How to Dress your Baby to Improve their Sleep


The weather is starting to turn cold at night as we are moving into autumn. We all want our baby to sleep during those cold nights. The temperature of the room will affect their sleep.

How should you dress your baby at bedtime?

You do not want your baby to be cold during the night. That makes it hard to sleep. You also do not want your baby to be too warm when they are trying to sleep. Babies tend to heat up faster than adults but have a more difficult time bringing down their body temperature than adults. It is important not to overheat your baby because that is  a one of the possible contributing factor to SIDS.

The best room temperature for sleeping is 67-72 degrees. Adjust the heat in your home to keep your baby’s room within that range. When your baby is comfortable, it will make it easier for your baby to sleep.

When dressing your baby the easy rule to go by is:
Put one more layer on your baby than you put on yourself.

If you are adding a blanket to your bed, it probably means you need to add another layer to your baby. To promote a safe sleeping environment you cannot add a loose blanket to your baby’s bed. Instead, you can use a heavier fabric for the swaddle or sleep sack you are dressing your baby in. The sleep sacks and swaddles are available in blanket type fabrics. You can add layers under the swaddle according to the temperature. You will probably have a onsie and a gown or sleeper on your baby under the swaddle or sleep sack in the colder months.

Here is a link to an example of a warm sleep sack for your baby:

To check if your baby is warm enough, feel their chest or the trunk of their body. It should feel warm and comfortable to your touch. Babies have poor circulation in their hands and feet which causes hands and feet to feel cold to your touch. Feeling your baby’s hands and feet is not a good way to access if your child is warm enough.

It is not recommended to put a hat on your baby at night because of the danger that hat could slide over your baby’s face and cover their nose and/or mouth.

If you have any questions about sleep, contact me at:

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Helping Babies Sleep

Arlene Fryling

Arlene is a registered nurse and certified sleep consultant for children 0-5 years. She has cared for premature, sick, and many healthy babies. For over 15 years she has taught expectant parents how to care for their newborns through classes teaching basic baby care, infant massage classes, and moderating support groups for new moms as they deal with parenting issues.

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