filler will allow it to be fit for use during the colder months as well. The size of the blanket (and the accompanying pillow) means that we will be able use it well past the toddler years. If you are getting this before baby arrives or while they are still not quite mobile, you may also choose to use this as a playmat, giving you two products for the price of one. As it is machine washable it allows you to easily clean it as often as you would like. For countries that experience colder winters or if you are buying a blanket specifically for winter use, you might prefer to get one that has a lining in a warmer fabric such as minky.
It should be noted that depending on where you are in the world, your requirements may differ. If you are fortunate enough to live in a country that is warm/hot all year round (we’re not jealous at all) or alternately, somewhere that is cold all year round, then your planning of what items you need may be quite straightforward. However, if you have a range of seasons and temperatures but don’t want to have your heating set to tropical all year, you may have to do more planning to select the best items to help your baby sleep comfortably throughout the seasons.