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Are baby sleeping bags a good idea?

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Sleeping bags are convenient, as long as they're designed for regular night use and are small enough to stop your baby from sliding down into it. The safest are those the baby wears like a garment, which secures over the shoulders and has armholes that prevent the baby slipping down into the bag and overheating or having her breathing restricted. They shouldn't have hoods.

You can buy sleeping bags for babies up to 9-12 months, which easily covers the period at which little ones are at highest risk of cot death. Some can be extended to grow with the baby, ensuring his feet are at the bottom. But don't be tempted to add blankets, as they could easily overheat your child. And don't put your baby or tot to bed with a hot water bottle - you might suffer cold feet at night, but they don't!

Swaddling, where you wrap a baby up very tightly, isn't a tradition in our culture, so there's been very little research on the subject. If you do swaddle your baby, use thin materials, leave his head uncovered and restrict the use of other bedding - getting too hot is a greater danger than being too cold.

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When should my child get his own 'big' bed?

All children are different, but it's usually at around 3. If you prepare your toddler well by discussing the move to a big bed, the emotional transition is likely to be smooth. But the physical change still involves a learning process, such as how not to tumble out on to the floor in the night.

All pages in this article

  1. 1. What features should a cot have?
  2. 2. Are baby sleeping bags a good idea?
  1. 3. Are bunk beds safe?

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