Wondering what your baby should sleep in at night? You’re not alone! Plenty of new parents have the same question, and while it may seem simple, there are a number of factors to consider when it comes to keeping your little one safe and cosy while they catch some zzzs.
That’s not to say it needs to be complicated! The general rule is that your baby should sleep in one more layer than you. However, while this is good advice, there is more to it than that!
What your baby sleeps in will also depend on a number of factors, including the temperature of the room they sleep in. Too warm, and you run the risk of overheating; too cold, and they’ll likely wake up as they are uncomfortable.
To help you and your little one sleep soundly at night, take a look at our guide to what newborns and babies should wear for sleep.
What temperature should my baby’s room be?
The Lullaby Trust recommends that a baby’s room is kept at around 16 - 20 degrees; and you can use a room thermometer to double check. If you find that your baby’s room runs hot or cold, you may want to make adjustments to what they wear to bed accordingly.
As a rule of thumb, rather than turning on the heating, adding an extra layer of clothing is the first port of call if you feel their room is too cold. It’s important to ensure their room is not too warm, as overheating can lead to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Choosing jim jams for your little one can be a little overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be!
During warmer weather, such as in the summer months, it’s important to avoid overheating. A cotton sleepsuit should be enough for your baby to sleep in if it’s warm; if it’s especially hot, a vest may be OK on its own.
If the temperature in your baby’s room is around the 16 - 20 degree sweet spot, your baby should be fine to sleep in a vest and sleepsuit.
Feeling a winter chill? If your baby’s room gets cold in the winter months, try a long sleeved sleepsuit over a vest.
While hats are great when out and about, they shouldn’t be used while your baby is sound asleep in bed. As well as being a potential safety hazard should it slip off their head in bed, hats also inhibit your baby’s ability to release heat through their head - which is a key part of helping them to stay at a healthy temperature.
As well as their jammies, your baby’s bedding will be a key part of keeping them both warm and safe at night. Make sure to use well fitted bedsheets and a waterproof mattress cover; and avoid using a duvet or quilt, as these may make your baby too hot.
Loose blankets can be a good choice, as they can be layered to suit the temperature. Cellular blankets, for example, trap air within the cells to help keep your baby warm in winter and cool during warmer weather; and can be layered as needed.
Alternatively, opt for a sleeping bag to help your little bundle of joy sleep soundly through the night. The safest form of bedding for your baby as they grow from 0 to 6 months, sleeping bags come in a variety of tog ratings - if your baby’s room stays around the 16 - 20 degree mark, a tog rating of 2.5 should do the trick.
What about swaddling?
Swaddling can be a good choice for newborns, helping them to feel secure and comforted as if they were still in the womb. Choose a breathable cotton or muslin material, and leave your baby’s head and neck uncovered; swaddling sacks are also available to make the process easier. Keep an eye on your little one’s temperature, and make sure they aren’t wearing too many layers beneath their swaddle to avoid overheating.
It’s important to note that swaddling time is over once your baby can roll over by themselves, as it is no longer considered a safe option.
Hopefully these helpful tips shed a little light on what your little one should wear to sleep. Sweet dreams!