​What Should a Baby Wear While Sleeping? ​ (2024)

As a new parent, you'll likely obsess about every aspect of your baby's sleep—including what they wear to bed. It's not as simple as grabbing the cutest pair of footie pajamas in their closet. Your little one's outfit must help them maintain the proper temperature throughout the night. Plus, choosing an unsafe option might increase the risk of suffocation or strangulation.

Wondering what a baby should wear while sleeping? Whether it's summer, winter, or somewhere in between, we rounded up expert tips you need to know. (Now if you could only get them to sleep through the night!)

Choosing Bedtime Clothes for Your Baby

When a baby sleeps, you should make sure their body maintains an ideal temperature. Too-hot environments can lead to overheating, which is especially dangerous for babies because it's been linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). On the other hand, too-cold temperatures can also be dangerous and uncomfortable.

Simply judging how you feel in the nursery or bedroom isn't necessarily the best indicator. A good rule of thumb is that babies should wear one additional layer than what you'd be comfortable wearing in the same environment.

"Your baby should be in one more layer than you sleep in," says Nicole Cannon, owner ofSleepy Mama Sleep Consultingand a certified member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants.

One or two fitted layers works well in most situations, adds Lisa Ehl Lewis, MD, a pediatrician in Fort Worth, Texas. "Babies often sleep in a fitted onesie with sleep pants. If your home is cold, add an extra layer," she says. This extra layer can be a receiving blanket if swaddling, or a wearable sleep sack if the room is extra chilly.

Speaking of the temperature, are wondering how to set the thermostat? "The consensus among sleep experts is between 68-72 degrees" Fahrenheit, says Cannon.

SIDS Prevention Tips

To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), you shouldn't put anything in a baby's crib until they're at least 1 year old, including blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals. Also avoid using any head covering on your baby while they're sleeping. Infants should always sleep on their backs alone on a flat sleep surface.

Dressing Your Baby for Sleep on Warm Nights

On warm nights, opt for lightweight, breathable sleep clothes for your baby. One acceptable option is a cotton bodysuit. You can also choose a cotton or muslin swaddle for newborns.

"When it's warm outside, I typically do long cotton pajamas and a 1.0 TOG sleep sack or 0.5 if it's really warm," says Cannon. TOG refers to the "thermal overall grade" of the garment or fabric; the higher the TOG, the warmer the fabric.

Also, despite the warm temperature, you want to avoid clothing that's super loose. This can increase the risk of SIDS, as loose clothes can cover your baby's nose and mouth, impacting their ability to breath.

How to Keep Your Baby Safe and Cool in the Summer Heat

Dressing Your Baby for Sleep on Cold Nights

When it's cold, a sleep sack or wearable blanket can keep your baby toasty. Never put loose blankets in the crib with your baby, as these can raise the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), says theAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Also avoid other loose, soft objects like comforters, mattress toppers, pillows, non-fitted sheets, and stuffed animals.

Cannon suggests long pajamas, possibly with a onesie underneath. Depending on the temperature of the room, you can top it off with a heavier sleep sack. "If it's very cold, I will bump up the sleep sack weight to 2.5 TOG," says Cannon.

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In extremely cold weather, you can consider adding fleece pajamas, as long as your baby doesn't get too hot—though Cannon generally recommends a heavier sleep sack instead. "It's healthier for a child not to be overheated, so rather than many layers, I opt for a warmer sleep sack so that there's still some breathability in their pajamas," she says.

Parents should also avoid outfits with hats or hoods for safety reasons. "No clothing should cover a baby's face as this can cause suffocation," says Dr. Lewis.

Should I Swaddle My Baby?

Swaddling can help soothe your newborn because it replicates the womb environment, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). If you decide to swaddle, opt for a thin blanket, and follow these safety tips from the AAP:

  • Place your baby to sleep on their back
  • Stop swaddling when your baby displays signs of trying to roll over
  • Don't wrap hips too tightly, as this can cause hip dislocation orhip dysplasia
  • Make sure the swaddle can't become loose

How to Know If Your Baby Is Comfortable

It's important that a baby not get overheated or too cold, says Dr. Lewis. She recommends checking their face for redness and feeling their body temperature. "If they feel too cold, add an extra layer. If they feel too hot, take off a layer. It's OK for a baby to sleep in only a onesie if they're comfortable."

Cannon you shouldn't gauge the temperature reading on their hands and feet. "It's normal for infant hands and feet to be cold," she says. "Instead check a child's trunk or back of their neck. If a baby has a slightly cool chest or neck, then that's a sign the temperature is good. It should never be too hot or sweaty."

7 Unsafe Sleep Products To Keep Out of the Crib

Watch for these signs that your child might be overheating, according to the AAP and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Hot skin
  • Sweaty body
  • Faster breathing
  • Fussiness
  • Reddened skin
  • Flushed cheeks
  • Lethargy or sluggishness
  • Rapid heartbeat
​What Should a Baby Wear While Sleeping? ​ (2024)

FAQs

​What Should a Baby Wear While Sleeping? ​? ›

“With all the contradictory information regarding what a baby should wear to sleep, remember that less is more. Aim for lightweight clothing such as a onesie and a sleep sack to help the baby feel secure and cozy without over-bundling.” According to experts, wearable blankets or sleep sacks can be safe and effective.

What should a baby wear to sleep? ›

On warm nights, opt for lightweight, breathable sleep clothes for your baby. One acceptable option is a cotton bodysuit. You can also choose a cotton or muslin swaddle for newborns. "When it's warm outside, I typically do long cotton pajamas and a 1.0 TOG sleep sack or 0.5 if it's really warm," says Cannon.

What should I wear my baby overnight? ›

In warmer weather, you can dress baby in a sleeveless and legless onesies, or just a nappy and singlet. For cooler weather, a full suit will keep baby warm. If you are using a sleeping bag, select the TOG that matches the temperature of the room.

How do I know if my baby is too hot while sleeping? ›

The signs that your baby is too hot at night

Sweating or clammy skin. Wet hair (from sweat) Rapid breathing. Flushed cheeks.

How to know if baby is cold at night? ›

If your baby is too cold at night, the core of their body (chest, neck, back, and tummy) would feel cool to the touch. It's important to know that your baby's fingers and toes are not a good indicator of warmth. Your baby could be dressed perfectly yet still have cooler fingers or toes.

Can a baby sleep in just an onesie? ›

In many cases, a onesie can be an effective primary layer of sleepwear. As a general rule, parents and caregivers should dress a baby with only one more layer than an adult would need to stay warm in that same bedroom. This rule can help avoid over-bundling, which can lead to safety risks from overheating.

What should a baby wear to sleep at 68 degrees? ›

50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit: Use a swaddle with a 2.0 to 3.5 TOG and dress your baby in long-sleeve cotton PJs with or without a cotton bodysuit.

What layers should a baby wear to sleep? ›

Dress your baby in layers of fitted clothing rather than just thick pyjamas. You can add or take away layers as the temperature changes. As a guide, think about how you would dress yourself for the temperature of your baby's bedroom, and dress your baby in a similar number of layers.

What temperature should a baby sleep at? ›

When it comes down to the ideal temperature for your baby's room regardless of winter or summer months, experts recommend maintaining a temperature within the range of 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, or 20 to 22 degrees Celsius.

How long do you swaddle a baby? ›

‌You should stop swaddling your baby when they start to roll over. That's typically between 2 and 4 months. During this time, your baby might be able to roll onto their tummy but not be able to roll back over. This can raise their risk of SIDS.

What age can a baby regulate its own temperature? ›

Between 9-12 months, your baby should be able to fully adapt their body temperature to the external conditions. What you can do to help your baby to regulate their body temperature. Until they reach this milestone, your baby is heavily dependent on your support to feel comfortable in everyday life.

At what temperature do babies overheat? ›

For infants, a normal temperature is considered to be 97.5 degrees fahrenheit (36.4 degrees celsius). A temperature around 100.4 degrees fahrenheit (or 38 degrees celsius) is considered too hot for a baby.

How do I make sure my baby doesn't overheat while sleeping? ›

In addition to setting the thermostat to the ideal sleeping temperature, avoid over-bundling your baby for naps or at bedtime with extra layers of clothing or hats.

Will babies cry if they are cold at night? ›

If your baby is too cold or uncomfortable, they will likely cry to let you know! The ideal temperature for the body to sleep well is between 68-72 degrees F, but if that's not possible in your home or part of the world, that's ok! Don't stress - you can always adjust factors to ensure that your baby is comfortable.

Why is my baby's head hot but hands and feet are cold? ›

Some cases of high fever, cold hands and feet are a sign of viral infection. The virus attacks the brain and small blood vessels of the baby's limbs. This is a serious condition, your baby could have meningitis or a blood infection.

Should I check baby temperature while sleeping? ›

Temporal artery thermometers.

These thermometers use an infrared scanner to measure the temperature of the temporal artery in the forehead. This type of thermometer can be used even while a child is asleep.

Do babies need to wear onesie under sleeper? ›

So, do babies wear onesies under sleepers? The answer is yes, they do. However, it is not necessary to put an onesie under a sleeper. It is up to you to decide when you include all the factors that come into play.

What temperature is too hot for a baby to sleep? ›

Q: Is 78 degrees too hot for baby to sleep? A: Yes, 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25.6 degrees Celsius) is considered too hot for a baby to sleep comfortably. It is recommended to keep the room temperature between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit (20-22 degrees Celsius) for a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for infants.

What should a baby wear under a swaddle? ›

Should babies wear anything under a swaddle? If your child is warm and comfortable, they do not need to wear anything but their nappy underneath a swaddle. However, it's important to dress your child according to the temperature.

What temperature should baby sleep wear be? ›

Approximately 10 togs of clothing are recommended for 0-1 month old babies at a room temperature of 65- 70F/18-20C. The following data can be used as a guide to tog rating in baby clothing and bedding: Swaddling can increase the tog rating by up to 4 times. Likewise, a blanket folded in half doubles the tog rating.

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