How to Dress Toddler for Sleep

Is getting your toddler to dress for sleep a struggle every night? You’re not alone! Many parents find getting their toddlers ready for bed challenging, as children can be particularly fussy about what they wear. But with the right knowledge and tips, you can simplify dressing your toddler for sleep.

Whether you’re a new parent or have been through this routine before, here are some helpful tips on how to dress toddler for sleep. This guide will cover everything from choosing the right sleepwear to creating a comfortable sleeping environment for your little one.

How to Dress Toddler for Sleep

Read on to learn everything from how the clothing should fit, which fabrics are best suited for sleeping in, and how to keep your child comfortable throughout the night.

What Will You Need?

Before getting into the specifics of how to dress toddlers for sleep, it’s important to know what items you’ll need. Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Comfortable and appropriate-sized sleepwear
  • Soft and breathable blankets or sleeping bag
  • Pajamas with feet (for colder nights)
  • Socks (if pajamas don’t have feet)
  • A comfortable sleeping space

It’s tempting to overdo it and pile on the layers or choose intricate sleepwear for your toddler. But remember, simplicity is key when dressing your child for sleep.

10 Easy Steps on How to Dress Toddler for Sleep

Step 1. Check the Room Temperature:

The first step is to ensure the room temperature is suitable for your toddler. Ideally, it should be kept at a comfortable 18-20°C. If the room is too hot or cold, adjust the temperature or consider using a fan or heater. This will help determine how much your toddler should be dressed for sleep.

Step 2. Choose Breathable Fabrics:

When dressing your toddler for sleep, selecting sleepwear made from breathable and soft materials is essential. Natural fibers like cotton or bamboo are great options as they allow for good airflow and can help prevent overheating. Avoid synthetic materials like polyester, which can trap heat and cause your toddler to sweat. Choosing the right fabric ensures your child’s comfort and promotes better sleep.

 Sleepwear Made From Breathable is Essential

Step 3. Opt for Proper Fit:

It’s crucial to choose sleepwear that fits your toddler correctly. Too tight clothes may restrict movement and cause discomfort, while oversized clothing can be a safety hazard. It should be snug enough to stay put but loose enough to allow for easy movement and breathability. A perfect fit ensures that your toddler sleeps comfortably and safely.

Step 4. Consider the Season:

The time of year greatly influences how you should dress your toddler for sleep. In warm summer months, a single layer of lightweight, breathable material should suffice. However, consider layering your child’s sleepwear or choosing footed pajamas for colder winter nights. An extra pair of socks or a light blanket can also provide additional warmth. Remember, it’s easier to add layers if your child is cold, rather than trying to cool them down if they become overheated.

Step 5. Layer Wisely:

Layering can be an effective way to keep your toddler warm during sleep, but it’s important to do just what is necessary. Overdressing can lead to overheating, which can disrupt your child’s sleep. Start with a single, comfortable layer and add more if necessary. A good rule of thumb is to dress your toddler in one more layer than what you’re comfortable wearing in the same environment. Always check your toddler’s temperature by feeling their back or tummy, which should feel warm but not hot.

Step 6. Use the TOG Rating:

TOG is a measure of thermal resistance, indicating the insulating properties of clothes or blankets. Sleepwear and sleep sacks often come with a TOG rating. For warmer weather, choose a lower TOG rating (0.5-1.0); for cooler weather, go for a higher TOG (2.5-3.5). This rating can guide you in deciding how much clothing or what type of blanket your toddler needs for a comfortable sleep.

Step 7. Avoid Loose Bedding:

 Avoid Loose Bedding for Toddlers

For safety reasons, it’s recommended to avoid loose bedding for toddlers under the age of two. Extra blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals can pose a potential suffocation hazard. Instead, consider using a wearable blanket or sleep sack that is appropriate for the current temperature. These provide warmth without the risks associated with loose bedding. Ensure that your toddler’s sleep area is clear and free of any objects that could interfere with their sleep or pose a safety risk.

Step 8. Prepare for Nighttime Changes:

It’s common for toddlers to have nighttime accidents or diaper leaks. To make changing easier and less disruptive, choose sleepwear that’s easy to remove, such as pajamas with a zipper or snaps. Having a spare set of sleep clothing handy can also help you quickly change your toddler and get them back to sleep.

Step 9. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment:

The sleep environment plays a significant role in how well your toddler sleeps. Aside from the room temperature, consider factors like noise, light, and comfort of your toddler’s bed or crib. A dark, quiet, and cozy room often results in better sleep. You might want to think about investing in a white noise machine or blackout curtains to help create the perfect sleep environment.

Step 10. Establish a Pre-sleep Routine:

Consistent Pre-sleep Routine Signal

A consistent pre-sleep routine can signal your toddler that it’s time to sleep, making the transition easier. This routine may include activities like a warm bath, a bedtime story, or a lullaby. Wearing specific sleep clothing can be a part of this routine, helping your toddler associate getting dressed for sleep with bedtime.

Remember, each child is unique, and what works best for one toddler might not work for another. You may need to experiment with different strategies and adjust as needed to find the best way to dress your toddler for sleep.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Layer Up: Dress your toddler in layers to easily adjust to temperature changes in the night. A simple cotton onesie coupled with a sleep sack can provide comfort and warmth.
  2. Consider the Room Temperature: Keep room temperature at a comfortable level. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a room temperature of 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.
  3. Choose Breathable Fabrics: Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or bamboo over synthetic materials. These regulate body heat better and prevent overheating.
  4. Avoid Loose Clothing: Loose clothes can pose a safety risk for toddlers. Ensure that sleepwear is snug-fitting to prevent any potential suffocation hazards.
  5. Footwear: It’s usually best to let toddlers sleep barefoot. If their feet get cold, consider using sleepwear with built-in footies.

Once you have implemented these tips and tricks, it’s important to remember that every child is different.

5 Things You Should Avoid

Toddler is Uncomfortable
  1. Ignoring Signs of Discomfort: If your toddler is uncomfortable in their sleepwear, they may have difficulty sleeping through the night. Look out for excessive sweating or restlessness signs and adjust their clothing as needed.
  2. Using Heavy Blankets: Avoid using heavy blankets for toddlers as they can pose a risk of suffocation. Instead, use lighter, breathable blankets or a sleep sack.
  3. Over-bundling: While it’s important to keep your toddler warm, over-bundling can lead to overheating. It’s better to layer and adjust as required.
  4. Ignoring Seasonal Changes: The appropriate attire for your toddler will vary depending on the season and temperature of their room. Remember to adjust their clothing as seasons and temperatures change.
  5. Using Hats or Hoods: Hats or hoods can pose a suffocation risk and are generally unnecessary in a properly heated room. It’s best to avoid them.

Remember, keeping your toddler safe and comfortable during sleep is the most important priority. Monitoring their comfort level and adjusting their clothing will ensure they get a good night’s sleep.

Do Toddlers Get Warm When Sleeping?

Toddlers have a higher metabolic rate than adults, producing more body heat. However, their ability to regulate their body temperature has yet to fully develop. This means they may get warm while sleeping, and it’s important to dress them appropriately to prevent overheating.

As parents, we want our children to be comfortable and safe while they sleep. By following these tips and avoiding common mistakes, we can ensure our toddlers get the best sleep possible. Remember always to prioritize safety and be aware of your child’s needs when dressing them for bedtime. Sweet dreams!

Overall, dressing your toddler for sleep may seem daunting, but with these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to create a safe and cozy environment for your little one to sleep soundly. Just remember to keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort or overheating and adjust as necessary.

How Do You Know if Your Baby is Cold While Sleeping?

Babies are not able to regulate their body temperature as well as adults, so it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of coldness while they sleep. Some signs that your baby may be feeling cold include:

  • Their skin feels cool to the touch
  • They are shivering or trembling
  • They have a pale complexion
  • They are fussier than usual
  • They are waking up frequently from sleep

If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to add an extra layer or adjust the room temperature. Remember, it’s always better to be cautious and keep your baby warm while they sleep. By following these tips and keeping a close eye on your child’s comfort level, you can ensure they have a restful and cozy night’s sleep. So, dress your toddler appropriately for the temperature of their room to ensure a peaceful and comfortable night’s sleep for both them and you! Instead of worrying about whether or not they are dressed properly, you can rest easy knowing that you have taken all the necessary steps to keep your child safe and cozy during their

How Do You Make Sure Your Baby is Warm While Sleeping?

 Provide Additional Warmth

To ensure that your baby stays warm while sleeping, try the following tips:

  • Dress Them in Appropriate Sleepwear: Use layers of clothing or a sleep sack to keep them warm without overheating.
  • Keep an Eye on the Room Temperature: Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature and adjust as necessary. Remember to follow the recommended range of 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Check for Drafts: Make sure that your baby’s sleeping area is free from drafts, as this can make them feel colder.
  • Use a Warm but Breathable Blanket: A lightweight, breathable blanket can provide additional warmth without causing overheating.

By following these tips and being aware of your baby’s comfort level throughout the night, you can ensure that they stay cozy and warm while they sleep.


How to dress toddler for sleep is a challenge, but it’s an important one. Considering your toddler’s size and comfort level when making decisions about sleepwear will help ensure they are both safe and comfortable throughout the night. It can be difficult to adapt to the changing weather conditions to help them stay comfortable during sleep time. However, with careful consideration of fabric types and breathability, you can still have a happy toddler at bedtime.

Furthermore, making dressing for sleep fun with mix-and-match pieces that let your little one express their personality can deepen their connection with the bedtime routine and reduce potential stress.

Overall, staying organized by packing sleepwear carefully before bedtime is the key to ensuring your toddler gets a good night’s sleep in the utmost comfort.

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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