Ask An Expert

Safe Sleeping Tips for Babies & Toddlers

August 17, 2022
Kim Davis
Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant

Our Founder and CEO, Julia Slanina, sat down with Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Founder of Babes and Beyond, Kim Davis, to speak about sleeping tips for newborns and toddlers. 

We start the topic off with our first question; what can go in a crib for younger children?

Response: Kim stresses that there should only be a firm mattress and fitted sheets in the crib; as other objects such as toys, stuffed animals, loose blankets, etc. can become a choking hazard quickly. 

When should babies transition from the bassinet to the crib?

Response: Often, the transition from the bassinet to the crib is on an individual basis; depending on the age, size (big enough to roll around, around four months), and temperament of your child. 

How can I keep my child cool during extreme heat?

Response: Dressing your child appropriately in breathable clothing and pajamas such as light cotton, will help in keeping them cool. If you are using a fan, it should not blow directly on the child; as it might make them sick. Kim also states that you can check the back of your toddler’s neck if they are overheating.

It is also important to note that on especially hot days, having a blanket inside of the stroller on a walk can raise the internal temperature by 10 degrees and cause a severe risk for heat stroke. Kim recommends going for walks in the early morning or evening, during the cooler temperatures. 

Can a baby sleep with a pacifier?

Response: It is recommended to sleep with a pacifier to help reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). However, if a baby is relying on the pacifier to transition into sleep cycles, you should look at managing independent sleep schedules so that your child doesn’t rely too heavily on the pacifier. 

Can a baby sleep on their stomach?

Response: Stomach sleeping should be avoided; a child may not have the core strength to lift themselves and may suffocate or choke in sleep. It is recommended to put your baby on their back.

What’s the deal with naps?

Response: Naps are an important part of your child’s development and transition into getting a full night's rest. Restorative sleeping is crucial for building your toddler’s immune system, preventing illness, and helping with mood. Kim mentions that if your child is not eating enough, getting sick frequently, or has any behavioural issues, it is likely due to not enough restorative sleep. If your child is refusing a nap, try for at least 10 days to keep offering one to understand why and what is impacting their sleep behaviour. 

Black-out curtains are a great way to send the message to your child’s brain that it is time to sleep and to start producing melatonin. Taking a look at your national sleep foundation guidelines is a good start to understanding how many hours of sleep and naps your child needs per day. 

For more information or helpful tips, connect with Kim Davis at

About The Author

Kim Davis is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and founder of Babes & Beyond Pediatric Sleep Consulting. For more than 7 years she has been helping families become healthier, happier and amazing sleepers through her customized sleep programs.

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