How to Dress My Baby for Sleep

Are you a new parent wanting to ensure your baby is comfortable and safe while she sleeps? It can seem overwhelming to dress your little one every night, especially with all the conflicting advice about what’s best. Don’t worry – we understand how stressful it can be!

How to Dress My Baby for Sleep

Sleeping is a crucial part of your baby’s development, and it’s important to get it right. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of how to dress my baby for sleep, from choosing the suitable fabric to finding the perfect fit.

Just remember, every baby is different, and what works for one may not work for another. So feel free to experiment until you find what works best for your little one.

What Will You Need?

To start, make sure you have a few essential items on hand:

  1. Onesies
  2. Sleep gowns or pajamas
  3. Swaddles or sleep sacks (for newborns)
  4. Socks (optional)
  5. Blankets (optional)

When preparing for your baby’s bedtime, you’ll want to ensure that the room is at a comfortable temperature – not too hot and not too cold. This will help prevent overheating or your baby getting too chilly at night.

8 Easy Steps on How to Dress My Baby for Sleep

Step 1: Check the Room Temperature

Before you start dressing your baby for sleep, it’s essential to check the room’s temperature. Ideally, the room should be comfortable, generally between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 22 degrees Celsius).

This will prevent your baby from overheating or getting too cold during the night. You can use a room thermometer to measure the temperature accurately. Remember, the aim is to keep your baby comfortable, not hot or cold.

Step 2: Choose the Right Fabric

The type of fabric you choose for your baby’s sleepwear can play a significant role in their comfort. The best choice is breathable natural fabrics like cotton, which can help regulate your baby’s body temperature and prevent overheating.

It’s also soft and gentle on their delicate skin. Avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester, which can trap heat and cause your baby to sweat. When in doubt, always check the label for material information before buying baby clothes.

Significant Role in Their Comfort

Step 3: Consider Layering

Layering is a key strategy when dressing your baby for sleep, and it allows you to easily adjust your baby’s clothing based on changes in room temperature. As a general rule, dressing your baby in one more layer than you’re comfortable wearing is a good starting point.

For instance, if you’re comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts, a onesie and a light sleep sack or swaddle would be appropriate for your baby. Remember, it’s always better to lean towards cooler rather than warmer, as overheating can be dangerous for babies. If your baby is sweating or her chest feels hot, she may be overdressed, and you should remove a layer.

Step 4: Assess Your Baby’s Comfort

It’s crucial to assess your baby’s comfort throughout the night continually. Regularly check your baby’s neck and back to see if they are sweaty or cold. Your baby’s hands and feet are not reasonable indications of their overall body temperature.

Adjust their clothing accordingly if you feel your baby is too hot or cold. Always remember that a cooler baby is safer than an overheated one. This step is critical in ensuring you’ve dressed your baby appropriately for sleep.

Step 5: Choose Appropriate Sleepwear

When it comes to actual sleepwear, you have a few options. For newborns, a swaddle or sleep sack is a great choice as it gives babies a snug feel, similar to the womb, which can help them sleep more soundly. As your baby ages, you can transition to sleep gowns or pajamas. These should be snug-fitting to avoid any loose fabric that could be a suffocation hazard.

A one-piece onesie is an excellent option, as it covers your baby from neck to feet, keeping them warm without needing additional blankets that could pose a risk. Always opt for sleepwear that’s easy to wear and take off for those inevitable mid-night diaper changes.

If the room temperature is more relaxed, consider adding a pair of socks or a light hat, but remember to avoid overheating. Your baby’s sleepwear should provide comfort and safety above all.

Consider Adding a Pair of Socks

Step 6: Be Mindful of the Diaper

Before tucking your baby in for the night, make sure they’re wearing a fresh diaper. This will help ensure that they stay dry and comfortable throughout the night, reducing the chance of waking up due to discomfort. Opt for high-quality, absorbent diapers that fit your baby well to prevent leaks.

If your baby is prone to diaper rash, consider applying a layer of diaper cream before bed to help protect their skin. Remember to have all your diaper-changing essentials nearby for any necessary middle-of-the-night changes.

Step 7: Use a Sleep Sack or Swaddle for Newborns

For newborns, a swaddle or a sleep sack is an excellent choice to keep them comfortable and cozy. These items are designed to provide a womb-like feeling to help soothe and facilitate more restful sleep. When using a swaddle, ensure it’s snug but not too tight — your baby should still be able to move their hips and legs freely to prevent hip dysplasia.

As your baby grows and starts showing signs of rolling over, it’s time to transition from a swaddle to a sleep sack for safety reasons. Remember, loose blankets in the crib are a no-no for infants as they present a risk of suffocation. Sleep sacks are a safer alternative, providing warmth without the hazards of loose blankets.

Step 8: Avoid Loose Bedding

While it might be tempting to tuck your little one in with a soft blanket or a favorite stuffed animal, keeping the crib free from any loose or soft objects to reduce the risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is crucial. Pillows, quilts, comforters, plush toys, and similar items should not be placed in the crib with your baby.

If you’re concerned about keeping your baby warm during the night, opt for a wearable blanket or sleep sack instead. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends this as the safest sleeping environment for babies.

Keeping Baby Warm During Night

Following these steps ensures your baby is dressed appropriately for a safe and comfortable sleep. Regularly check on your baby’s comfort throughout the night and adjust their clothing as needed.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Layer, Don’t Overstuff: Dress your baby in layers to ensure they can maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the night. Start with a onesie, then add a sleep sack or swaddle. Remember, over-bundling can lead to overheating, a risk factor for SIDS.
  2. Add a Hat: Babies lose heat through their heads, so if the room is colder, consider adding a lightweight hat to your baby’s sleepwear.
  3. Add Socks or Booties: If the temperature in your home drops significantly at night, consider adding socks or booties to your baby’s feet. Just make sure they don’t have any.
  4. Check for Sweat or Chill: Regularly check your baby’s temperature by feeling their back or tummy. If they’re sweaty or their chest feels hot, remove a layer. Conversely, if they feel cool to the touch, add a layer.
  5. Skip the Blankets: Babies don’t need blankets—they can be a suffocation hazard. Instead, use a sleep sack or wearable blanket if additional warmth is needed.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently dress your baby for sleep, knowing they’ll be safe and comfortable throughout the night.

5 Things You Should Avoid

Could Cover Baby's Face
  1. Avoid Loose Clothing: Loose clothes could cover your baby’s face, increasing the risk of suffocation. Ensure all clothing is well-fitted and snug.
  2. Avoid Overheating: Don’t over-bundle your baby to keep them warm. Overheating can be dangerous and lead to SIDS. Instead, layer their clothing and adjust as needed.
  3. Avoid Synthetic Materials: Some materials, like polyester, can trap heat and cause your baby to become too warm. Try to stick with breathable fabrics like cotton.
  4. Avoid Tight Clothing: While it’s important to avoid loose clothing, you also want to ensure that the baby’s clothes aren’t too tight. Tight clothes can restrict their movement and make it difficult for them to breathe.
  5. Avoid Hats During Sleep: Although hats are great for keeping babies warm, they shouldn’t be worn during sleep. The hat can slip down over the baby’s face, increasing the risk of suffocation.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure your baby has a safe and comfortable sleep environment.

Is 27 Degrees Too Hot for Baby Room?

Many parents wonder what the ideal room temperature is for their baby’s sleep. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a room temperature between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit (20-22 degrees Celsius) is considered safe and comfortable for infants.

Anything lower than 65 degrees or higher than 75 degrees can increase the risk of SIDS. If your home tends to run warmer, consider using a fan or air conditioner to cool down the room. If the temperature drops below 68 degrees, add an extra layer of clothing for your baby.

It’s important to regularly check the room temperature and adjust your baby’s sleepwear accordingly to ensure their safety and comfort throughout the night.


Ultimately, how to dress my baby for sleep is an individualized experience tailored to the specific needs of your infant. Whether you choose to go with traditional pajamas, a bodysuit and swaddle combination, or any other type of sleepwear, trust your parenting instincts. After all, you know your baby better than anyone else.

In the end, make sure that whatever clothing you opt for is comfortable enough for your little one and allows for plenty of movement while sleeping soundly in their crib. And don’t forget those night-time snuggles! With the right attire to stay warm and cozy throughout the night, your precious little one will be ready to enjoy every moment they can spend cuddled up next to you.

So grab a onesie, some socks, and perhaps even a few extra blankets – and relish in watching them drift off into dreamland each night without worry.

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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