How To Dress Babies for Sleep in the Cooler Weather

With winter approaching it can be difficult to know how to dress your little one for sleep. When choosing what they should wear, remember to assess the temperature of the room in their sleep environment, rather than the temperature outside. It can be tempting to think that on a cold night, they need more layers, but if you have an efficient home heating system, their bedroom may not be any cooler than in the warmer months.

Dressing babies for sleep in the cooler weather

What to dress baby in according to your room temperature

Safe Sleep Guidelines recommend that the sleep environment of little ones should ideally be 16 – 20 degrees-Celsius. A room thermometer can be useful at ensuring the sleep environment is kept within the recommended range.

However, Love To Dream recognise that this is not always possible, due to outside temperature and factors such as how well insulated our homes are. There may be occasions when the sleep environment is either above or below this recommended range.

In order to support families determine the most appropriate sleep wear for their little ones they have created this useful guide for all of their products.

This system has 5 key categories to support parents and carers in choosing the right garment/s:

tog 1.0, tog 2.5, tog, swaddle, muslin blanket, sleeping bag, baby wrap

WARM – ideal for room temperatures between 24 °C and 27 °C

MODERATE – ideal for room temperatures between 20°C and 24°C

MILD – ideal for room temperatures between 18 °C and 24 °C

tog 1.0, tog 2.5, tog, swaddle, muslin blanket, sleeping bag, baby wrap

COOL – ideal for room temperatures between 16 °C  and 20 °C

tog 1.0, tog 2.5, tog, swaddle, muslin blanket, sleeping bag, baby wrap

COLD – ideal for room temperatures between 14 °C and 16 °C

How to tell is baby to too hot or too cold

In order to promote safe sleep, we need to ensure that baby is not at risk of overheating. As babies regulate their body temperature through their head, hats should never be worn in the sleep environment. Hot water bottles or heated blankets must never be used in their sleep environment.

Like us adults, children have slightly different body temperatures than each other. In order to ensure they are neither too hot nor too cold, one of the most effective ways to ensure this is to feel the back of their neck. This can offer a much more accurate representation of their core body temperature, as opposed to feeling their extremities (such as hands and feet) which may offer a less accurate picture.

Other signs that they may be too cold include shivering or fussiness. Signs that they may be too warm include sweating, rapid heartbeat and / or breathing, flushed skin and presenting as lethargic.

If they are too warm – loose a layer of clothing or offer a Love To Dream garment which is lighter. If they are too cool – add a layer of clothing or offer a Love to Dream garment which is warmer.

How to layer baby’s clothing under their Love To Dream Swaddle

This helpful infographic to offers an approximate guide to what clothing (layers) should be provided to baby in each temperature range:

However, to ensure that it is consistent with the individual needs of your individual baby, it is important to use this alongside monitoring your own baby’s temperature using the neck test.

Adding or reducing layers may include the addition or removal of:

  • Sleeveless vests
  • Short sleeve vests
  • Long sleeve vests
  • Short sleeve pyjamas (without legs)
  • Short sleeve pyjamas (with legs)
  • Long sleeve pyjamas

Matching your baby’s individual needs, with the correct sleep environment, garment and layers, can help ensure that their core body temperature remains at an appropriate temperature no matter the weather.

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