A new mom sits in a rocking chair in a nursery with her newborn baby sleeping on her chest

Where to Put a Newborn During the Day (To Sleep and When Awake)

Are you a new parent wondering where to lay your precious newborn? Finding the perfect spot for your little one to rest, play, and grow is a good thing to know. This article offers a number of options around the house to help you make the best decision about where to put a newborn during the day to sleep and when awake as well. 

From bassinets or cribs to portable options like pack ‘n plays, we’ll explore all the possibilities to ensure your baby’s safety and comfort throughout the day. 

While always putting their safety first, we can encourage their physical and cognitive development in different sleeping and playing locations. 

The Importance of Providing a Safe and Comfortable Environment for Newborns During the Day

Providing a safe and comfortable environment for newborns during the day is incredibly important. Newborns are adjusting to this new environment with minimal muscle control and developing immune systems so ensuring they have a secure space is essential for their well-being and development. And it’s our responsibility as their caregivers to give it to them. 

A safe space for a newborn means that all potential dangers are avoided to reduce any risk of accidents or injuries to our little one. 

A comfortable spot will help them feel safe and relaxed so that they can focus on resting, growing and developing. 

Newborns should always be placed on their backs to sleep in a safe sleeping spot that meets current safety standards.

This means that where you put your newborn to sleep, even for naps during the day, should be flat, firm, and without any loose objects or soft bedding that could be a suffocation risk. 

While your newborn is awake, you can move them to other safe spaces that are specifically designed for infants as long as you constantly supervise them.

Always check product instructions to ensure that it is appropriate for your baby’s age and weight and that it also meets current safety standards in your area. 

Don’t forget to allow your little one plenty of tummy time moments throughout the day as this will help them strengthen their neck muscles and head control. 

And of course, offer lots of skin-to-skin contact. Cuddling, holding, and carrying are great ways to encourage a connection with your newborn.  

Where to Put a Newborn During the Day to Sleep

When it comes to your precious newborn’s daytime snooze, it’s all about creating a safe and cozy sleeping spot. So, what’s the best option? 

A crib or a bassinet specifically designed for newborns is the best place to put a newborn during the day to sleep. This is one of the most essential baby gear products.

Always follow the guidelines for safe infant sleep. 

A new mom lays next to her newborn baby sleeping on their back in the crib beside the bed

Cribs and bassinets have sturdy sides and a nice firm mattress to keep your little one safe while they nap. Always make sure you keep the sleeping surface free from any potential hazards such as loose bedding, pillows, or fluffy stuffed animals to avoid any suffocation risks.

By setting up a crib or bassinet as their main sleeping spot during the day, you’ll help your newborn get in some great naps and you’ll have peace of mind knowing they’re snoozing away in a secure spot!

Even with your little one in a crib or bassinet, don’t forget to keep an eye on them and use a baby monitor if you have to leave the room. 

If you need to be in another room, consider moving the bassinet close to you so that you can supervise your little one as they snooze.

If your crib or bassinet is not portable, babywearing is another option for the occasional daytime nap. 

Choose a wrap or carrier that is suitable for your baby’s age and size.

As long as you are constantly monitoring your infant (even while on you) and following the safety guidelines, babywearing can be a convenient way to let your little one sleep and allow you to move around the house as needed. 

Where to Put a Newborn During the Day When Awake

When your newborn isn’t sleeping, there are several safe and convenient places for them to go during their wake windows. Playpens or playards, baby bouncers or swings, on top of a mat or blanket on the floor, and a baby carrier or wrap are ideal locations to put your newborn during the day when awake.

One popular choice is a playpen or playard. These portable crib-like play areas provide a secure and enclosed space for your newborn to play, stretch, and explore their surroundings while you keep an eye on them. 

Another option is a baby bouncer or a baby swing. These can be a great way to keep your little munchkin entertained and give your arms a break. They provide gentle motion and soothing vibrations, keeping your newborn content and happy.

Lastly, laying them down on the floor on top of a blanket or play mat is always a good option for back or tummy time while your newborn is awake. Simply stretch out soft blanket or play mat on the floor and let your baby explore, wiggle, and use those baby muscles.

Remember, supervision is key no matter where you decide to place your newborn. Whether it’s a playpen, a bouncer, or some good old tummy time on the floor, make sure it’s a safe and enjoyable space for your little one.

If you need to move around the house, secure your newborn into a carrier or wrap suitable for newborns so that they can go from place to place with you. 

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Crib or Bassinet in the Nursery or Parent’s Room for Newborn’s Naps and Awake Time

If you want to find a good spot to put your newborn down during the day, a crib or bassinet in the baby’s nursery or the parent’s room is the perfect option. 

A well-designed baby bassinet will offer a safe place for your baby to sleep while being small enough to be easily moved to your desired spot.

A baby crib won’t be portable like a bassinet but good infant cribs provide adjustable mattress heights to reach your little one and many even have convertible options to use as a toddler bed.

Having a dedicated baby-sleep area in the house can help get your little one used to a bit more structure for their nap schedule.

Little by little, their cozy area will become a familiar place for them to relax.

Set up soft lighting, happy colours, and a quiet environment to really create a peaceful place for your infant. 

Of course, it’s ideal to have it be a practical spot as well. By setting up a nursery or baby section of your room, you can keep all their baby necessities in one spot. 

That means diapers, clothes, and toys are all in one place, making life a bit easier for you! 

When it comes to safety, remember to always make sure they have a safe and supervised sleeping area. 

The crib or bassinet should always meet the current safety standards. The sleeping surface should be firm, flat, and completely free of any loose bedding, stuffed animals and pillows, or objects that could be a suffocation hazard.

With a cozy crib or bassinet and a logical nursery layout, you’ll have the perfect safe and snuggly space for your little one to enjoy during the daytime.

Pack ‘n Play or Playard for When Your Newborn’s Not Sleeping

Let’s talk about the wonderful world of playpens and play yards for your adorable newborn. They can be an absolute lifesaver when you need a safe and convenient spot for your little one during the day.

These useful items are designed to offer a secure and enclosed area for your growing baby.

There are many different designs and additional accessories for pack ‘n plays.

Some playards include bassinet and change table accessories. Others are basic in features but ultra lightweight and made to fold compact for travel.

But when it comes to choosing the right playpen or play yard, safety is key.

I probably sound like a broken record by now, but if you haven’t noticed, safety really is of utmost importance when you choose any product for your newborn. 

You always need to check the current safety standards and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use. While you’re at it, double-check that there haven’t been any product recalls. 

Never leave your newborn unattended in a playpen or play yard but as long as you’re near them supervising, these play areas are great for your newborn to be able to stretch and play and move their own body around to explore their world. 

If your little one dozes off while in the playpen or play yard, make sure you follow the necessary steps to make it a safe sleep area for them.

If needed, you can transfer them to a different safe sleeping location like their crib or bassinet.

Babywearing Your Newborn During the Day

Babywearing your newborn during the day can be a wonderful bonding experience for both you and your little one. 

Using a comfortable and secure baby wrap or structured baby carrier, you can keep your baby close while having your hands free to go about your daily activities. 

A mom looks at her phone while babywearing her sleeping newborn baby in a wrap

A baby wrap is a long strip of soft stretchy fabric that you can tie around you and your baby (following instructions) so that your little one is held tightly to your body.

Structured carriers are another great way to wear your infant close to your body and can be quickly and easily put on and off to hold your baby.

Whether awake or napping, babywearing provides a snug soothing environment for your newborn, as they feel your warmth, hear your heartbeat, and experience the gentle motion of your movements. 

Babywearing also promotes a sense of security and closeness, enhancing parent-child attachment.

You can probably guess what’s coming next.

Check the guidelines for each carrier or wrap you use so that it is properly set up for your infant. Their face should always be visible and free from any obstruction. 

Using a Baby Swing or Bouncer for Babies to Sit in During the Day

Baby bouncers or swings can be a very convenient option for a newborn to sit in during the day. These infant seats allow your baby to observe their surroundings at a comfortable incline while enjoying a gentle swinging or bouncing movement.

These devices often come with different features and accessories.

Some have settings for soothing motion and vibrations that can help calm and entertain your little one while you attend to other tasks (nearby). 

Others include features such as toy arches or mobiles, music, mirrors and other entertaining accessories.

While these products are great for your newborn to enjoy during their awake periods, they are not recommended for infant sleep.

Bouncers and swings were not designed for a safe sleeping position and can pose potential risks to newborn babies. 

With proper use and close supervision, a baby bouncer or swing can be a helpful tool to keep your newborn content and engaged during the day.

Playmat or Blanket on the Ground for Tummy Time and Newborn Play

Playmats and blankets on the ground are great to use in the living room or bedroom and are an excellent choice for your newborn to play and practise tummy time

Playmats are designed with all sorts of fun and engaging colours and patterns to stimulate your baby’s senses and encourage their development. 

With arches and mirrors, sounds and textures, fun and fancy baby gyms are sure to keep your little one’s senses intrigued. 

Just make sure to choose playmats that are made with baby-safe materials and are easy to clean because even tiny babies can make quite a mess!

Soft blankets are another snuggly spot to let your little sweetie stretch out.

A soft blanket stretched on the ground is an easy place to put your newborn in the living room (or another room that doesn’t have a dedicated baby playmat) as they can be easily folded and tucked away when not in use. 

A mom sits beside her newborn baby doing tummy time on a blanket

Whether on their back or their tummy, they’ll love moving their tiny limbs and observing the room around them. 

If you have pets such as dogs or cats, bring the animal to another area of the house or gate-off the room that your little one is on the floor in. 

If your pup doesn’t do well being kept away from the family, choose floor time when someone else is taking the dog for a walk or when it’s playing outside. 

Tummy time and pets shouldn’t go together. While you may feel confident in your animal’s behaviour, keeping some separation while your infant is on the floor will just omit any chance of a negative situation. 

If necessary, you can always do supervised tummy time in a playpen or on a bed rather than the floor so that the dog cannot reach the baby. 

It’s important to give your baby plenty of tummy time while they are awake and alert as it will help them strengthen the muscles they need to lift their head and develop good head control. 

Change the Location Frequently of Where you Place Your Newborn During the Day

It’s a good idea to change the location of where you place your newborn during the day to provide them with different types of sensory stimulation and to prevent them from developing a flat spot on their head. 

Experts recommend that you change the position of your baby’s head during sleep and playtime to avoid pressure on any one area of their head.

You can change the location of where you place your newborn during awake time and throughout the day. 

For example, you can move your baby from a crib to a playpen, to tummy time, to a baby swing or bouncer, and then to a baby carrier or wrap.

Each daytime location and position will allow your newborn to use different muscles and have a different view of their surroundings.

Keep Your Newborn Entertained and Stimulated During the Day

Newborns may not be able to play with toys or engage in many activities due to their limited vision and motor skills. However, there are still plenty of ways to keep your baby entertained and stimulated during the day.

As previously mentioned, changing your newborn’s environment can help them develop physically and cognitively. 

A great way to entertain and stimulate your newborn is to simply talk and sing to them. 

Babies find comfort in the sound of your voice, and it even helps with their language development. So go ahead, chat away to them, sing those nursery rhymes (or any song really), and read those adorable baby books!

Another lovely way to bond with your newborn is through gentle touch and massage. Babies thrive on the loving connection that touch provides, so giving them a soothing massage can help them relax and feel secure.

While their vision may be limited, newborns can still benefit from colourful and visually stimulating objects. Hang a mobile above their crib or place a vibrant toy within their gaze during awake time. 

Tummy time is another essential activity for your baby’s development. By placing them on their stomach on a soft surface for a few minutes each day (with your watchful eye, of course), you can help strengthen their neck and upper body muscles. It’s a great way to encourage their growth and milestones.

Even a simple bath can be a great daytime activity for your newborn baby. Get some water in the baby bathtub and let your sweetie enjoy so many sensations.

As your little one grows, so will their desire to explore. Provide plenty of safe opportunities for exploration. 

There are lots of indoor and outdoor activities you can do with a new baby.

Take your baby out of the house, let them touch and feel different textures, and introduce them to baby-safe play areas where they can freely discover their surroundings. 

Remember, always pay attention to your baby’s cues so that you provide plenty of time for rest and sleep. 

Too much stimulation for newborns can be overwhelming so you’ll want to find the right balance between playtime and downtime to support their growth and happiness.

Final Thoughts on Places at Home for a Newborn

When it comes to deciding where to put your newborn during the day, their comfort and safety is the number one priority. Newborns thrive on close interaction and a nurturing environment so choose daytime spaces that meets their needs, whether for daytime naps or while they’re awake, that also allows you to keep a close eye on them. 

Whether you choose a crib in a cozy nursery, a bassinet in your bedroom, a playpen in the living room, or a baby carrier for on-the-go cuddles, find what works best for you and your little one and switch it up to keep their days stimulating and comforting.