How to dress baby for bed - TheTot
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How to dress baby for bed

Sleep expert and Founder of Sleep and the City, Lauren Olsen, shares her invaluable tips on dressing babies and toddlers for bed


Your baby has finally arrived, and it’s the first night home from the hospital. Suddenly a question dawns on you – what should your baby wear to sleep at night?  Hi, I’m Lauren, certified Sleep Specialist with Sleep and the City, and I’ve put together this simple guide about how to dress your child comfortably at night during in any season (and at any age!) while providing the optimal environment for quality sleep.

Ideal Room & Body Temperature

Let’s start with the perfect room temperature for your infant or toddler, which ideally should be between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. As for your little one’s body temperature, the AAP says that a normal body temperature for a healthy baby is between 97 and 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit, which most doctors will agree with.  Keeping this in mind, it’s important to dress baby accordingly to reduce chances of discomfort or overheating. A great rule of thumb to remember is: dress baby in ONE additional layer than what you’re comfortable wearing at night in the same room. To easily test your baby’s room temperature, I recommend using the ARC Instatemp Thermometer. It changes color according to how warm (or cool!) baby’s room is.

Crib Bedding

In order for your baby or toddler sleep through the night, you’ll want them to be as comfortable as possible throughout any season. The breathable muslin sheets from Little Unicorn come in multiple prints good to go with any nursery design, and help keep baby cool at night.  It’s important to keep baby’s health in mind as well, which is why I recommend organic mattresses like Nook’s Pebble Pure mattress, or at the very least an organic mattress cover like the PureGrace mattress protector.

How to Dress your Infant

When dressing your child, a great rule of thumb to keep in mind is: dress baby in ONE additional layer than what you’re comfortable wearing at night in the same room. I like to pair one article of clothing, like the L’OVEDbaby Organic Sleep Gown (easy diaper changes!) with a seasonably-appropriate sleep sack like the Kyte Baby Solid Sleep Sack.  For example, consider using a onesie and sleep sack for the summer months, or a long sleeved and a heavier sleep sack for the colder times of the year.  For those Mamas that do better with a chart, here is a wonderful example of a Sleep Temperature Guide:

Temp guide via


The TOG indicates approximately how many blankets a sleeping sack or bag is equivalent to. Bags with rating 1.2 or below are for spring/summer use. Bags with rating 2-2.5 are for autumn/winter.  For Mamas with an infant still in a swaddle, a great combination would be the Kyte Baby solid onesie paired with the Loulou Lollipop Bamboo Muslin swaddles for summer, and the Cam Cam Copenhagen Longsleeve Onesie paired with the Coveted Things Faded Arrow swaddle for winter.  If your baby tends to run a little hot in body temperature, I’m extremely impressed with the Organic Air Wrap from Woombie which has a ventilated fabric to keep baby cooler when wrapped, especially on those summer walks in the stroller!  (Remember to always be sure to check with your doctor on how to correctly swaddle or wrap your new baby to avoid the chances of overheating.)

How to Dress your Toddler (12+ months)

Once your child is 12 months old, using a sleep sack is still a perfectly good solution to keep their feet warm at night. It’s also the age where you can introduce a blanket into the crib.  I’m currently using the Little Unicorn Cotton Muslin blanket/crib set in Navy Stripe for my oldest child. It’s also big enough for a parent to snuggle under too while reading books at bedtime!  If your toddler is more comfortable sleeping without a blanket, try the cute organic pajamas from 12 12; this print is sure to make a social media picture pop!

What NOT to Do

The AAP firmly recommends nothing in the crib or bassinet under 12 months of age to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.  This includes heavy blankets, hats, beanies, or thick crib bumpers.  If you feel as though baby is cold, add an additional layer to his/her outfit.

Other Safe Sleeping Tips:

  • Give your baby their own safe sleeping area in the same room as an adult for at least 6-12 months
  • Provide a safe sleeping environment for naps & nighttime
  • Always put baby down in sleeping area on their back, not their side or stomach
  • Have your baby sleep with their face and head uncovered
  • Keep baby in a smoke free environment
  • Keep white noise is continuously running;  one with low rumbling is best from Baby Shusher


For more professional Baby & Toddler Sleep Ideas and Help, visit