Back to Basics: What Do Babies Sleep In?

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A Blog Post by Kat Hansen, Director of Fulfillment at

Let’s get one thing straight, no parent knows everything there is to know about having, and raising, a baby.  Did an instruction manual magically appear next to your bedside when your brought your baby home from the hospital?  Yeah, I can’t find my instruction manual either. When I had my daughter, Audrey, I didn’t know what I was in for when it came to getting her to sleep.  The first night we brought her home from the hospital she cried the ENTIRE night.  After we tried feeding, burping, changing, singing, football holding, bouncing, gas dropping, and doing a little bit of crying ourselves, we started thinking that maybe she wasn’t sleeping because of what she was or wasn’t sleeping in.

The onesie we brought her home from the hospital clearly wasn’t cutting it.  So we put her in the softest infant pajamas we could find.  Strike one.  Then we though she might want to just be in her bassinet and have us stop fussing over her.  Strike two.  Then I remembered seeing the nurses back at the hospital swaddle Audrey all the time, and that maybe that was why she slept so well while we were there.  I scoured through my collection of baby blankets until I found an Aden & Anais Swaddling Blanket that a friend had given me at a baby shower.

I came running to my husband, who has tending to Audrey, with my secret weapon in hand.  “Look, I found the swaddling blanket! Let’s try swaddling her!” I exclaimed.  My husband said, “Great!  Do you know how to use it?”  I paused and said, “It can’t be that hard to figure out.”  After watching a few You Tube videos on how to swaddle a baby, I became an expert (or so I thought) and attempted swaddling Audrey for the first time.  I had to re-do my swaddle about 20 times, but by the 21st try I succeeded in swaddling her tightly and she fell asleep in her father’s arms for the rest of the night (or early morning I should say).

So many times parents think that when they have a baby that they will just be endowed with tons of wisdom about how to take care said baby.  Sorry, not gonna happen folks.  I personally believe scripture provides us with lots of wisdom with raising a child, but nothing super practical when it comes to how to get a baby to sleep.  So to answer my own question, what do babies sleep in, I’ve created the following list to help any parents who are pondering the same question.

Put your baby in pajamas.  It gets cold at night, they need a little bit of extra warmth.  A onesie isn’t going to cut it.  Get some long pajamas that cover their arms and feet, made of either cotton or fleece.  In the colder months here in Cincinnati I put Audrey in fleece pajamas because it would get below freezing outside at night, which always made our house feel a bit colder.

If your baby doesn’t hate it, swaddle them.  I’ve heard of some babies hating to be swaddled and sleep better without it, but those babies are few and far between.  Watch these videos to learn how to swaddle and be ready to do it when your baby comes into the world.  Heck, even ask one of the nurses at the hospital to give you a training on how to do it because they are professional swaddlers.  You want to swaddle your baby tight, but not so tight that you cut off circulation.  Some babies like to be swaddled but don’t like their hands to be stuck in the swaddle.  However, there is a way to swaddle a baby with their hands sticking out of the top of the swaddle.

No heavy blankets on the baby. Babies don’t need heavy blankets to keep them warm.  The swaddle will keep them warm and help them retain their body heat.  Don’t put any heavy blankets on your baby because it is a safety hazard and could suffocate them.  So save that nice quilt your grandmother made for them until they are a few years older.

Baby mittens are okay, hats are not.  If your baby scratches themself all the time and it is interrupting their sleep, put a pair of baby mittens on them before you wrap them up in a swaddle.  This will keep them from scratching themselves while they sleep.  However, do not put a hat.  A lot of parents will put a hat on their baby to keep them warm while they sleep.  Babies don’t need to sleep in hats, and they can create a hazard for your baby if the hat falls down into their face and they can’t get it off.

These tips are short and sweet, and very useful for any parent who is trying to help their baby sleep better.  Remember, don’t over think this.  Just use your common sense, rely on wisdom from parents who have been around the block, and you and your baby will be much better off.

Have any suggestions on what a baby should sleep in?  Share them below!  Also, do you have an interesting story about your first night home with your new baby?  Share it, we love stories!!!

Interested in purchasing some Aden & Anais Swaddling Blankets so that your baby can sleep soundly?  You can buy them here from our website,!



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