A Guide for All Seasons on How to Dress Your Baby for Sleep
How to Dress a Sleeping Baby Dressing Your Baby for Sleep: A Mom’s Guide Summer, Winter, and In-Between Tips.
While grandmothers all over the globe advise wrapping newborns in layers of comfortable warmth (wrong!) and allowing babies under the age of 12 months to sleep with blankets (wrong! ), I was in a country where elderly ladies physically stopped and shouted at me on the street, telling me that my baby was too chilly!
In fact, wearing layers upon layers of clothes is not recommended for sleeping newborns. It’s also a big no-no to use blankets on a baby before they’re 12 months old. SIDS is increased by both of these methods.
If you can’t stand cranky grandmothers, you might be wondering how to get your baby into the finest sleeping clothing. Every parent wants their child to be secure and comfortable while sleeping.
Finally, they are only suggestions. You’ll need to make adjustments based on your own situation and environment. Also, keep in mind any medical or developmental issues your child may have.
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How to Dress Your Baby for Sleep
When it comes to clothing your infant for sleep, my usual guideline is… Dress them in clothing that is identical to yours, plus one layer.
Because infants will not have a blanket or duvet like you, I believe this rule is reasonable. With pyjamas, sleepsuits, or onesies underneath, that one more layer is the blanket equivalent.
(It’s worth noting that a diaper or underwear aren’t considered layers.)
If you’re wearing long-sleeved fuzzy pyjamas to stay warm this winter, your infant may want warm PJs as well as a wearable blanket. A sleeveless cotton onesie or zip-up sleep sack may be all your baby needs if you’re sleeping naked in the summer to keep cool.
Best Baby Sleep Temperature
When babies are relaxed, they sleep better. This includes a room that is neither too hot nor too chilly.
But what about the appropriate temperature for a nursery room? It’s really on the cool side of where you’re probably inclining to set the thermostat.
What is the most popular advice for a good night’s sleep? Set the temperature in the baby’s room to between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 22.2 degrees Celsius).
My suggestion is to not worry too much about it or obsess about your home’s thermostat.
However, do not allow the room to become too hot.
A room temperature thermometer can assist you in determining if the temperature is too chilly or too warm. Better still, many bath thermometers may also be used to monitor room temperature. This is a wonderful way to cut down on the quantity of baby gear you need.
Consider installing heat-blocking blackout shades if you live in a region where summers are hot. These are in our toddler daughter’s room, and we close the shades on warmer days. Her room is always colder than the rest of the home.
A fan may also be used to circulate air and keep the room cool. A fan has the extra benefit of producing white noise, which can aid in a baby’s sleep. Circulating air has also been shown to lower the risk of SIDS.
Be ready for temperature changes as the season’s change. You are the greatest judge of your home and climate, so change the clothing layers your kid wears accordingly.
Consider adding a heavier TOG wearable blanket if it’s chilly. Peel down the layers on hot summer evenings — your kid may just need a short-sleeved sleepsuit or onesie.
Despite what previous generations believed, it is preferable to have your infant somewhat underdressed for napping than overdressed. SIDS is more likely to occur when a baby is overheated.
Do Not Use Blankets
Remember, blankets for children under the age of 12 are a no-no! They contribute to SIDS and are not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
For warmer weather, zip-up swaddling bags can be used instead of blankets. I really liked them, and they’re better for hip dysplasia than regular swaddling.
For colder evenings, a warm wearable blanket with a higher tog rating might be used.
A Sleep Sack Alternative
Sleep sacks are a cross between a sleeping bag and a wearable blanket. There are no armholes, but there are no footholes. It’s as if your infant is resting in a sleeping bag with their arms sticking out.
A swaddling suit is similar, except it keeps the baby’s arms in place. Some parents hold their babies ‘ arms by their sides. Others have their arms raised over their heads (which lots of babies seem to like when sleeping).
We made advantage of both.
When our daughter was a baby, we utilized a zip-up swaddling suit instead of a conventional muslin cloth. In her side sleeping bassinet, this made her feel safe and comfortable. When children are able to roll over, however, they are no longer safe since they restrict arm movement so severely.
There are several various kinds of sleeping bags and zip-up swaddles, each with a distinct TOG rating.
The higher the number, the warmer the fabric. TOG stands for the thermal overall grade, and the higher the number, the warmer the cloth. For the summer, grades of 1.5 and lower are appropriate (spring and summer). Cooler weather calls for bags with a TOG value of 2 to 2.5. (winter and fall).
When our baby was initially born, we clothed her in a diaper and a 0.5 tog zip up on hot nights. We’d put her in a long-sleeve onesie and a 2.5-tog wearable blanket throughout her first winter.
What About A Swaddle
A swaddle is a fantastic method to wrap your baby for sleep and keep them feeling safe and secure, much like they did in the womb. Swaddling not only provides a comfortable fit, but it also secures the baby’s limbs, allowing them to sleep for extended periods of time during their nap.
While they’re wonderful for smaller newborns, you should cease using them once your child is able to roll over, which generally happens around 4 months.
Rather of making a fabric swaddle bag, we opted to utilize a zip-up swaddle bag. We didn’t want to bother wrapping her up in the middle of the night when we were weary, and we were also concerned about wrapping her up too tightly, which raises the chance of hip dysplasia.
How To Dress Baby Under Swaddle
The dilemma is, what should baby wear under a swaddle, whether you use the traditional technique or a zip-up?
This, too, is dependent on the season, temperature, and thickness of the blanket or sack.
Return to the golden rule: newborns should sleep in the same clothes as their parents, plus one extra layer.
Consider the swaddle to be an extra layer. In the winter, long-sleeve pyjamas beneath a swaddle may be required to keep your baby warm, but in the summer, a short onesie with a thinner muslin wrap may suffice.
If it’s a true heat wave, with temperatures reaching 80 degrees, you may always wrap your baby in their diaper to protect them from fussing and their body from overheating.
Snug Is Better Than Loose
When it comes to sleeping clothes for a newborn, you don’t want anything that is too large for them.
Loose clothing poses a chance of slipping up and over the baby’s head and face while he or she is sleeping, posing a breathing hazard.
It’s also a fire hazard, which is why children’s pyjamas are designed to fit tightly or contain fire retardant chemicals.
Make sure your sleeping bag has a fitting neck and armholes, and that your baby can’t crawl down into it while dozing. Anything with a hood should be avoided.
Keep Baby Comfortable
Baby clothes are adorable, but keep in mind that the only people who will see your baby sleeping at night are you and your spouse!
Keep attractive clothes for daytime and special occasions. Choose garments for baby’s sleepwear that are both comfortable and easy to remove and outfit. After all, if your kid pees through their diaper at night, you’ll probably have to feed them and change their diapers in the middle of the night, or even change their PJs and bedding.
Forget The Hat
Your baby may have looked adorable wrapped up in a blanket with a matching baby nap cap in the maternity hospital. When you go home, though, it’s time to put the hat away for naps and sleep.
Your infant controls his or her body temperature by emitting heat via the top of his or her head. A hat will prevent this, but it will increase the danger of overheating. Furthermore, a hat may come off or obscure your baby’s face as they sleep, perhaps causing respiratory issues.
Remove the headgear to fully eliminate the risk!
Changing How To Dress Baby As Weather Changes
A classic parenting adage goes something like this: “once you get used to something, it changes.”
This is true, in my experience, for nearly every aspect of parenting, including deciding what to wear your infant at night or during naps.
Once you figure it out, they’ll change, or the season will change, and you’ll be faced with a completely new equation to solve.
You want to keep your kid comfortable in their cot at night during the chilly winter months.
In general, you want to layer up while still erring on the side of being too chilly for the baby rather than overly warm.
This may be a soft sleepsuit or a pair of cotton long-sleeved PJs. On top of that, you may layer a warm sleep sack or a swaddling suit.
We found that a long-sleeved cotton onesie with a wearable sleeping bag was adequate to keep our daughter warm when she was a baby, but everyone’s circumstance is different.
These suggestions can vary depending on your specific property, such as if you have central heating or draughty windows.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your infant when they’re dressed in layers to make sure they don’t appear or feel hot or sweaty.
If your infant appears to be overheated, remove some clothes as soon as possible. This is especially important if they’re a baby, but you should constantly keep an eye on them in bed to make sure they’re not overheated.
When the temperature climbs a few degrees, you may also cool yourself by changing your clothes. Cotton is a breathable, lightweight, and pleasant fabric.
Over the diaper, use short-sleeve onesies and a lighter sleeping blanket or swaddle sack for infants. A summer infant sleep sack, usually made of cotton, is also available. For the warmer months, they’re more breathable and lighter. If it’s too hot outside, skip the cotton sleep sacks entirely, and skip the sleep onesie below the lightweight sack (i.e. 0.5 tog).
Making sure Baby Isn’t Too Hot or Too Cold
Given their inability to communicate with us, it’s tough to determine if your kid is genuinely at ease. As a parent, you’re often left attempting to figure out whether your child’s fussing and screaming is due to hunger, exhaustion, or gassiness. Is it a baby napping in an unsuitable environment?
Your child may be overly hot or chilly if they have taken their meal and are wearing a dry diaper but are still feeling agitated.
You should check for physical indications of hyperthermia as well as fussiness.
Look for moisture around their neck or a sweaty head. They may have sweat-soaked hair. Their cheeks could be flushed red, and some kids might have a heat rash. Also, look for any signs of a sped-up process.
Also keep in mind that, since their circulatory system is still growing, a baby’s hands and feet may remain chilly to the touch even if they are excessively hot.
If you’re not sure, feel your child’s belly, neck, and chest. If your kid is overheating and sweating in these places, take immediate steps to cool them down. It may be beneficial to lower the indoor temperature and remove a layer of clothing.
On the other hand, you must make certain that your child does not become too chilly. If your baby’s hands and feet appear to be somewhat blue in color, it’s time to raise the temperature a few degrees or add a layer of clothes.
Can Toddlers Overheat Too?
When your toddler is no longer a baby, keep in mind that he or she might still overheat at night, so consider their layers when putting them to bed.
Your child may prefer blankets over sleep sacks, which means they can generally kick off in the middle of the night.
However, whenever you change your toddler’s sleepwear, it’s a good idea to check on them. If you notice a sweaty head, damp hair, or a flushed look, take a layer off!
How to Dress a Baby for Sleep
For a comfy sleep for your baby, follow the golden rule of ‘What’s right for me – plus one layer!’ Err on the side of colder rather than overheated. To add an extra layer, use a swaddle or sleep sack, and never use a blanket.
It’s simpler to pick the proper sleepwear for your infant after you’ve learned these fundamental guidelines.
Layers are essential to resist the cold because thick fleecy onesies and sleepers are sometimes excessively warm. While your baby is sleeping, check on them by feeling their chest and neck to determine if they are comfortable or too hot.
Please feel free to share this article and advice on what to clothe your kid for sleep with other parents who may have similar concerns.