Sleeping Tips

Sleeping Tips

First Article 

Research has shown that among the benefits of using a safe baby sleeping bag (a safe baby sleeping bag has fitted neck, armholes, no hood and is the correct size for baby) are:

  • they reduce the risk of bedclothes covering baby’s face
  • they will keep baby’s temperature at a more constant level while sleeping
  • they delay baby rolling onto the tummy during sleep until baby’s past the age of peak risk of SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy)
  • they promote back sleeping as the zipper opens to the front
  • your baby can move around in the bag, roll and kick their legs
  • they promote peaceful sleep and your baby will associate their sleeping bag with a restful night’s sleep, which means they are great for travelling



Second Article

What makes sleeping bags a good choice for your baby?

  • They are easy to put on and take off
  • They can’t get tangled up, unlike sheets and blankets
  • They are comfortable and will ensure your baby maintains a steady temperature
  • Your baby can roll, kick his legs and move around in the bag
  • If your baby wakes up, he can often get back to sleep again on his own without you having to tuck him in
  • They will always be familiar, wherever your baby sleeps – great for travel
  • Some babies learn to associate them with bed time and will settle better


Quotes from Laura Reno, director of public affairs for First Candle/SIDS Alliance: “Sleep sacks are really the first product that has come along that allows us to accomplish our goal of reducing SIDS rates,” and “We very strongly recommend sleep sacks.”


A safe infant sleeping bag can be a good option for dressing your baby for bed. A correctly sized sleeping bag is the best way to keep your baby’s head and face uncovered.

A safe infant sleeping bag also helps to:

  • reduce the risk of SUDI including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents
  • stop your baby from rolling onto their tummy during sleep
  • contain your baby’s legs so they don’t hang out through the cot’s rails.

Some sleeping bags have a TOG (thermal overall grade) rating. This can help you decide which sleeping bag to use in different temperatures. But note that a TOG rating is just a guide. It isn’t a safety standard.

Check that it’s impossible for your baby to slip down into the bag and become completely covered. Red Nose recommends that you use a sleeping bag that has a fitted neck and armholes but no hood.


Having your baby swaddled and then cotton or wool blankets over the top for babies under 4 months or in a merino sleeping bag for older babies is the best way to go to ensure they are cosy all night long.


First Article

A safe infant sleeping bag is constructed in such a way that the baby cannot slip inside the bag and become completely covered. The sleeping bag should be the correct size for the baby with a fitted neck, armholes (or sleeves) and no hood.

When using a sleeping bag ensure that the baby is dressed according to the room temperature and do not use sleeping bags with quilts or doonas. If additional warmth is needed, a light blanket is usually all that is necessary, but take care to tuck the blanket in firmly so it cannot ride up and cover baby’s head during sleep. Another way to provide additional warmth is to dress your baby in layers of clothing within the sleeping bag to keep baby warm.

Benefits of sleeping bags:

  • Evidence suggests that sleeping bags may assist in reducing the incidence of SUDI, SIDS and fatal sleep accidents, possibly because they delay the baby rolling in to the high-risk tummy position.
  • Sleeping bags prevent legs from dangling out of the cot rails.


Second Article

Research has shown that among the benefits of using a safe baby sleeping bag (a safe baby sleeping bag has fitted neck and armholes and no hood and is the correct size for baby) are:

  • they reduce the risk of bedclothes covering baby’s face
  • they delay baby rolling onto the tummy during sleep until baby’s past the age of peak risk of SUDI
  • they promote back sleeping as the zipper opens to the front
  • they will keep baby’s temperature at a more constant level while sleeping


Third Article

Top tips for checking your baby sleeping bag:

  • Check labels – is the information clear? Look for the British Standard BS8510:2009 on the label
  • Check any fastenings and the fit of the product and make sure there are no small parts that could come loose
  • Make sure that Velcro fastenings or zip fastenings are covered, so as not to come into contact with the baby’s skin
  • Always follow manufacturers’ washing instructions. Washing a garment at a higher-than-advised temperature could cause the garment to shrink, affecting the temperature or comfort of your child
  • Avoid purchasing products with added ‘loops’ intended for display, as a baby’s fingers could become caught
  • Check that the labels are secure and are not at risk of coming loose, posing a choking hazard
  • Check the stitching and seams – do not purchase if either seem unfinished or rough
  • Don’t assume that because the label states a size (for example, ‘for 0-6 months’) that it will fit your child
  • Do not use the product if you think that it may be unsafe


Fourth Article

A safe baby sleeping bag is constructed in such a way that the baby cannot slip inside the bag and become completely covered.

The sleeping bag should be the correct size for the baby with a fitted neck, armholes (or sleeves) and no hood.

When using a sleeping bag, ensure that baby is dressed according to the room temperature.

In cool climates, dress baby in layers of clothing within the sleeping bag.

If additional warmth is needed, use a single, lightweight blanket over the sleeping bag, ensuring baby’s feet are at the end of the cot and the blanket can only reach as far as baby’s chest and is tucked in firmly so it cannot ride up and cover baby’s head during sleep.


Fifth Article

What to look for:

  • You should choose a baby sleeping bag suitable for your baby’s age and weight.
  • The arm holes should be snug enough that your baby cannot slip his arms inside. Some have additional poppers to make the arm hole smaller for very tiny babies.
  • The neck hole should also be the right size to keep your baby comfortable, not big enough that he could slip down inside.
  • All openings, especially neck and arm holes, should be well finished, with no scratchy or sharp edges or zips next to the skin.
  • Bags should not have sleeves or hoods.
  • There should be no loops, loop labels, embroidery, ribbons or other attachments that might come off and be a hazard
  • All bags should conform to the new British Standard for Baby Sleep Bags (BS 8510:2009)


Sixth Article

Sleeping bags are a alternative to baby blankets. If you use a sleeping bag, it needs to be hoodless, and have the right size opening at the neck so your baby won’t slip down inside the bag. The advice is to never use one with a duvet and to make sure your baby doesn’t become too hot; be sure to choose a lightweight sleeping bag.


Dress in layers
Dress your baby in layers of fitted clothing rather than just thick pyjamas. You can add or take away layers as the temperature changes.

No hats and beanies in bed
Babies cool themselves down by releasing heat from their heads and faces.

Babies can quickly overheat if they fall asleep wearing hats or beanies. So it’s important to keep your baby’s head uncovered  during sleep. Headwear in bed can also be a choking or suffocation hazard.

Baby’s temperature
Your baby’s hands and feet might feel cool, but this isn’t a good indication of temperature. You can find out how hot your baby really is by feeling baby’s back or tummy.

Room temperature
If you think your baby’s room is too warm, you can use a floor or ceiling fan to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. The safest place for a plug-in floor fan is on the opposite side of the room, away from your baby.

If your baby’s room is very cold, you can use a heater to warm the room to a more comfortable temperature. Keep the door slightly open, so that your baby’s room doesn’t overheat.

Never use electric blankets or hot water bottles to warm your baby during colder weather.

Getting too hot has been linked with sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents. Your baby should be comfortably warm – not hot, sweaty or cold.

Baby sleeping bags

A safe infant sleeping bag can be a good option for dressing your baby for bed. A correctly sized sleeping bag is the best way to keep your baby’s head and face uncovered.

A safe infant sleeping bag also helps to:

  • reduce the risk of SUDI including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents
  • stop your baby from rolling onto their tummy during sleep
  • contain your baby’s legs so they don’t hang out through the cot’s rails.

Some sleeping bags have a TOG (thermal overall grade) rating. This can help you decide which sleeping bag to use in different temperatures. But note that a TOG rating is just a guide. It isn’t a safety standard.

Check that it’s impossible for your baby to slip down into the bag and become completely covered. Red Nose recommends that you use a sleeping bag that has a fitted neck and armholes but no hood.


How to sleep your baby safely

  • Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side
  • Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
  • Keep baby away from cigarette smoke before and after birth
  • Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day
  • Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months


1. Put babies to sleep on their backs
This is the safest position for healthy babies. Babies are more likely to die of SIDS if they sleep on their sides or tummies. By the time babies can roll onto their tummies at around six months, most of the risk of SIDS will have passed. If you’re worried about your baby choking on vomit, it might help to know that healthy babies put to sleep on their backs are less likely to choke on vomit than babies put to sleep on their tummies. Once your baby can roll over (4-6 months), continue putting him to sleep on his back, but allow him to find his own sleeping position.

2. Make sure babies’ heads can’t get covered while they’re sleeping
Put your baby low down in the cot, so her feet are near the bottom end. Tuck in the bedclothes securely so they can’t cover your baby’s head. You could choose to use a baby sleeping bag instead of blankets. Sleeping bags with a fitted neck and arm holes are the safest.

3. Share a room
Have your baby in a cot in your room for the first 6-12 months.

4. Avoid smoking
There’s strong evidence that exposure to second-hand smoke harms babies, and that smoking during pregnancy and after birth increases the risk of SIDS. The link between SIDS and smoking is strong even when parents smoke away from the baby.

5. Avoid cot bumpers, soft toys, pillows, doonas and soft sleeping surfaces
These items can suffocate infants. Babies have suffocated when they’ve rolled into cot bumpers or soft toys. It’s safer to keep these out of the cot.

6. Use a cot that meets current safety standards
Only well-maintained cots built to strict safety standards are good enough for your baby. Lead paint, gaps that a young child can get caught in, and sides that are too low and can be climbed over easily are just some of the risks of second-hand cots that don’t meet modern standards.

7. Use a firm and well-fitting mattress
Make sure there are no gaps between the mattress and the edge of the cot, where a baby’s head could get jammed. Don’t tilt the mattress. If you’re using a portable cot, only use the firm, thin, well-fitting mattress that comes with it. Don’t add a second mattress or any padding over the mattress.

8. Avoid baby sleeping on couches or makeshift bedding
Sleeping on a couch, with or without someone else, is very dangerous for babies. Also beware of makeshift bedding. Some situations where your baby might be in danger include getting wedged between a mattress and a wall, getting stuck between pillows or cushions, or slipping down until his head is covered by blankets.

9. Dress your baby in clothing that’s warm, but not hot
Overheating is a risk factor for SIDS. Ask yourself what you would wear to bed and use that as a guide. Keep your baby’s head uncovered indoors – this allows your baby to cool and not overheat. Don’t worry if your baby’s hands and feet feel cool – that’s normal.

10. Make sure your baby’s carers know how to protect against SIDS and fatal sleep accidents
It’s best not to assume that others have knowledge of safe sleeping practices, even professional child carers. Reassure yourself by having a look at the planned sleeping arrangements, and satisfy yourself that your baby will be positioned for sleep correctly. For example, it isn’t recommended to leave a baby sleeping in a pram unsupervised.


Research has identified several key infant care practices that reduce the risk of sudden and unexpected infant death, including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents.
To sleep baby safely and reduce the risk of sudden infant death:

  • sleep baby on the back from birth – never on the tummy or side;
  • sleep baby with head and face uncovered;
  • avoid exposing babies to tobacco smoke before and after birth
  • provide a safe sleeping environment night and day: safe cot, safe mattress, safe bedding and safe sleeping place;
  • sleep baby in their own cot or bassinette in the same room as their parents for the first 6-12 months.

A safe sleeping place reduces the risk of sudden infant death and fatal sleeping accidents.
To provide a safe sleeping environment for an infant:

  • always place baby on the back to sleep, never tummy or side;
  • put baby’s feet at the bottom of the cot
  • the cot must meet the Australian standard for cots;
  • use a firm, clean mattress that fits snugly in the cot;
  • no additional mattresses or extra padding should be placed in a travel or porta cot;
  • tuck in bedclothes securely so bedding is not loose;
  • keep quilts, doonas, duvets, pillows, cot bumpers, sheepskins and soft toys out of the cot or sleeping place.

An infant sleeping bag that is the correct size for baby with a fitted neck,arm holes or sleeves and no hood is a safe and effective way to keep a baby’s head and face uncovered, as it makes extra bedding unnecessary.

Bouncinettes, prams and strollers have NOT been designed as sleeping products and therefore, no baby should be left unsupervised if they fall asleep in these environments.


What is SIDS?

It is an acronym for “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome”, which is a risk for babies who are under the age of one. With SIDS, a baby who seems perfectly healthy can go to sleep just like any other night — the difference is they never wake up. It’s most common in babies 6 months and younger – 90 percent of SIDS cases happen in this age group. Those most at risk for SIDS are babies between the ages of 1 and 4 months. SIDS is only confirmed after every other possible known cause is ruled out.

US Statistics:

  • Every year, about 3,500 infants die from sleep-related causes in the U.S.
  • Accidental suffocation for babies has increased by 300% from 1984 to 2004.
  • Babies are 40 times more likely to die from suffocation while sleeping in a grown-up’s bed.

Risk Factors For SIDS/SUIDS

There are certain conditions or factors that elevate the risk of SIDS and SUIDS (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death). But keep in mind the overall RISK IS STILL VERY LOW.

  1. Premature birth
  2. Sleep safety: Remove any pillows, bumpers, blankets, or stuffed animals from your baby’s crib.
  3. Tobacco: When babies are around secondary smoke, their respiratory function isn’t as high as babies who aren’t around smoke.
  4. Delayed or inadequate prenatal care: Visiting your doctor for regular prenatal check-ups can help your child avoid SIDS and SUIDs because doctors will be able to spot any conditions that may cause premature labor.
  5. Alcohol and drugs.
  6. Gender: Boys have an increased risk of SIDS. Approximately three out of every five SIDS cases happen to boys.
  7. Recent respiratory infection: Some children affected by SIDS were known to have a viral illness right before they died. That leads researchers to believe there is a link to the two, especially because SIDS seems to be more prevalent during winter months when more respiratory illnesses are circulating.
  8. Young maternal age: Babies who are born to women under the age of 20 are more likely to have SIDS than babies born to older women. That risk climbs if a young mom has more than one child.
  9. Being unable to breastfeed: Babies who breastfeed are less likely to die from SIDS. Perhaps that’s because breastfed babies have less respiratory illnesses.
  10. Having multiples: Multiples, like twins or triplets, have an increased risk of SIDS because they often have low birth weight and premature birth.
  11. Genetics: Some babies who die from SIDS have an abnormality in the section of the brain that is linked to breathing, body temperature, and heart rate. That could be a matter of simple genetics or there could be something else influencing it.
  12. A room that’s too warn: If a room is too warm or a baby is overdressed, it may cause an increased metabolic rate in babies, which could cause them to lose control of their breathing.
  13. Skipping immunisations: Doing everything you can to avoid illnesses for your baby is a good starting point when it comes to avoiding SIDS. Getting the proper immunizations can help achieve that goal.

Recommendations Relating to Swaddles/Baby Sleeping Bags

1. Dress Your Baby Properly While Sleeping

Don’t keep your baby’s room too warm – they shouldn’t get overheated. Their room should be cool enough that you don’t feel hot when you go in there. A temperature of 68 degrees is good for sleeping. Use an approved sleep-sack or swaddle to help your baby sleep.

2. Stop Swaddling By 2 Months

Swaddling is when you wrap your baby tightly up in a blanket. If you do opt to swaddle your baby, you should stop by the time they are 2 months. You don’t want them rolling over and compromising their airways because they’re too tightly wrapped.


Measures to promote a safe sleeping environment and to reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Conclusion: Strong indications for effectiveness

Effective measures to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are:

– Sleeping on the back

– Avoiding overheating and head covering in infants.

– Avoiding contact with smoking

– Breastfeeding.

– Avoiding sedatives in children.

– Avoiding alcohol and illicit drug use during pregnancy and after the infant’s birth.

– Use of pacifiers.

Recommendations (for research & practice)

The effects of infant care practices on the incidence of SIDS are practicable and ethical. Continuous monitoring of SIDS cases and controls is recommended to assess the uptake and effectiveness of preventive measures. Continuous case-control monitoring would also ensure that new initiatives in baby care could be tested at the earliest possible stage.

Recommendations for practice include the following advice for parents, carers and health professionals:

– a baby should be placed to sleep on his/ her back rather than stomach or side

– a baby should be placed to sleep in a safe sleeping environment. This includes the use of a safety-approved crib, portable crib, play yard, or bassinet. Put the baby to sleep on a firm, flat mattress with no pillow or toys and only a fitted sheet under him/ her. Pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, and other soft surfaces are hazardous when placed under the infant or in the sleeping environment.

– blankets should not be used. In cold conditions, the baby should be clothed in warmer clothing such as footed pyjamas or a cotton one-piece under a wearable blanket or sleep sack.

– bed sharing with a baby is not recommended. A baby should be placed in his/her own crib/bed. Room-sharing without bed-sharing is recommended.

– smoking during pregnancy, in the pregnant woman’s environment, and in the infant’s environment should be avoided.

– the use of alcohol or illicit drugs during pregnancy and after the infant’s birth should be avoided.

– breastfeeding is recommended.

– giving the baby medicines that induces dullness or sleepiness is not recommended..

– offering the baby a pacifier when he/she is placed to sleep is acceptable.

The measures mentioned above do not indicate an exclusive course of treatment or serve as a standard of medical care. Variations, taking into account individual circumstances, may be appropriate.


  • Use a safe cot that meets the current standard in your country
  • Use a safe mattress: firm, clean, flat (not tilted or elevated), right size for the cot
  • Sleep baby on back, keeping the head and face uncovered
  • Position baby’s feet at the bottom of the cot
  • Tuck blankets in firmly or use a safe baby sleeping bag
  • Do not use pillows, doonas, soft toys, cot bumpers, or lambswools anywhere in the cot
  • Do not put your baby to sleep on a water bed or bean bag


Using a baby sleeping bag can work as a cue for your baby that they are going down for a nap or for bedtime. It is a really good positive sleep association to develop.

Sleeping bags also help keep your baby at a regular temperature. Often babies wake in the night or early morning due to being too cold. We can sometimes misinterpret their waking for hunger or a settling issue and end up feeding or rocking or resettling our babies, which can in turn actually then create a waking habit (in babies older than 6 months). Using a baby sleeping bag can help make sure your baby stays nice and warm (and asleep!) all night long.

We recommend sleeping bags that are made of natural fibres – cotton, wool, bamboo, merino – as these are much much safer for your baby and will mean they won’t overheat (a risk factor for SIDS). Avoid using polar fleece or polyester/synthetic sleeping bags as these are quite dangerous, with zero breathability or temperature-regulating properties.

Having a room thermometer is good too, so you can make sure you are dressing baby in the right clothing for their room temperature.


First Article

Newborns’ internal clocks aren’t fully developed. They can sleep up to 18 hours a day, divided about equally between night and day. Newborns should be wakened for feeding if they sleep more than 4 hours until they have good weight gain, usually within the first couple of weeks. After that, it’s OK if a baby sleeps for longer periods.

After those first weeks, infants may sleep for as long as 4 or 5 hours at a time — this is about how long their small bellies can go between feedings. If babies do sleep a good stretch at night, they may want to nurse or get a bottle more often during the day.

Just when parents feel that sleeping through the night is a far-off dream, their baby usually begins to sleep longer stretches at night. At 3 months, a baby averages about 14 hours of sleep total, with 8–9 hours at night (usually with an interruption or two) and two or three daytime naps.

It’s important to know that babies can cry and make all sorts of other noises during light sleep. Even if they do wake up in the night, they may only be awake for a few minutes before falling asleep again on their own.

But if a baby under 6 months old continues to cry, it’s time to respond. Your baby may be truly uncomfortable: hungry, wet, cold, or even sick. Keep routine nighttime changes and feedings as quick and quiet as possible. Don’t provide any unnecessary stimulation, such as talking, playing, turning on the lights, or using a bright mobile device while waiting for your child to sleep. Encourage the idea that nighttime is for sleeping. You have to teach this because your baby doesn’t care what time it is as long as his or her needs are met.

Ideally, place your baby in the crib before he or she falls asleep. It’s not too early to establish a simple bedtime routine. Any soothing activities (bathing, reading, singing) done consistently and in the same order each night can be part of the routine. Your baby will associate them with sleeping and they’ll help your little one wind down.

The goal is for babies to fall asleep by themselves and learn to soothe themselves and go back to sleep if they wake up in the middle of the night.



Second Article

Babies rack up lots of sleep overall, averaging 16-18 hours a day during the first two weeks.

Yet they awaken frequently, and rarely sleep more than 4 hours at a stretch, even at night. Their internal clocks aren’t yet synchronized with the external, 24-hour day.

It’s a recipe for exhaustion, but understanding the science of sleep can help you cope, and avoid mistakes that can delay your child’s development of more mature sleep rhythms.

Newborn sleep patterns: Are there any?

To the sleepless parent, newborn sleep might seem totally disorganized. For example, consider these points.

1. Newborns never sleep for long

Newborns sleep in short bouts — typically ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours — at seemingly random times throughout the day and night.

2. Newborns awaken easily

In part, this is because they spend a large portion of their sleep time in “active sleep,” a light sleep state characterized by fluttering eyelids; rapid, irregular breathing; occasional body movements; and vocalizations (grunts or brief cries).

3. Newborn sleep times can vary widely

In the first few days, the average newborn sleeps between 16-18 hours a day (Iglowstein et al 2002). By four weeks, newborn sleep averages about 14 hours. But the range is considerable. Some four-week-old babies sleep as little as 9 out of 24 hours. Others sleep for 19 hours a day (Iglowstein et al 2002).

If your baby doesn’t fit the typical profile, does that mean something is wrong?

Not necessarily. Some babies suffer from medical conditions that influence the way they sleep, so if you have concerns you should discuss them with your medical provider. But it appears that many healthy, normal newborns deviate several hours from the average duration of sleep.

How to help newborns get in sync with the natural, 24-hour day:

1. Make your baby a part of your daily routine

2. Reduce stimulation at night

3. Expose your newborn to natural lighting patterns

4. Try infant massage

5. Do you pump and store breast milk? Consider keeping a record of what time of day you express



It takes time to consolidate most of our sleep into the night-time. Babies and children vary in their sleep habits and sleep requirements, just like adults. It can be a good idea to have routine sleep times to stop your child getting overtired or sleepy during the day – see what works best for your child.

Under six months
Newborns sleep on and off through the day and night.

Babies aged 3-6 months might start moving towards a pattern of 2-3 daytime sleeps of up to two hours each. They might still wake at least once at night.

From 6-12 months
From about 6 months, babies have their longest sleep at night.

Between 6 and 12 months, most babies are in bed between 6 pm and 10 pm. They usually take less than 30 minutes to get to sleep (but about 10% of babies take longer).

Most babies can sleep for a period of 6 hours or more at night and are waking less. About 60% will wake only once during the night and need a grown-up to settle them back to sleep. About 1 in 10 will call out 3-4 times a night. More than a third of parents report problems with their baby’s sleep at this age.

Around 85-90% of infants aged 6-12 months are still having daytime naps. These naps usually last 1-2 hours. Some infants will sleep longer, but up to a quarter nap for less than an hour.

Waking at night is partly related to the child’s worry about being separated from a parent or parents. Overcoming this worry is normal and necessary for all children as a step towards becoming more independent at night.

From 12 months
From this age, children tend to sleep better. Some toddlers start to resist going to sleep at night, preferring to stay up with the family – this is the most common sleep problem reported by parents. It peaks around 18 months and improves with age.

Less than 5% of two-year-olds wake three or more times overnight.


Tired signs: why they’re important

Children show they’re tired through changes in behaviour. For example, your child might be suddenly irritable, overactive or demanding.

It’s important to look for your child’s ‘tired signs’. This can help you reduce stimulation and start settling your child before overtiredness sets in.

Newborns: tired signs

Newborn babies will probably get overtired if they’ve been awake for more than 1-1½ hours. At 3-6 months, your baby will be overtired after 1½-3 hours awake.

If your newborn is tired, you might see some of the following tired signs:

  • pulling at ears
  • closing fists
  • fluttering eyelids
  • jerky arm and leg movements
  • yawning
  • a worried look on your child’s face
  • arching backwards
  • difficulty focusing – your baby might even go cross-eyed or seem to be staring into space
  • sucking on fingers – this could be a good sign and might mean that your baby is trying to find ways to settle to sleep.

Babies and toddlers: tired signs

At 6-12 months, your baby will be overtired after 2-3 hours awake. At 12-18 months, your baby will be overtired if he misses out on his morning or afternoon sleep.

If your baby or toddler is tired, you might see some of the following tired signs:

  • clumsiness
  • clinginess
  • grizzling
  • crying
  • demands for constant attention
  • boredom with toys
  • fussiness with food.
Grizzling and crying can mean your child is absolutely exhausted, but it’s often hard to tell the difference between tired grizzling and hungry grizzling.

Reducing stimulation

If your child is showing signs of tiredness, you can reduce stimulation by:

  • taking your child to the place where she usually sleeps
  • putting toys away
  • talking quietly and soothingly
  • closing curtains and blinds
  • turning overhead lights off – use lamps if you need to
  • playing music quietly – this will help cut down on background noise.

Making quiet time

Some quiet time before bed will help your child settle to sleep:

  • Give your child some quiet time in the place where he usually sleeps.
  • Calm your child with a gentle cuddle or by reading a story or singing a quiet song.
  • Your child might need only a few minutes of quiet time before she’s relaxed and ready to be put in bed. If your household is noisy and active, your child might need some extra quiet time before it’s time for sleep.


Getting enough sleep is important for all of us, but it’s especially vital for a baby. It’s when the blood supply for their muscles grows, repair and growth of tissues takes place, and the body releases key hormones for development and growth.

Sleep, or the lack of it, can impact a baby’s temperament, central nervous system and brain maturation, and even their cognitive abilities.

Because they are growing and developing so rapidly, babies need a lot of sleep. By the time they reach 2 years old, children will have slept 40 percent of their life.


Article 1

Introduce a bedtime routine with rituals. A consistent bedtime routine helps give your baby bedtime boundaries making them feel safe, secure and settled. Doing the same things in the same order every night helps them to relax as they learn to anticipate what is coming next. Here are by top tips for a calm and gentle bedtime routine to ensure a calm night follows:

  1. The last supper: This should be timed right – neither too early, nor too late before bed. You want your baby to have a nice, full tummy for bed, but not so full that they are uncomfortable.
  2. The big chill: Keep it chilled after supper as over stimulation and an excited baby can be harder to settle
  3. Bath Time: Babies don’t need a bath every day, but it’s lovely to have one in the bedtime routine. It’s calming, relaxing, soothing and a great bonding experience. To make it even more of an experience you could listen to some gentle music, spray some lavender and dim the lights
  4. Feed and cuddle: time the bath so that straight afterwards they stay upstairs, so as not to get them all over-excited again after bath. Keep it relaxing, warm, cosy and quiet.
  5. Have a nap routine: A good nap routine will help prevent your baby becoming overtired making them hard to settle at bedtime, wake frequently during the night and rise with the sparrows. After 9 months try not to let them sleep past 3.30pm because this can affect their melatonin levels needed for a good night’s sleep.
  6. Learn and respond to their sleep cues: An over tired baby produces cortisol making them harder to settle. Learning your child’s sleep cues and responding to them at the first sign can help prevent this. Tired signs can be: rubbing eyes, pulling ears, yawning and going still and/or quiet.
  7. Right Environment for sleep: The right environment can really help you baby to have a good night’s sleep:

Dim lighting. If the room is too bright it can affect the production melatonin levels needed for sleep

Ideal temperature: Babies prefer a cooler temperature between 16 and 20.

White noise: This can help block out loud and sudden noises

Article 2

1. Make a plan

Write up a bedtime ritual. If you have an infant, it might be as simple as singing a song and turning on the white-noise machine. If you have a toddler or an older child, ask for their input in forming the plan. Let them decide how many books you will read together and when the cuddles will happen (this helps them identify their own settling needs and gives them a sense of control). Next, list the steps in sequence — “Put on pajamas, brush teeth, read books, cuddle, lights out” — so everyone knows exactly what will happen. For kids that can’t read, use a chart with pictures. Review the plan together before you begin. When a plan is communicated and rehearsed, children are more likely to internalize it and less likely to ask for things that are not on the script.

2. Time together

Some kids become unsettled at bedtime because they’re longing for more attention from their caregiver. Spending a few minutes asking kids questions about their day (focusing on the positive) or telling them things you’ve noticed about them can be a nice ritual. For babies, spend 5 or 10 minutes cuddling and making eye contact, singing or saying soothing words.

3. Respect the routine

Sticking to a set bedtime helps children feel secure because it offers predictability. Kids of all ages (and grown-ups, too) should ideally go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day, give or take 30 to 60 minutes. Yes, that includes weekends, too.

4. Power down

Electronic screens are a bad idea before bed because their light stimulates the brain. This can make kids feel wired just when they should be resting, and it can also inhibit the production of melatonin and serotonin, the sleepy-time hormones. Ideally, kids should turn off screens at least one to two hours before bed.

5. Keep it positive

Help younger kids who can’t tell time learn when it’s OK to rise by using a special clock that changes color at the appropriate sleep and wake times. Reward kids for waiting until the appointed hour. You can use a sticker chart and reward seven consecutive nights with a special treat or with fun one-on-one time. Don’t punish your kids for getting up. It might be frustrating as a parent to keep walking them back to bed, but you don’t want to create negative associations with being in bed.

6. Practice makes perfect

It’s also important to practice good “sleep hygiene.” Use the bed and bedroom for resting. Make sure toys and distractions are cleaned up before bed, or store them in another area of the house, if possible. Creating a strong sleep association with the bed and bedroom makes it easier to fall asleep there. The more your mind practices relaxing and falling asleep in a certain place, the easier it becomes.

7. This too shall pass

If you’re still facing a little insomniac after all your best efforts, don’t despair. Try to pull back and consider what might be going on. Sometimes children regress as they face a new developmental milestone. Sometimes they’re struggling to process a significant event. Trust your intuition.

Up until the age of four, parents really do have to teach children to sleep. This means taking them back to bed when they get up at the wrong time and helping to soothe their anxiety after bad dreams. If you need to use bribes at this age, don’t despair. It’s just a phase, and you’ll all make it through soon enough.


Light and sleep

Try dimming the lights as you get your baby or young child ready for bed. In the daytime, closing blinds or curtains will help your child sleep.

A darker room means less stimulation around your child. This will help calm and settle him. A darkened room also tells your child that it’s time for rest.

Once your child is in bed, she’ll sleep better if the amount of light in the room stays the same while she’s asleep.

Noise and sleep

Children can sleep with some noise. Your child doesn’t need an absolutely silent room to sleep. But it’s easier for your child to go to sleep when noise levels are kept consistent. If your child falls asleep to noise, hearing less noise might wake him up. Or a sudden loud noise might wake him.

Tips for managing light and noise

These tips can help you reduce light and keep noise consistent:

  • Block out sudden noises. You could shut the windows and doors, hang heavier curtains or a blanket over windows, or put a draft blocker under the door.
  • For babies under six months, try low-level noise in the room where your child sleeps. A radio played quietly or white noise like a fan or a radio tuned to static can be soothing for your child. These can also block out sudden noises.
  • Block out morning light and noise, like the sounds of traffic or other early risers. Thicker curtains and closed windows might help too. This can help your child sleep longer in the morning.

If you use a radio or a source of white noise, place it well away from your baby’s ears and keep the volume low. This protects your child’s hearing. If you’re worried your baby might come to depend on these sounds to get to sleep, try turning them off every now and then.

Moving your child to a big kid bed before age three is problematic because the behavioral tools that will work to keep a 3 year-old in bed will not be effective on a younger child. Please wait until your child is three before you move them to a big kid bed. When they begin to climb, you can do three things, I suggest you do all of them if needed:

  1. From infancy, always put them to sleep in a sleep sack so they can be used to it. A sleep sack is like a wearable blanket that zips up and has arm holes. In the beginning, this is practical for staying cozy, but when they are at the age where they begin to climb, it actually prevents them from getting very far because their legs are inside the blanket. If they are particularly clever, they may unzip it. In that case you put it on them backwards.
  2. Lower the mattress all the way. I don’t mean to the lowest setting that the crib offers. I mean, take out your tools and take the mattress off of the crib frame completely, and put it on the floor inside the crib frame so it is as low as possible.
  3. If they manage to climb from the mattress on the floor, in the backwards sleep sack, then your last resort option is spend three days of naps and nights putting them back in. Over and over and over again. Each time your toddler gets out, say, “No Climbing”. It is a tedious three days. But the reward is your child stays put.


Medical Research

The study, conducted by the University of Sydney, Australia, and funded by The Woolmark Company, explored the impact of wool bedding and sleepwear on sleep quality and quantity in adults. The three-year study measured total sleep time and sleep efficiency – the portion of time spent asleep compared to the total time in bed – across 17 participants, and found that wool bedding and wool sleepwear are beneficial to a good night’s sleep.

Consistent with earlier science findings, the early results from a study undertaken by the University of Sydney, Australia, are showing that wool sleeping apparel and bedding increases total sleep time, promotes sleep onset and improves sleep efficiency.

In hot (29° Celsius) conditions, wearing wool sleepwear saw participants in the study sleep significantly longer, reflecting faster sleep onset and waking up less frequently. In both cold (17° Celsius) and neutral (22° Celsius) conditions, the combination of wool sleepwear and bedding saw participants have a more efficient sleep compared to when tested using non-wool sleepwear and bedding.

Science is also showing that merino wool assists those suffering from chronic skin conditions, and challenges misconceptions that wool is ‘prickly’ and ‘itchy’.


Research conducted on jaundiced newborns revealed that those sleeping on wool were more settled when sleeping compared to those on cotton – spending 8 per cent more time without minor movements, 14 per cent less time performing major movements, and crying less (about 30 per cent of babies on wool cried compared with 67 per cent on cotton).

Source: Powley, M., Nye, P., and Buckffield, P. The Lancet, May 3, 1980, p979-980

Wearing wool pyjamas could be more effective at tackling insomnia than counting sheep, research suggests.

The body can be kept in the “thermal comfort zone” most conducive to restful sleep by wearing wool, Australian scientists said.

In a study of students in their 20s, they nodded off four minutes faster on average when wearing pyjamas made from merino wool rather than cotton, taking 11 minutes instead of 15. They also enjoyed an extra seven minutes of sleep per night.

Adults aged 65 to 70 got to sleep even faster when wearing woollen PJs, falling asleep after 12 minutes compared with 22 and 27 minutes for people wearing polyester or cotton.

Researcher Dr Paul Swan, from the University of Sydney, said: “Not so long ago sleeping under wool bedding was the norm, and science is now rediscovering the benefits of sleeping in wool.

“Maybe it is not a coincidence because wool regulates your body temperature far better, keeping you in what is known as ‘the thermal comfort zone’. You therefore not only fall asleep quicker, sleep longer, but also have deeper, better quality sleep.”

“Enjoying good sleep has become increasingly difficult in modern times, and so anything that helps is great for your mental and physical health.”

The research in Australia was carried out over periods of nine and four night, involving 17 students and 36 older adults. Participants were put to bed in British-level night-time tempeatures of 17C (62.6F).


Wool fibres are naturally breathable. They can absorb large quantities of moisture vapour and allow it to evaporate, making wool garments feel less clingy and more comfortable than garments made from other fibres. In contrast to synthetics, wool is an active fibre that reacts to changes in the body’s temperature, keeping the wearer comfortable.

Accordingly, wool garments are one of the most breathable of all the common apparel types. 


Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) has officially recognised bedding products made from Merino wool as asthma & allergy friendly.

ASL states: “There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that high quality, fine Merino wool is non-irritant and of low risk to those with sensitive skin. A recent report reviewing the literature on the subject found that a coarse fiber diameter (>30-32μm) will induce a cutaneous irritation that is not observed with finer merino wool. The effects on patients with mild-to-moderate Atopic Dermatitis wearing merino clothing was also recently examined in several clinical studies carried out in Australia and the US.”

A major study conducted by an expert group of allergists, immunologists, and dermatologists from across the globe, reviewed the past 100 years of research to assess claims that wool causes allergy. This analysis, published as Debunking the Myth of Wool Allergy, found no evidence that wool is an allergen.

The study found that suitably selected superfine merino products are healthy for the skin, especially for those with the most sensitive skin. Superfine Merino wool fibres bend easily, causing minimal or no skin irritation.

Furthermore, recent studies suggest that contemporary superfine Merino wool with their reduced fibre diameters in fact benefit eczema management.

Australia produces 80 per cent of the world’s supply of superfine Merino wool (≤ 18.5 micron).


Su, J. C. et al. Determining Effects of Superfine Sheep wool in Infantile Eczema (DESSINE): a randomized paediatric crossover study. J. Dermatol. 177, 125–133 (2017).

Spelman L.J., Supranowicz M.J., Davidson K.A., Johnston J.J., Yau B., and Holland T.L. An Investigator Blinded, Clinical Trial Assessing the Efficacy of Superfine Merino Wool Base Layer Garments (SMWBG) in Children with Atopic Dermatitis (AD) Measuring SCORAD1, EASI2, POEM3 and DSA4 Scores. Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research. 7(1) (2019)

Fowler, J. F, Fowler, L. M. & Lorenz, D. The Effects of Merino Wool on Atopic Dermatitis Using Clinical, Quality of Life, and Physiological Outcome Measures. American Contact Dermatitis Society, 30 (3), 198–206 (2019).

Eczema, also known as Atopic Dermatitis, is approaching epidemic levels in Western nations, with more than 25% of all children born in Australia having a degree of eczema. Sufferers of the condition have dysfunctional skin that dries out, which leads to the skin cracking, bacterial infection, redness, scratching and itching.

However, in positive news for the wool industry, two recent dermatology trials – funded by The Woolmark Company – have shown that infant and adult sufferers of eczema have reduced symptoms when wearing superfine Merino wool garments next to the skin.

Study 1: clinical trial of infants with eczema (MCRI, Melbourne)

A study of approximately 40 babies and young children under 3 years old, at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne, showed significant advantages of superfine Merino wool base-layers over cotton in improving the symptoms of eczema. In the study half the children wore 100% superfine Merino wool for six weeks before changing over to cotton, with the remaining children starting in cotton before switching over to Merino wool after six weeks.

“We found that wearing superfine Merino wool led to an overall greater improvement in eczema, when compared with wearing outfits made of cotton,” said Associate Professor John Su.

“This finding challenges prevalent beliefs in the lay and medical communities, as well as findings from older, less rigorously performed studies from the mid-1950s, when coarser diameter and heavier wool garments were used.

“Skin irritation from any fibre type partly relates to the diameter of fibres. While wool can have many fibre diameters, only low diameter (superfine) Merino wool garments were used in the MCRI study.

“When comparing Merino with cotton, there are also other inherent differences in fibre properties: Merino’s greater ability to transfer moisture vapour and heat than the other major apparel fibres enable it to maintain a more stable microclimate between the skin and the garment.”

[…] Featured in the news report were Rheannan Williams and her 2-year-old daughter who suffers from eczema.

“The eczema was red, painful and blistery,” Rheannan said. “But within two to three weeks of wearing wool it was unbelievable… her skin is clear… I would 100% recommend it, it’s amazing.”

The trials have been conducted using lightweight, 150 gram per square metre superfine Merino wool garments with a micron range finer than 18.6 microns.

Program Manager of Fibre Advocacy and Eco Credentials with The Woolmark Company, Angus Ireland, says the studies demonstrate a strong role for superfine Merino in fostering healthy skin and managing eczema.

“The traditional advice to indiscriminately avoid wool against the skin, based on early commentaries that failed to distinguish between wool fibre types, can now be modified to include superfine Merino as a recommended next-to-skin clothing choice.

“It’s interesting to note that, prior to the QIDerm study, most patients say they couldn’t tolerate wool and many believed they were allergic to wool. However, we didn’t have a single patient withdraw from the study due to any types of intolerance of these superfine wools.

“The results from the dermatological research are extremely encouraging and provide a significant opportunity for Merino wool. The findings are potentially not only profound for sufferers of this debilitating and potentially life-long condition, but also for the wool industry.”

The fact that the Brisbane-based study was undertaken throughout the city’s hot and humid summer conditions, also shows that low-micron lightweight wool garments are suitable for all seasons.

Study 2

Despite limited evidence, woollen clothing has traditionally been considered to be an irritant that should be avoided by individuals with atopic dermatitis (AD). Wool fibres come in a range of diameters, and have beneficial thermodynamic and moisture transport properties.

Objectives: This study examines the effects of superfine merino wool on symptoms in participants with mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis.

Methods:The trial was a 12-week, randomized, assessor-blinded, crossover, prospective, cohort study of 39 patients with mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis, aged between 4 weeks and 3 years, comparing superfine merino wool ensembles with standard cotton clothing chosen by parents. Participants were assigned to wool or cotton clothing and assessed every 3 weeks for 6 weeks, before crossing over to wear the other clothing material for a further 6-week period, with similar 3-weekly reviews. The primary end point was the SCORing Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index after each 6-week period, with Atopic Dermatitis Severity Index (ADSI), Infants’ Dermatitis Quality Of Life Index (IDQOL) and topical steroid use as secondary end points to measure atopic dermatitis severity and quality of life.

Results: Overall, compared with baseline, superfine wool ensembles were associated with a reduction in mean SCORAD of 2·5 [95% confidence interval (CI) -4·7 to -0·4] at 3 weeks and 7·6 (95% CI -10·4 to -4·8) at 6 weeks when compared with the cotton ensembles. A similar change was observed in ADSI and IDQOL scores for the same period. Body steroid use was also reduced. Conversely, changing ensembles from wool to cotton resulted in an increase in scores.

Conclusion: Superfine merino wool may assist in the management of childhood atopic dermatitis.

Study 3

A study of child and adult sufferers of eczema, commissioned by AWI and undertaken by the Division of Dermatology, University of Louisville, Kentucky, has demonstrated the beneficial effects of wearing superfine Merino wool next to the skin. The study, published in the medical journal Dermatitis and led by Professor Joe Fowler, confirmed that wearing Merino wool clothing compared to standard clothing provided improvements in severity of atopic dermatitis (eczema) as well as quality of life in atopic dermatitis patients.


British Journal of Dermatology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Association of Dermatologists

Recently published research has demonstrated that wearing superfine merino wool (18.5 microns and less) next to the skin is beneficial for eczema sufferers. This adds to a growing number of research findings supporting the wellbeing benefits of superfine merino wool. 

The research has shown that wearing superfine merino wool significantly improves the severity and symptoms of this chronic skin condition, challenging misconceptions that all wool is prickly and itchy.

Studies have found that whether it’s hot, cold, humid or dry, garments made from merino wool are the most breathable compared with garments made from most common apparel fibre types. Wool can absorb and release twice as much moisture vapour as cotton and 30 times as much as polyester.

When worn next to the skin, wool works to buffer the dynamic micro-climate between the fabric and the skin, helping to stabilise the humidity and temperature. It appears that wool acts like a second skin.

Merino wool clothing, compared with standard clothing, provided improvements in severity of atopic dermatitis as well as quality of life in atopic patients.

Eczema affects up to 28% of infants with increasing prevalence in many parts of the world.


A study showed the weight gain rate in underweight newborns in incubators was 61 per cent higher when sleeping on a wool underlay compared to a cotton sheet.


Weight gain in underweight newborns was 61% higher when they slept on a wool underlay instead of a cotton sheet, researchers have found.

Jaundiced newborns sleeping on wool were more settled and cried less than those sleeping on cotton, other research revealed.

In a study of Australian pre-school children on bedding fabrics and underlays, children who slept in any synthetic bedding in summer or winter were more likely to be reported as having a sleep problem, than those who slept in cotton or wool.


A highly esteemed group of medical professionals from across the world have reviewed research papers published during the past 100 years to critically assess scientific studies claiming wool causes allergy. A new analysis found no evidence that wool is an allergen, and if a fabric does cause any sensations of itch and prickle on the skin then it is because of the large diameter of the fibres and not due to the fibre type being wool.

More details can be read on the link below.


The overall conclusion is that there is some evidence these sleeping bags are safe when used properly, and at least some initial indication they could help to prevent SIDS.


The use of baby sleep bags has increased dramatically within the British population over the last decade. Parents report that sleep bags are a convenient alternative to traditional bedding, and help their babies sleep better by preventing them from kicking off blankets and becoming cold during the night. Such use is also supported by a study that suggested that their use is a preventative factor against SIDS (L’Hoir et al 1998) (possibly due to reduced potential for excess bedding and head covering, as might occur when traditional blankets, sheets or duvets are used), and by some advisory bodies including the Lullaby Trust. Very little epidemiological support exists for this, as few SIDS risk studies have examined sleep bag use. A recent UK case control study, found no association between sleep bag use and SIDS risk (Blair et al., 2009).

The relationship between bedding, temperature and SIDS

Since the 1980s there has been considerable scientific interest in the relationship between infant thermal environments and the risk of SIDS. A number of case-control studies conducted prior to the Back to Sleep campaign demonstrated that infants whose deaths were designated as SIDS tended to be exposed to greater insulation from more bedding (thicker or more layers), clothing, and higher ambient temperature than control infants. They also suggested the rate of SIDS was significantly higher during the winter months due to changes in thermal care practices during these months (e.g. Fleming et al 1990; Ponsonby et al 1992). Excessive bedding or high ambient room temperature and head covering may affect various aspects of infant physiology, with potentially negative consequences.


Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics

  • Babies shouldn’t share a bed with parents. Sleeping in the same room, but not in the same bed, may reduce babies’ risk of SIDS by up to 50 percent;
  • The safest spot for infant sleep is on a firm surface such as a crib or bassinet without any soft bedding, bumpers or pillows;
  • Parents need to make sure that everyone taking care of their baby follows the A-B-Cs of safe sleep. Their infant should always be placed to sleep ‘A’ Alone, with no bed sharing or objects in the sleep area, ‘B’ on their back, and ‘C’ in a crib or bassinet only;
  • Head covering is identified as a risk factor of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of baby sleep sacks as a safer alternative to loose bedding. 


The endocrine system is a network of glands and organs that produce, store, and secrete hormones. When functioning normally, the endocrine system works with other systems to regulate your body’s healthy development and function throughout life. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are substances in the environment (air, soil, or water supply), food sources, personal care products, and manufactured products that interfere with the normal function of your body’s endocrine system.

EDCs can disrupt many different hormones, which is why they have been linked to numerous adverse human health outcomes including alterations in sperm quality and fertility, abnormalities in sex organs, endometriosis, early puberty, altered nervous system function, immune function, certain cancers, respiratory problems, metabolic issues, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular problems, growth, neurological and learning disabilities, and more.

Common EDCs used for children’s products are Lead, Phthalates, Cadmium and Certain Plastic.

What can be done? Become familiar with EDCs to which you and your family may be exposed. Try to avoid unnecessary, preventable exposure to EDC-containing consumer products.