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How to Cover a Baby to Sleep

by
author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
How to Cover a Baby to Sleep
Close up of sleeping baby. Photo Credit Sleeping Baby image by sarkee from Fotolia.com

You may think that your baby needs a soft, fluffy blanket in order to sleep comfortably, but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission actually discourages the usage of blankets in your baby's crib. Blankets can cover your baby's nose and mouth, causing him to suffocate. If you're worried about your baby becoming too cold in the night, make sure that you practice safe blanket and cover usage so that you can sleep easy, knowing that your baby is both safe and warm in his crib.

Step 1

Dress your baby in a blanket sleeper for sleep. These sleepers are made of a thicker material than traditional sleepers and they are fire retardant. They are warm enough that you can put your baby to sleep without a blanket altogether.

Step 2

Try swaddling your baby. Swaddling wraps the blanket tightly around your baby's chest and arms, so there is less of a chance that the blanket will work its way free and cover the baby's nose or mouth. Lay a thin blanket on a flat surface, and turn down one of the corners. Lay your baby on the corner with the down turned edge, and wrap the remaining corners around baby, tucking in securely under his body. Dr. William Sears, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, also recommends swaddling for a more secure feeling and better sleep for your baby.

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Step 3

Purchase a sleep sack for your baby to sleep in. Sleep sacks are made to look like sleeping bags, only they have arms and a neck hole. You can zip your baby into a sleep sack and be assured that he is warm, but his nose and mouth are never covered because the sleep sack stays zipped around his body.

Step 4

Use the covering method that is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Bring your baby down in the crib so that her feet nearly touch the bottom edge of the crib. Use a thin receiving blanket and tuck the blanket in firmly around her, bringing it only as far as underneath her armpits. Tuck the blanket into the bottom of the crib and under the mattress to ensure that it won't be kicked free throughout the night.

Step 5

Avoid using thick blankets, duvets or comforters in the bed at all. Make sure that the crib is also free of stuffed animals or pillows; your baby should have nothing in his crib that could pose a choking or suffocation threat.

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