How to Dress Baby in Winter for Sleep

Are you a new parent struggling with dressing your little one for sleep during the winter season? You’re not alone!

Winter brings many changes for parents and their little ones. From weather colder than usual to finding the proper clothing for your baby while still keeping them warm and comfortable, there is much to consider when dressing your baby in wintertime. But don’t worry – with the proper knowledge and tips. You can easily plan how to dress your baby before bed at night!

How to Dress Baby in Winter for Sleep

Keep reading as we break down exactly what items are needed and provide helpful advice on how to dress baby in winter for sleep. Follow these simple steps, and your baby will be cozy and snug throughout the night.

What Will You Need?

Dressing your baby for wintertime sleep is all about layers. Choosing clothing that will keep them warm and comfortable throughout the night and allow for easy removal if they get too hot is essential. Here are some items you should have ready:

  • One-piece pajamas made of warm, breathable fabric (such as cotton)
  • A onesie (to keep your baby’s torso warm)
  • Socks or booties
  • A sleep sack or wearable blanket
  • A hat (if the room is especially cold)
  • Mittens (protects from scratching and keeps hands warm)

It’s always a good idea to have extras of each item in case of diaper leaks, spit-ups, or other unexpected messes.

10 Easy Steps on How to Dress Baby in Winter for Sleep

Step 1. Check the Room Temperature:

 Room Temperature is Comfortable

Before you start dressing your baby, ensure the room temperature is comfortable – between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius). This is a safe and comfortable temperature range for your baby during winter. Be careful not to overheat the room – you don’t want your baby to get too hot while sleeping.

Step 2. Dress in Layers:

Layering is key when it comes to dressing your baby for sleep during winter. It’s essential to start with a base layer, usually a onesie that covers the torso and can be easily unbuttoned for diaper changes. Choose one made of breathable fabric, such as cotton, to maintain a comfortable body temperature.

Over the onesie, put on a warm one-piece pajama. Consider adding socks or booties to keep your baby’s feet warm if the room is particularly chilly. Finally, a sleep sack or wearable blanket can be a top layer. This provides added warmth without the risks associated with loose blankets. Always adjust the layers according to the room temperature and how your baby feels to the touch.

Step 3. Consider a Hat and Mittens:

If the room temperature is at the lower end of the recommended range and your baby’s ears or hands are cold, consider adding a lightweight hat and mittens. The hat can help maintain body heat that’s often lost through the head, while mittens keep little hands warm and also prevent your baby from scratching themselves while sleeping. However, remember to remove these items if the room becomes warmer or your baby is showing signs of overheating, such as sweating or red cheeks.

Step 4. Monitor and Adjust:

It’s not enough to dress your baby and assume all is well. You must regularly check on them to ensure they are warm enough and cool. Feel your baby’s chest, back, or tummy to gauge their temperature.

Hands and Feet to Feel Chilly

If your baby is sweaty or their chest feels hot, they may be overdressed, and you should remove a layer. Conversely, consider adding a layer if they feel cold to the touch. Remember, it’s normal for a baby’s hands and feet to feel chilly, but the rest of the body should feel warm. Always watch your baby’s signals and adjust their clothing as needed.

Step 5. Opt for Breathable Fabrics:

When choosing clothing for your baby, opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or bamboo. These materials allow air to circulate and help regulate your baby’s body temperature. Avoid synthetic materials such as polyester, which can trap heat and cause your baby to sweat. Furthermore, breathable fabrics are less likely to irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. Remember, a comfortable baby is likelier to have a good night’s sleep.

Step 6. Avoid Loose Blankets:

While your instinct may be to tuck your baby under a warm, cozy blanket, loose blankets can pose a risk of suffocation or overheating. Instead, use a sleep sack or a wearable blanket. These are safe options that don’t have the risks associated with loose blankets, and they still provide the warmth your baby needs. The sleep sack should be the correct size for your baby to prevent it from slipping inside the bag.

Always ensure the sleep sack has a snug fit around the neck to keep your baby’s head from going inside.

Step 7. Be Cautious of Overheating:

Overheating is as much a risk as being cold. Over-bundling or using heat-retaining synthetic fabrics can lead to overheating, which may have serious consequences. Signs of overheating include a hot chest, sweating, or your baby feeling unusually warm.

Heat-retaining Synthetic Fabrics

Remove a layer or adjust the room temperature if you notice any of these signs. As a rule of thumb, dress your baby in one more layer than you would be comfortable in for the given room temperature. Always remember your baby should be cool rather than too warm.

Step 8. Use Swaddling with Caution:

Swaddling is a traditional practice of wrapping infants in blankets to restrict movement and mimic the feeling of being in the womb. If you choose to swaddle your baby, it’s essential to do so safely.

Swaddling should always be done with a thin, breathable blanket to avoid overheating. Also, check your baby regularly to ensure they have stayed warm. It’s important to stop swaddling once your baby shows signs of rolling over, as it can pose a risk of suffocation or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Step 9. Pay Attention to Your Baby’s Reaction:

Your baby’s comfort and reaction are the best indicators of whether they are dressed appropriately. If your baby seems uncomfortable or fussy, it might be a sign that they are too hot or too cold. Removing or adding layers as needed can ensure their comfort. Remember, every baby is different, and what works for one might not work for another. It’s essential to be flexible and adjust your approach based on your baby’s needs.

Step 10. Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule:

Keeping a consistent sleep schedule for your baby can help them get adequate rest and adjust to the changing seasons. Try to maintain the same bedtime and wake-up time for your baby, even during winter. A predictable sleep routine can make your baby feel more secure, help them sleep better, and make nighttime dressing less stressful. Remember, a well-rested baby is a happy baby.

Help Them Sleep Better

By following these steps and paying attention to your baby’s needs, you can ensure they are dressed appropriately for sleep during winter.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid Tight Clothing: While it is essential to ensure that cold air doesn’t enter your baby’s clothing, tight clothing can restrict their movement and make them uncomfortable. It can also cause circulation problems. Always choose clothing that is the right size for your baby.
  2. Avoid Overheating: As previously mentioned, overheating can be dangerous for babies. Always aim to dress your baby in one more layer than you would be comfortable in for the given room temperature.
  3. Avoid Heavy Blankets or Quilts: These can pose a suffocation risk for babies. Instead, opt for a safer alternative, like a sleep sack or a wearable blanket.
  4. Avoid Hats and Hoods in Bed: Hats and hoods can slip down and cover your baby’s face, leading to a risk of suffocation. It’s best to avoid them when your baby is asleep.
  5. Avoid Ignoring Your Baby’s Cues: Your baby’s reaction is an excellent indicator of their comfort. They may be too hot or cold if they are fussing or seem uncomfortable. Always pay attention to your baby’s signals and adjust their clothing accordingly.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure your baby stays safe and comfortable while they sleep during the winter months.


Although there are countless ways to keep babies warm while they sleep during winter, the most important thing is that parents remain aware of proper safety measures. It’s best to use layers, suitable fabrics, and items such as pajamas and sleeping sacks to ensure that babies stay snug and cozy. Parents can also purchase unique sleepwear for cold weather, remembering that proper fit is essential.

Hopefully, these tips on how to dress baby in winter for sleep have helped you understand how to dress your baby in winter for sleep. Remember, every baby is unique, so it’s essential to pay attention to your baby’s needs and adjust accordingly.

Furthermore, if your home gets chilly throughout the winter, consider using heating devices like space heaters or thermostats. By dressing your baby appropriately for sleep in colder weather, you can rest assured that your little one will be safe with every sweet snooze.

Photo of author

Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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