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The Ultimate Guide: What Do Newborn Babies Sleep in? Expert Tips and Recommendations

Newborn babies typically sleep in cribs or bassinets, providing them a safe and comfortable space to rest.

Table of Contents

1. The Most Common Sleeping Arrangement for Newborn Babies

One of the most common sleeping arrangements for newborn babies is a crib or bassinet placed in the parents’ bedroom. This arrangement allows for easy access to the baby during the night and promotes bonding between parents and their newborn. It also ensures that the baby is in a safe and separate sleep environment, reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Parents often choose cribs or bassinets that meet safety standards, such as having slats that are close together to prevent entrapment and using a firm mattress with a fitted sheet. Additionally, some cribs and bassinets come with features like adjustable mattress heights and wheels for easy mobility.


Benefits of this Sleeping Arrangement:

  • Allows parents to monitor their baby closely during the night
  • Promotes bonding between parents and newborn
  • Creates a separate sleep environment for the baby, reducing the risk of SIDS
  • Provides convenience for nighttime feedings and diaper changes

Tips for Setting Up a Crib or Bassinet:

  1. Choose a crib or bassinet that meets safety standards
  2. Place it in an area of the room away from windows, cords, and other potential hazards
  3. Ensure a firm mattress with a fitted sheet is used
  4. Avoid using pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals in the sleep area until recommended by healthcare professionals
  5. Keep the sleep area clutter-free to reduce suffocation risks

This common sleeping arrangement provides both safety and convenience for parents while ensuring a comfortable sleep environment for their newborn.

2. Ensuring a Safe and Comfortable Sleep Environment for Newborns: Parent’s Guide

Creating a safe and comfortable sleep environment is crucial for newborns to promote healthy sleep habits and reduce the risk of accidents or SIDS. As a parent, there are several key factors to consider when setting up your baby’s sleep space.

Choosing the Right Mattress:

The mattress should be firm and fit snugly inside the crib or bassinet. This helps prevent suffocation or entrapment hazards. Avoid using soft mattresses, waterbeds, or pillows as they pose a higher risk of suffocation.

Positioning in the Crib:

Place your baby on their back to sleep, as this position has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS. Make sure your baby’s head remains uncovered during sleep. Avoid using loose bedding, such as blankets or stuffed animals, which can increase the risk of suffocation.

Sleepwear and Temperature:

Dress your baby in appropriate sleepwear that keeps them warm without overheating. The room temperature should be kept between 68-72°F (20-22°C). Use a wearable blanket or swaddle instead of loose blankets to ensure your baby stays warm without the risk of suffocation.

Tips for Creating a Safe Sleep Environment:

  • Avoid smoking around your baby or exposing them to secondhand smoke
  • Keep the crib or bassinet away from curtains, blinds, cords, and other potential hazards
  • Ensure proper ventilation in the room
  • Regularly check that all crib hardware is secure and in good condition
  • Use a baby monitor to keep an eye on your baby while they sleep

By following these guidelines and creating a safe and comfortable sleep environment, you can help promote healthy sleep habits for your newborn and ensure their safety throughout the night.

3. Recommended Cribs and Bassinets for Newborns: What to Consider

Choosing the Right Crib or Bassinet

When selecting a crib or bassinet for your newborn, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, ensure that the product meets safety standards set by organizations such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or ASTM International. Look for certifications like JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) to ensure the product has undergone rigorous testing. Additionally, consider the size and design of the crib or bassinet. It should provide enough space for your baby to move comfortably while also fitting well in your nursery.

Features to Look For

There are certain features that can enhance the functionality and safety of cribs and bassinets. Look for adjustable mattress heights, as this allows you to lower it as your baby grows and becomes more mobile. Ensure that the slats on the crib are spaced appropriately to prevent any risk of entrapment. Also, consider cribs with teething rails to protect your baby’s gums when they start teething. Finally, look for cribs or bassinets that are easy to clean, as newborns can be messy!

4. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sleeping Option for Newborns

Sleeping Space Availability

One important factor to consider when choosing a sleeping option for your newborn is the available space in your home. If you have limited space, a compact bassinet might be a better choice than a full-size crib. On the other hand, if you have ample space in your nursery, a crib with additional storage options could be beneficial.


Another factor to consider is portability. If you plan on frequently moving your baby’s sleeping area from room to room, a portable bassinet or a crib with wheels can be convenient. This allows you to keep your baby close by during the day and easily move them to their designated sleeping area at night.


Consider how long you plan on using the sleeping option for your newborn. Some cribs are designed to convert into toddler beds or even full-size beds, providing long-term use. If you prefer a more versatile option that can grow with your child, these convertible cribs may be worth considering.

5. Guidelines and Safety Standards for Infant Sleep Arrangements: A Must-Follow

Safe Sleep Practices

Following safe sleep practices is crucial for ensuring the well-being of your newborn. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends placing babies on their backs to sleep, as this reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It’s also important to keep the sleep environment free from any loose bedding, pillows, or stuffed animals that could pose suffocation hazards.

Creating a Safe Sleep Environment

To create a safe sleep environment, ensure that the crib or bassinet meets current safety standards. Use a firm mattress with a fitted sheet and avoid using any additional padding or blankets. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature and dress your baby in appropriate sleepwear to prevent overheating.


– Always place your baby on their back to sleep.
– Avoid loose bedding or soft objects in the crib.
– Ensure proper ventilation in the room.
– Maintain a comfortable room temperature.
– Regularly check for any recalls or safety concerns regarding your chosen sleeping option.

These guidelines and safety standards are essential for promoting healthy and safe sleep habits for your newborn.

6. Co-Sleeping with Newborns: Is It Safe?

Understanding Co-Sleeping

Co-sleeping refers to the practice of parents and infants sharing the same sleeping space, such as a bed or a co-sleeper attached to the adult bed. While some parents find co-sleeping comforting and convenient, it is important to consider the safety implications.

The Benefits of Co-Sleeping

Co-sleeping can promote bonding between parents and newborns, making nighttime feeding and soothing easier. It may also help regulate the baby’s body temperature and breathing patterns due to close proximity with caregivers.

However, it is crucial to be aware of potential risks associated with co-sleeping. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against bed-sharing with infants under 12 months old due to an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and accidental suffocation.

To ensure safe co-sleeping practices, parents should follow guidelines provided by organizations like the AAP. These guidelines include using a firm mattress without pillows or blankets near the baby, avoiding alcohol or drug use before bed, and ensuring that both parents are aware of the baby’s presence during sleep.

7. Alternative Options to Cribs and Bassinets for Newborn’s Sleep

Pack ‘n Plays

Pack ‘n Plays are portable cribs that provide a safe sleeping environment for newborns. They often come with bassinet attachments for easy access during those early months. Pack ‘n Plays are versatile options as they can be used for travel or as a secondary sleep space in your home.


Bassinets are smaller sleeping spaces designed specifically for newborns. They offer a cozy environment that mimics being held in arms while providing easy access for nighttime feedings. Bassinets are typically lightweight and can be placed next to the parents’ bed, making it convenient for night-time care.


Cradles are another alternative to cribs for newborns. They provide a gentle rocking motion that can help soothe babies to sleep. Cradles are usually smaller than cribs and can be easily moved around the house, allowing parents to keep their newborn close by during daytime naps.

When choosing an alternative sleep option, ensure that it meets safety standards, such as having a firm mattress and secure sides. It is also important to follow safe sleep practices, such as placing the baby on their back and avoiding loose bedding or soft toys in the sleeping area.

8. Transitioning from Crib to Regular Bed: When Do Most Infants Make the Move?

Signs of Readiness

Transitioning from a crib to a regular bed is a milestone that varies for each child. However, there are some signs that may indicate readiness for this transition. These include climbing out of the crib consistently, expressing discomfort or dissatisfaction with the crib, or showing interest in sleeping in a larger bed like their older siblings.

Age Range

Most children make the transition from a crib to a regular bed between the ages of 2 and 3 years old. However, it is important to consider your child’s individual development and readiness rather than solely relying on age as a determining factor.

When transitioning, consider using toddler beds or low-profile twin beds with safety rails to prevent falls during sleep. Make sure the new sleeping environment is free from hazards such as cords or small objects within reach.

It is normal for children to experience some resistance or difficulty adjusting initially. Patience and consistency in establishing bedtime routines will help ease this transition and promote better sleep habits.

9. Essential Accessories and Bedding for Newborn’s Sleep Environment

Crib Mattress

Choosing the right crib mattress is crucial for your newborn’s safety and comfort. Look for a firm, waterproof mattress that fits snugly in the crib to prevent gaps where the baby could get trapped. Avoid using soft mattresses or adding additional padding, as they can increase the risk of suffocation.

Fitted Sheets

Using fitted sheets specifically designed for cribs is important to ensure a secure fit. Avoid using loose bedding, such as blankets or pillows, as they pose suffocation hazards. Opt for lightweight, breathable materials like cotton to promote airflow and regulate temperature.

Sleep Sacks or Wearable Blankets

Sleep sacks or wearable blankets are a safe alternative to traditional blankets. They provide warmth without the risk of covering the baby’s face during sleep. Choose sleep sacks with appropriate sizing and ensure they are not too tight or restrictive.

Other essential accessories may include a white noise machine to create a soothing environment, blackout curtains to promote better sleep by blocking out light, and a baby monitor for peace of mind while your newborn sleeps.

10. Potential Risks Associated with Certain Sleeping Arrangements for Newborns

Bed-Sharing Risks

While co-sleeping can have its benefits, bed-sharing poses potential risks for newborns. The main concern is an increased risk of SIDS and accidental suffocation if parents roll onto or cover the baby during sleep. It is important to follow safe co-sleeping guidelines provided by organizations like the AAP to minimize these risks.

Unsafe Sleep Surfaces

Certain sleeping arrangements, such as sofas, recliners, or waterbeds, should be avoided as they pose suffocation hazards due to soft surfaces or gaps. Always ensure that the sleeping surface is firm and free from loose bedding or pillows.


Overheating can increase the risk of SIDS. It is important to maintain a comfortable room temperature (around 68-72°F or 20-22°C) and dress your newborn in appropriate sleepwear to prevent overheating. Avoid using heavy blankets or excessive layers that may cause overheating during sleep.

By being aware of these potential risks, parents can make informed decisions about their newborn’s sleeping arrangements and take necessary precautions to create a safe sleep environment.

In conclusion, newborn babies typically sleep in cribs or bassinets designed to provide them with a safe and comfortable sleeping environment.

What should my newborn wear to sleep in?

When getting your newborn ready for sleep, remember this guideline: dress the baby in one extra layer compared to what you would wear to bed in that room. In warmer months, you can choose a onesie, sleep sack, or lightweight swaddle. In colder months, it’s better to go for a long-sleeved onesie or a thicker sleepsack or swaddle.

Can newborn sleep in crib right away?

Is it safe for newborns to sleep in a crib? Absolutely, newborns can sleep in a crib, and our article provides helpful tips on how to facilitate a comfortable sleep environment. However, some parents opt to have their newborns sleep in a bassinet during the initial month or until they outgrow it.

Can baby sleep in just a onesie?

Is it safe for babies to sleep in onesies? Absolutely, when getting your baby ready for sleep, you can choose to dress them in a onesie. Take into consideration the temperature of the room – if it’s colder, it might be a good idea to use a thicker onesie or add an extra layer underneath. On the other hand, if it’s warmer, a lightweight onesie would be the most suitable option.

Should newborns wear onesies under sleepers?

So, what should your baby wear when they go to sleep? The ideal sleeping outfit for your baby follows safety guidelines and takes into consideration the temperature of the room. Onesies, footed pajamas, and sleep sacks are all great options to ensure your baby sleeps comfortably without feeling too hot or too cold.

Is it OK to swaddle a baby at night?

Wrapping your newborn tightly in a blanket at night can aid in longer periods of sleep. Swaddling is intended to diminish the “startle or Moro” reflex, a natural protective instinct present from birth. It is recommended to swaddle your newborn during nighttime.

Do newborns get cold at night?

Considering this, it is possible for babies to feel cold at night, particularly during the winter, which can lead to them waking up frequently and waking up early.

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