Basics Sleep

What Should A Baby Wear To Sleep In Winter?

As a parent you’re probably working tirelessly to ensure your baby is safe, comfortable and all their needs are met.

So when the temperature starts dropping you’ll probably be wondering what your baby should wear to sleep in winter.

While there’s no single right answer, the key is to dress your baby based on the air temperature of their room, not the outside temperature.

But what about newborns? What should you do on milder nights? And how can you check if your baby is too cold? Let’s find out.

What Should A Baby Wear To Sleep In Winter?

Most parents are aware of the general rule of thumb when dressing a baby.

The rule is simply to dress them in one more layer than you would wear.

But when deciding what a baby should wear to sleep during cold weather, you should opt for heavier fabrics, use layers and avoid overheating.

What Is The Ideal Room Temperature For A Baby’s Room In Winter?

You may be wondering what is the ideal temperature for a baby’s room in winter?

Many experts agree that in both winter and summer, the ideal temperature for a baby’s room is 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ideally your baby’s room should feel a comfortable temperature, but on the slightly cooler side.

Achieving this temperature in winter can be difficult, especially without running the heating all night.

This is why it’s important to dress your baby in suitable clothing and to know how to tell if your baby is too warm or too cold, which we’ll cover in this article.

white stainless steel radiator

What should a Newborn Wear to Sleep in Winter?

As newborn babies are not able to regulate their temperature, it’s important to keep them warm and cosy, but to avoid overheating.

This is especially important because overheating has been linked to a higher risk of SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

In colder weather, your newborn will probably be most comfortable in a long-sleeved, footed bodysuit and a swaddle or sleep sack.

If you’re wondering whether sleep sacks are safe for babies including newborns the answer is yes, provided the fit is correct.

How Should I Dress My Infant or Toddler In Winter?

When it comes to slightly older babies, you’ll want to follow the advice above, but without the swaddle.

So to keep your infant or toddler warm and safe dress them in a long-sleeved, footed bodysuit and a sleep sack with a medium to high TOG rating.

What is a TOG Rating?

You may have noticed sleep sacks have a TOG rating, but what exactly does this refer to?

TOG stands for Thermal Overall Grade, and is a standard measurement to indicate how warm a garment is.

Most baby sacks have a TOG rating between 0.2 to 3.5.

The key thing to remember is the higher the TOG rating, the warmer the sack.

In colder weather you should therefore opt for a sack with a higher rating such as 2.5 or 3.5

You can find a detailed TOG rating guide in this article.

How To Dress A Baby On Milder Days and Nights

When the weather warms up slightly, there are two easy ways to ensure your baby is comfortable but doesn’t overheat.

                  1. Dress them in a long sleeve bodysuit without legs
                  2. Opt for a lower TOG sleep sack. For example 1.5 rather than 2.5

Avoid Overdressing Even In Cold Weather

Parents should always keep in mind that it’s more dangerous for a baby to overheat than be a little too cool.

With this in mind, it may be safer to add layers in the night, rather than putting your baby to bed too warm.

Checking on your baby frequently is also advisable (more on this below).

mom dressing her baby on the bed

Check On Your Baby Frequently

During the first few nights of colder weather it’s advisable to check on your little one to ensure they are safe and comfortable.

Fortunately there’s a quick and easy way to check a baby’s temperature, which we’ll cover below.

How To Check A Baby’s Temperature Without A Thermometer

You can measure a baby’s temperature without a thermometer by feeling the back of their neck or tummy.

If the skin is cool and dry to touch, your baby’s temperature is fine.

If the neck or tummy is hot and sticky, it’s a sign your baby is too warm.

If the skin doesn’t feel warm at all, it’s a sign your baby is cold at night, so you probably need to add another layer (or two).

What If My Baby Hates Sleep Sacks?

Sleep sacks are a great way to keep babies warm, comfortable and safe throughout the year, so it’s no surprise they’re popular with adults and babies alike.

But not all babies take well to them.

So what is the solution for a baby that dislikes sleep sacks?

This is where the TOG rating comes in handy again.

When dressing your baby for sleep in winter, pajamas and onesies with a higher TOG rating will keep them warm and insulated without the need for a sack.

Wondering How To Dress Your Baby In Summer?

When dressing a baby for sleep in hot weather, you should always opt for lightweight fabrics, avoid overdressing and use common sense, all of which we covered in our recent article on how to dress a baby in hot weather.

Must Read: The Ultimate Guide To Baby & Toddler Sleep

Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

Pin It