How To Dress A Baby For Sleep

Babies can sleep up to 18 hours a day (in a 24 hour period) within their first year of life. That’s a lot of sleep! It’s important to make sure that parents are choosing the right sleepwear to contribute to safe sleep and restorative sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends to dress your baby in one additional layer from what you are wearing. This applies if your child is of the age where they are not using a blanket. This Baby Sleepwear Guide will give you all the information you need to help dress your baby for bed appropriately and complying with safety standards.

How To Dress A Baby For Sleep

Let’s take a minute to look at the basics of an ideal sleep environment! Newborn sleep and infant sleep is so critical to their brain, immune system and physical developments. Providing a healthy and safe environment is the key to all of this!


Circadian rhythms are largely determined by exposure to light, and even a small amount of light can disrupt sleep, so it is important that the room in which your child sleeps remain dark. Think blackout shades and avoid the nightlight outside of feeding times. 

These are my two favorite blackout shade options, these are paper and can be cut, they’re great for travel. These are more secure and frame right to your window, no light will come through with these!


The room temperature in which your child sleeps should remain between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Babies are safest and sleep best in cooler temperature environments. This can help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).


I highly recommend the use of continuous white noise for both naps and nighttime. White noise helps to mask outside noises that can be disruptive (especially as your child’s sleep cycles are ending and sleep tends to be lighter!), as well as noises coming from inside your home (e.g. a barking dog, screaming children, ringing doorbell, etc.) The YogaSleep whish sound machine is my absolute favorite. Continuous sound without any pitches can help maximize your child’s sleep habits and helps encourage them to sleep through the night.


The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no loose blankets, stuffed animals, lovie’s until age 1. Introducing these in your child’s sleep space before age 1 could increase the risk of suffocation or other unsafe sleep practices. Clothing should have a snug fit, loose clothing can increase the risk of SIDS.

Be sure all furniture is bolted to the wall and all creams and powders are safely stored so your now mobile child does not get into any trouble! And if you haven’t already done so, make sure that you drop the crib mattress all the way down to the lowest level. Sleep training is a time when many children try to climb out of the crib!

Clothing Recommendations for the Seasons

There are A LOT of sleep clothing products out there. This is helpful but can also be overwhelming. There are important safety standards to look at when buying clothing for your child to sleep in. You may see sleeping bag or sacks with the term TOG next to it. TOG is the measure of thermal resistance otherwise know as thermal overall grade. Thermal Overall Grade and is the standard of measure for how much heat a garment retains. The higher the TOG, the warmer it will keep your child or the more heat it will retain.

TOG Rating Guidance

  • 0.5 TOG: this is the cooler option for your baby’s sleep attire. This is a lightweight version similar to a swaddle blanket. This is best used in really warm climates/rooms. If you would be comfortable with a light sheet, then a 0.5 TOG would be perfect for your little one.
  • 1.0 TOG: when your baby starts to wear long-sleeve onesies or pants outside, then it’s time to move them into a 1.0 TOG sleeping bag/sack.
  • 2.5 TOG: this is the sleep bag that will keep your little warm and snuggly during the cold winter months when their room temperature may go down into the low 60’s (degrees Fahrenheit).


It’s hot in the summer! Look for 100% cotton or breathable material. Sleep sacks or bags should be made of cotton or muslin material which is extremely breathable. Using a wearable blanket like a swaddle or a sleep sack is fine but make sure your baby’s hands and feet are exposed so that they stay cool. They can certainly wear short sleeves under the swaddle or sleep sack if there are some warm nights!


Fall & Spring

Look for 100% cotton or bamboo and use light fleece pajamas if it gets cooler at night in your climate! Footed pajamas are a great option to use under a sleepsack or swaddle!



Look for fleece or microfleece to keep your child warm if you live in cooler climates!

Woolino 4 Season Sleep Bags
HALO Micro-Fleece Sleepsack *These go up to size XL which will fit children up to 40 inches tall and 36 pounds! This is great for toddlers, especially if your child is trying to climb over the crib!

Look for fleece or microfleece to keep your child warm if you live in cooler climates! 

Remember, babies sleep best in a room environment between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are concerned that your child is too hot, put your hand on the back of their neck, if it’s warm, take a layer off!

Should Newborns Wear Hats To Sleep? 

According to the AAP, a baby should never wear a hat to sleep. A baby’s head should never be covered during sleep because if their head is warm, a baby could overheat. You want to dress your baby in comfortable clothing which would mean they are in appropriate clothing for the temperature.

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