What Should a Baby Wear to Sleep?

Simple tips from Baby & Toddler Sleep Expert, Lauren Olson, to help your baby (and you) get a good night’s rest

A newborn baby wearing a swaddle to sleep in

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 in any season (and at any age!) while providing the optimal environment for quality sleep.

We’ll go over:

  • What clothes to dress your baby and toddler in, 
  • our baby sleep outfit recommendations,
  • the ideal sleeping temperature for your child, 
  • crib fabric recommendations,
  • and other safe sleeping tips.

What Clothes Should a Baby Sleep In?

When dressing your newborn for bed, follow this rule of thumb: dress the infant in one additional layer than what you’d be comfortable wearing at night in that room. Consider a onesie, sleep sack, or lightweight swaddle in warmer months. In colder months, opt for a long-sleeved onesie or a heavier sleepsack or swaddle.

The TOG (thermal overall grade) 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 those Mamas that do better with a chart, here is a wonderful example of a Sleep Temperature Guide:

Chart outlining what a baby should wear to bed, based on the temperature and season.

Temp guide via slumbersafe.com

Baby Sleep Clothes: The Tot’s Recommendations


We recommend going for comfortable, non-toxic sleepwear for your infant. Here are the 8 best baby pajamas:

  1. Halo Sleepsack Swaddle
  2. Halo Sleepsack Wearable Blanket
  3. Kyte Baby Sleep Bag
  4. Lullaby Set Baby Saque
  5. Noomie Snap Footie
  6. Hart + Land Bodysuit PJs
  7. Hart + Land Shortsleeve Bodysuit
  8. Louelle Sleeping Bag

The Lullaby Set Baby Saque is perfect for parents who want a stress-free diaper change. For Mamas with an infant still in a swaddle, a great combination would be the Hart + Land Shortsleeve Bodysuit paired with the Hart + Land Organic Cotton Swaddle for summer, and the Hart + Land Bodysuit PJs paired with the Milkbarn organic muslin swaddle for winter.

If your baby kicks off their blanket, a sleep sack or sleep bag is the solution for you. The Halo Sleepsack Wearable Blanket is made from 100% organic cotton that is soft to the touch, hypoallergenic and provides a cozy and comfortable sleeping alternative to blankets in the crib. The sleep sack has an inverted zipper that allows quick and easy access for diaper changes, meaning significantly less fuss from babies. Halo also makes a Sleepsack Swaddle that’s used in hospital nurseries nationwide. The 3-way adjustable swaddle adjusts to your baby’s sleep style and keeps them safe and snuggly.

In the first couple years of their lives, babies need a little extra help regulating their body temperature. In the cooler months, you may consider a blanket for your infant. The Deluxe Muslin Quilt by Little Unicorn is beautifully crafted with layers of 100% rayon made from bamboo, breathable, machine washable, and perfect for keeping your baby warm and cozy all through the night.

Toddler Pajamas: How to Dress Toddler for Bed (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 organic cotton muslin quilt 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. 

Ideal Sleeping Temperature for Babies

The ideal temperature for a baby’s room is 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. To easily test your baby’s temperature, I recommend using the Innovo Thermometer that features a dual forehead and ear mode. 

Crib & 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. Here are our recommendations for the best cribs and crib bedding.

The Classic Crib by Oeuf is sustainably produced in Europe from wood panels on a solid wood base, making it one of the sturdiest and safest cribs available. Made of solid birch and eco-MDF, it’s easy to assemble by one person, has three adjustable mattress positions and a small footprint to help utilize space efficiently. All finishes are non-toxic, water-based and free of VOC health hazards 

For crib bedding, 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.

This mattress  is not only supportive cozy and hypoallergenic, it’s also safe. Featuring a certified organic coconut core layered with 1” of natural latex foam, the dual-sided design of the Nook Sleep Systems Pebble Pure Mattress ensures a firm, breathable sleep space for infants and toddlers while the superior softness of the eucalyptus wrap provides comfort and convenience.

Lighting & Sound

Creating the perfect sleeping environment for your little one includes factoring in light and sound. For lighting, the Studio Cheha hot air balloon is a great choice to bring peace of mind to your child as they learn to sleep in their own room. The night light features laser engraved clear acrylic glass and hidden LED elements that emit 50,000 hours worth of warm light. 

For sound, we recommend keeping white continuously running, specifically one with low rumbling. The Baby Shusher can help soothe your fussy baby by making a doctor tested shushing sound that mimics in utero noises and soothes your little one. Small and compact in size, the Baby Shusher is perfect to use in the nursery, in the car, or when visiting friends and family.

Additional Baby Sleep Tips

In addition to clothing, temperature, and crib bedding here are ways to ensure your baby sleeps safely and comfortably.

  • 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.
  • 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, such as the Baby Shusher

Learn more about safe sleep for your baby, and read our Question & Answer on newborn sleep.

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