Dressing Your Baby for Sleep: Expert Tips on Temperature

Welcome to my comprehensive guide on dressing your baby for sleep! As a parent, ensuring your baby's comfort and safety during sleep is paramount. One crucial aspect of this is managing your baby's body temperature, as it directly impacts their sleep quality and overall well-being. Being too hot or too cold can disrupt your baby's sleep, leading to discomfort and nighttime awakenings. 

In this blog post, I will delve into the importance of regulating your baby's temperature during sleep and provide expert tips on how to dress your little one for a comfortable and restful night. From understanding the ideal room temperature to selecting the appropriate sleepwear for different seasons, I've got you covered. 

Importance of regulating a baby's body temperature during sleep

Keeping your baby warm is crucial, as their bodies aren't as adept at regulating temperature changes as adults. Premature babies or low-birth-weight babies, in particular, lack sufficient body fat to control their own temperature effectively, making them especially vulnerable to cold environments. Even full-term and healthy newborns may struggle to maintain warmth if conditions are too chilly. When babies get too cold, they expend energy and oxygen to generate heat. Just a 1-degree drop in skin temperature from the ideal 97.7°F (36.5°C) can lead to a 10% increase in oxygen use. Maintaining a stable temperature for your baby not only conserves energy but also helps them build up reserves, which is especially crucial for premature infants.

Key factors influencing baby sleep temperature

Maintaining a comfortable bedroom temperature is essential for promoting better sleep. Extreme temperatures, whether too hot or too cold, can disrupt sleep quality and contribute to nighttime awakenings. Overheating, whether due to a warm bedroom or excessive layers of clothing, can also increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in babies. It takes time for babies to develop their sleep cycles and the ability to regulate their own temperature. Additionally, babies sweat less than adults, which makes it more challenging for them to cool down effectively.

Source: National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information

Ideal temperature range for a baby's room

The best sleeping temperature for babies and toddlers is a bit higher than adults. Baby’s room should be between 65 and 69° F.

Dressing strategies for warm weather

Tip: Look for breathable fabrics

Natural fibers such as merino wool, cotton, bamboo, and muslin are excellent choices for baby clothing. No matter the season, breathability is essential, as it allows air to circulate freely, preventing overheating and ensuring babies remain comfortable. In warmer months, opt for lightweight cotton or bamboo fabrics to promote airflow and enhance breathability.

Natural fabrics:


🟢 Exceptional insulating properties and ability to regulate temperature.

🟢 Ideal for keeping babies warm in colder climates without causing overheating.

🟢 Highly breathable and moisture-wicking.

❌ It’s best to opt for high-quality, fine wool to avoid potential skin irritation.


🟢 Hypoallergenic and easy to care for.

🟢 Recommended for babies with sensitive skin or allergies.

🟢 Can withstand high washing temperatures.

❌ May lose its shape over time and lack durability unless of good quality.


🟢 Soft and breathable, perfect for warm weather garments.

🟢 Suitable for swaddles and summer clothes.

❌ Lacks durability compared to other fabrics.

❌ May not provide sufficient insulation for colder climates.


🟢 Praised for its softness, thermo-regulating properties, and hypoallergenic nature.

🟢 Highly absorbent, keeping babies dry and comfortable.

❌ May require special care during washing to maintain its shape and softness.

Synthetic Fabrics


🟢 Durable and retains color well.

🟢 Practical choice for everyday baby clothing.

❌ Lack of breathability makes it less suitable for sleepwear or hot weather attire.


🟢 Lightweight and warm, ideal for outdoor and winter clothing.

🟢 Easy to clean, practical for active babies.

❌ May cause overheating if not used appropriately.

Avoiding overheating

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers helpful guidelines for dressing babies for sleep, emphasizing the importance of avoiding overheating and keeping the room comfortably cool. They advise that you dress your baby in no more than one extra layer than you would wear, and consider wearable blankets or warm sleeper clothing instead of traditional blankets.

They also advise against using weighted blankets or weighted clothing.

They say you should not place hats on babies when indoors except in the first hours after birth or in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Pro Tip: the best way to assess the core temperature of your baby is by feeling the back of their neck or their chest. Cool fingers, nose and toes don't give you an accurate read :) also advise against using weighted blankets or weighted clothing.

Dressing strategies for colder weather

Remember, the ideal room temperature for your baby's nursery or bedroom during sleep time is around 65°F to 69°F degrees, no matter the time of year. I understand that not everyone can control the temperature that precisely. That's where your baby's sleepwear TOG rating comes in handy. Just check it out to make sure your little one is dressed just right for the room temperature. 🌡️

Understanding Thermal Overall Grade (TOG) Ratings

TOG, short for Thermal Overall Grade,is a European warmth rating and  serves as a rating system to gauge warmth and assess how rapidly a fabric retains heat. The TOG acts as the benchmark when selecting the suitable sleeping bag for your baby, taking into account the ambient temperature in your baby’s room. 

How TOG ratings guide choice of sleepwear for different conditions

2.5 tog: For use all year and for standard room temperatures of 61–69 F/16-20C

1.0 tog: For use in warmer weather and in warmer rooms of 69-73 F/20-24C

0.5 tog: For use in hot weather and warm room temperatures of 73-80 F/24-27C

Source: NHS Foundation Trust, UK

As you can see, you may want to opt for a higher TOG rating in colder seasons and a lower one during warmer months to ensure your baby stays comfortable throughout the night.

Adapting to transitional seasons

Considerations for spring and fall temperatures

During transition seasons like spring, when temperatures fluctuate throughout the day and night, layering is key to ensuring your baby stays comfortable. Start with a slightly higher TOG sleep sack or swaddle and adjust light layers underneath as needed. For example, layer a long sleeve bodysuit, pajamas, and a cotton swaddle or sleep sack for mid-60s weather, adding or omitting layers based on temperature changes.

Recommended Sleep Wear

As a baby sleep consultant, my clients ask me for recommendations on the right clothing for sleep for their babies all the time. Here are some of my favorite products:

These Zippered Footie Pajamas from KYTE BABY are on my list of recommended Sleep Wear because they are:

  • Not too hot, not too cold because the fabric, Bamboo, is temperature-regulating 
  • Luxuriously soft, hypoallergenic and breathable 
  • Stretchy material facilitates easy dressing (even with a wriggly infant!)

This Woolino 4 Season Ultimate Baby Sleep Sack is one that I feature on my list of recommended Sleep Wear. Some of the features include:

  • Merino wool maintains warmth in cold temperatures and keeps cool in warm temperatures
  • Room to grow yet lightweight for freedom of movement
  • Softest material both inside and out
  • Adjustable snaps accommodate growing baby
  • Full zipper allows for easy diaper changes
  • Reduced risk of pushing legs through crib slats

In summary, to ensure your baby gets the best night's sleep possible, there are two key factors:

  1. address the temperature of the room
  2. select appropriate sleepwear

You will want to address both of these considerations to create a comfortable sleep environment for your little one. By regulating the temperature of the room and choosing the right sleepwear based on the season and fabric breathability, you can help your baby achieve a good night’s sleep while prioritizing safety too. Whether it's warmer weather or colder temperatures, keeping these expert tips in mind will contribute to creating a safe and comfortable sleep environment for your baby.

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Sarah. As a mother of two, I quickly learned that sleep is influenced by a variety of factors and there is not one RIGHT way to help baby sleep. Both of my daughters had unique temperaments and struggles, and I was humbled to learn that newborns are complicated and parenting in a world of information overload is stressful.

Now, I partner with parents to create a tailored plan using an evidence-based and multidimensional approach to sleep. I take great care in co-creating a plan that takes into account all of the factors that makes each family unique, including parenting philosophies, infant temperament and readiness, age, weight gain, health and development and much more. To date, I have helped over 2,000 families.

If you're ready to teach baby to sleep independently and feel like someone’s got your hand through all of this contact me. Tell me more about what you’re facing and I can answer your questions about my approach to working with families and offer a personalized plan that gives you the support you and your family deserve. 🫶