Dressing your baby for sleep may seem something that doesn’t require a lot of consideration. After bathtime, it’s often second nature for parents to grab a piece of clothing, dress their baby in it, and call it a night without much thought. After all, it’s self-explanatory, right? Not necessarily. There are many things you must consider when it comes to choosing what your baby should wear to bed.
As a parent, your little one’s safety and comfort at bedtime are a top priority. But something as simple as selecting a pair of pajamas for your little one can be daunting, especially if you’re a new parent.
So, how do you dress your baby for sleep? What should they wear for a comfortable and safe night of uninterrupted slumber?
With practical tips and guidelines, this blog is here to help you take the stress out of the process.
Related: Where Should My Newborn Baby Sleep?
What Should Your Baby Wear to Sleep?
Before getting into the best practices for dressing your baby for bed, let’s look at the many choices available. Today, there’s a wide range of options when it comes to baby sleep attire.Bur first, let’s look at some of the most popular ones in more detail.
A swaddle is a blanket used to wrap around babies snugly, to make them feel safe and secure. Newborns respond well to swaddling because it mimics the coziness of the womb and a parent’s touch. So, from newborn to about four months old, you can swaddle your baby in a light, breathable blanket to make them feel calm and sleepy.
A sleep sack is like a mini sleeping bag for babies and toddlers. A sleep sack can be a great alternative to keeping your child warm without having to use loose blankets in the crib.
When your baby begins to roll over, you can transition them from a swaddle blanket to a sleep sack. Why? Because once your child starts rolling over, swaddling can be dangerous.
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Another option for dressing your baby at night is bodysuit pajamas. These PJs cover all or most of your baby’s body to keep them warm and comfortable throughout the night. Bodysuits come in different forms.
For example, there are footed pajamas and regular bodysuits. Footed pajamas are just what their name suggests. They cover your baby’s feet! Footed PJs often come in long sleeves but they can have short sleeves, too.
A bodysuit is a top that fits over your baby’s diaper. It has long or short sleeves, but no legs. Depending on the weather and temperature, you might choose to dress your baby in pants over the bodysuit or opt for no pants.
Not sure whether to dress your baby in socks? A good rule of thumb is to dress your baby in one more layer than you need to feel comfortable. So, if your feet feel cold, your baby might need socks to feel comfortable enough to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Have a newborn? Dress in protective mittens at night. Why? Because newborns’ fingernails can be sharp and have little control of their limbs, making them prone to scratching their faces during sleep.
Make sure the mittens have no decorations, strings, or loose threads, as they can be choking hazards. It’s important to note that you should only use mittens for a few weeks. As babies develop, they need their hands to explore the world and learn how things work.
Related: Where Should My Newborn Baby Sleep?
Tips for Dressing Your Baby for Bed
Now, with the basics out of the way, let’s dive into some key tips to ensuring a safe, comfortable, good night’s sleep for your little one.
Consider the Weather and Room Temperature
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends dressing your baby in similar clothes to what you will feel comfortable wearing in the same temperature. You might choose to dress your little one in one additional layer beyond what you would wear, but no more than that.
During the wintertime, dress your baby in a long-sleeve bodysuit or footed pajamas and a sleep sack to keep them nice and warm. On warm nights, dress your baby in a bodysuit or even footed pajamas with light, breathable material like cotton.
Check the TOG Rating
Shopping for a sleep sack? Consider the TOG (thermal overall grade) rating. It’s a guide that tells you what temperature the sleep sack is best for. The higher the TOG rating, the warmer the sleep sack will keep your baby at night.
Avoid Using Hats or Beanies
Soon after birth, newborns have difficulty regulating their body temperature, making it easier for them to overheat or get cold. But once your little one leaves the hospital, they won’t need a hat all the time, unless it’s fall or winter, or your house is cold.
So, if your house isn’t too cool, your baby can go without a hat at bedtime. It’s safer to avoid hats because they can increase the risk of suffocation and overheating.
Pick Out Clothing That Fits Snugly
Fires are another hazard you should think about when dressing your baby for sleep. As you put your little one down for the night, ensure their clothing has a snug fit. PJs that fit close to the body help to minimize flammability.
Make Safety a Priority
As you figure out the best practices for dressing your bundle of joy for bed, safety is the number one thing to consider. Comfort is the next factor. Once you get those two things down, everything else will fall into place.
Sleep is essential to your baby’s developmental growth. Therefore, ensuring quality sleep is key to healthy development.
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