What should my baby wear to sleep?

If you choose to scour the forums of Mumsnet for advice on how to dress your baby for bed, it’ll feel as though you’re navigating a minefield. There’s a lot of conflicting advice on the ideal temperature for your baby’s room, the right tog level of sleeping bags and sheets, as well as what exactly your baby should be wearing.

 

Well, I’m here to help. To settle your nerves and help you to understand just what your baby should wear to sleep, I’ve created this guide that’ll hopefully alleviate some anxieties. I’ll run through how to ensure that a room is perfect for your baby, what they should wear and what changes should be made to a baby’s outfit when the temperature changes.

Ideal temperature

The NHS’ Safe Sleep guide notes that the perfect temperature for a baby’s room is 18° celsius. At this temperature, your baby will sleep wonderfully in a bodysuit and sleepsuit, in a 1 tog sleeping bag or under a baby blanket. If a blanket has a tog of 1.5, this is doubled when the blanket is folded - this is useful to remember if a sleeping bag is ever unavailable.

 

Although 18° is the ideal temperature for your little one’s room, they should be comfortable in temperatures ranging from 16° - 20° while wearing a bodysuit and sleepsuit. As such, it’s a good idea to invest in a room thermometer, so that you can keep track of your baby’s room temperature at all times. Many baby monitors have a thermometer built in.

 

Unfortunately, thanks to the incredibly unreliable weather here in Britain, there’s little that parents can do to ensure that their baby’s room stays at a consistent temperature. You should always take basic measures to attempt to hit the ideal temperature, of course. Opening windows and doors to allow for air circulation, and keeping blinds and curtains closed in the day to keep heat in, or keep the room cool depending on the season are obvious routines to keep in mind. But what should you do when it gets too hot or too cold in your baby’s room? Babycentre have put together this great infographic outlining the basics of baby bed clothes, but read on for more details.

Hot weather

If the temperature is only slightly above the preferred 20° mark, it’s not a cause for concern. You may, however, you may want to consider taking a layer of clothing off, such as a vest so your baby is wearing a sleepsuit and a sleeping bag.

 

My absolute top tip and preferred fabric is merino wool. The unique makeup of Merino means that it is an active fibre that reacts to changes in body temperature. It keeps you warm in cold weather and cool in warmer climates. This soft, breathable, hypoallergenic fabric is perfect for babies and you can find some great clothing and sleeping bags.

 

Merino Wool sleeping bags are suitable for use all year round, so you don’t need to purchase a different tog for each season. I recommend one to wear and one to have in the wash. Adjust the layers of clothing for your baby but with a Merino sleeping bag you do not need to change the sleeping bag.

 

In high summer temperatures, from 24° upwards, it’s time to start making some changes to your baby’s nightwear. Once the temperature hits the mid-20s, you may want to lose the sleepsuit and opt instead for only a short-sleeved bodysuit. Furthermore, if you are not using a Merino Wool sleeping bag you could consider buying a much lighter sleeping bag. A 0.5 tog sleeping bag is ideal for babies in the summer months, making for a much cooler sleep as the temperature rises. If it ever gets particularly warm - over 26° - your baby will probably be more comfortable just wearing their nappy or a vest.

 

If you’re worried that your baby might be too hot, you can check for sweating by feeling their tummy, back or neck. If they feel too hot, remove one layer of clothing, wait 10 minutes and check again. Doing this makes sure that your baby gets neither too hot, nor too cold.

Cold weather

As with the summer months, it’s important to know how to dress your baby for bed in winter. When the temperature begins to drop under 16°, you should keep your baby in their bodysuit and sleepsuit, but ensure that you are either using a Merino Sleeping bag or a 2.5 tog sleeping bag.

 

We recommend using a sleeping bag rather than blankets as it avoid them being able to kick blankets over the head or get caught up in blankets. Keeping your baby’s face uncovered and providing them with the ability to move about the cot is a factor in reducing cot death.

 

While ensuring that your baby is warm in the winter, there are precautions that you should take. Firstly, you should never make them wear a hat or gloves in bed, as this is where they’ll release excess heat. Covering the head and hands can easily cause overheating. You should also never use a quilt or duvet until your baby is at least 12 months old, otherwise they could be at risk of suffocation.

Controlling the temperature

Using a thermostat is easily the best way to control the temperature in your baby’s room, however, if you don’t have direct temperature control in their room, there are other methods for you to aim for that perfect temperature. You could use radiators or fan heaters to warm the room. Although you must make sure to turn them off before baby goes to bed, otherwise they’ll get far too hot. The same goes for ensuring that your baby’s cot isn’t too close to a radiator, as they could burn themselves.

 

To cool the room down, try using a fan. Remember that you should always have the fan pointing away from your baby, as they can easily get too cold. Aside from a fan, little additions such as

using a night light rather than a lamp, or leaving the bedroom door slightly ajar for air circulation can help keep temperatures down at night.

 

For further information or help with getting your baby the perfect night of sleep, get in touch with me and I’d be delighted to advise, or visit our showroom in Blackheath.