Baby Sleep Myths Debunked by Expert Jo Tantum

There’s so much information out there about baby safe sleep and it can be difficult to decipher fact from fiction, so we asked Purflo resident Paediatric Sleep expert to separate the facts from fiction for us. Jo has been working with babies and parents across the globe for more than 30 years and regularly contributes to magazines, radio, TV and leading baby brand websites with expert advice

Myth: If babies have cold hands and feet it means they are cold all over or they are getting a cold. 

Fact: Having cold hands and feet is totally normal. Your baby’s circulation is still developing so their blood goes to their vital organs where it is needed the most. Their hands and feet are the last body parts to get a good blood supply. To find out if your baby is warm enough, feel their tummy or back. You can also use an ear thermometer to get an accurate reading. A normal temperature for your baby is between 36-37 degrees Celsius. And a fever is classed as 38 degrees and above in which case you should seek medical advice.


Myth: 16-20 degrees feels cold to us so our babies must be cold?

Fact: The temperature of the room your baby sleeps in is especially important and it is incredibly important your baby does not overheat. The recommended safe temperature is between 16-20 degrees and that does feel cool to us. The layers your baby is wearing and the swaddle or sleeping bag they are sleeping in will determine how warm they are so it’s useful to check your ‘what to wear guide’ that comes with the product. For extra peace of mind, it’s a good idea to invest in a room thermometer. The Purflo Room Thermometer is fab as it’s rechargeable and travel-friendly, making it ideal for use where you go.


Myth: Swaddling your baby isn’t safe. 

Fact: Swaddling has been around for centuries and we use swaddling nowadays to settle our babies and make them feel more secure after they are born. Make sure you are using a light breathable material that isn’t wrapped tightly around your baby’s hips as this can cause hip dysplasia. The lovely Purflo Swaddle to Sleep is perfect for swaddling your baby safely as it is pre-shaped and there is no wrapping required.


Myth: All nests are unsafe and should not be used.

Fact: Baby nests are great as they make your baby feel secure and cosy but, they are only suitable for daytime naps and supervised use. However,  Purflo have just launched the Sleep Tight Bed which is the first of its kind that can be used overnight.  It has been rigorously tested to the highest safety standards. The bed keeps your baby feeling snug without the concerns of overheating and suffocation as the side walls are made from a material that retains its structure, called Dupont Sorona.


Myth: If you keep your baby awake all day without a nap they will sleep all night as they will be so tired. 

Fact: The opposite is actually true! Babies who either do not nap or don’t sleep very much in the day will wake more frequently in the night. Initially at the beginning of the night they will ‘crash’ into sleep as they are so exhausted. Then, they will wake through their sleep cycles more often and have periods of wakefulness sometimes for an hour to two where they seem wide awake . This is because they are overtired and overstimulated and cannot switch off. Just like us, when we are overtired and then have a really bad night’s sleep. So, naps are really important for babies and impact their night-time sleep.


Myth: If I use white noise it won’t make any difference to my baby’s sleep and it might keep them awake.

Fact: Actually, white noise has been proven to help babies settle to sleep more quickly and stay asleep for longer! When your baby was in the womb it was full of noises – the whooshing of amniotic fluid, your heartbeat, the muffled sounds of the outside world. So when your baby is born, they prefer it not to be silent. Womb sounds or waves for the first 4 months really help settle your little one and after that white noise for naps and nights. It can be a real game changer if you have an unsettled baby or even a toddler. It is also really useful when a new baby arrives to help drown out the noises from your older child or even for nightmares and night terrors. It’s a good idea to look for a white noise machine that you can take with you when travelling or when out and about, like this sweet little cloud version from Purflo.