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How To Dress Baby For Sleep At Any Temperature

Key Points

  • High body temperatures at night time are a risk factor for SIDS
  • 18C (or 64F) is the ideal room temperature for a sleeping newborn
  • Be careful in summer months as temperature fluctuations can cause overheating

Finding the right combination of sleep sack and clothing can be challenging especially when in the last minutes of your bedtime routine and you're deliriously scrambling to make the right decision.

Making matters worse, is knowing that the body temperature of your newborn is a contributing factor to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) .

This guide will set out a what your baby should be wearing before bedtime so you can make sure that you're not going to overheat or under heat your newborn.

What clothing should a baby wear at bedtime?

As the general rule goes, your baby will only need to add 1 additional piece of clothing above what you would normally wear to be comfortable in that room.

Boy and Girl in nice clothes instead of ready for bed

Consider using a Sleep Sack to help make your little one more comfortable. Sleep sacks have improved safety when compared to a Swaddle especially as your newborn approaches 4 months.

Sleep sacks have a Thermal Overall Grade (TOG) which approximates how many blankets they are equivalent too. A TOG of 2.5 is quite high and suitable for winter months, where as a TOG of .5 is more suitable for summer months.

What Is the Best Room Temperature for Baby?

The ideal room temperature for a newborn is between 18-20C (65-68F). At this temperature, a newborn should be in a 2.5 Tog sleep sack and wearing a long sleeved onesie.

Setting the right room temperature

This may sound cooler than you might like, but 18C is the recommended room temperature for newborns .

What to wear in hotter or cooler temperatures

Having a consistently 'ideal' room temperature is not always possible. Throughout the year, winter and summer months will likely result in fluctuations that result in temperatures being lower or higher than the ideal.

The following tables illustrates the ideal combinations of Sleep Sack and Clothing combinations to wear at any temperature.

What newborns should wear to bed at different temperatures
Temperature (Celsius) Temperature (Farenheit) Sleep Sack Clothing
26C or more 79F or more 0.5 Tog Short sleeved onesie
24-25C 75-77F 1 Tog Short sleeved onesie
22-23C 71-74F 1 Tog Long sleeved onesie
20-21C 68-70F 1 Tog Long sleeved onesie + singlet
18-19C 64-67F 2.5 Tog Long sleeved onesie
16-17C 60-63F 2.5 Tog Long sleeved onesie + singlet
Less than 16C Less than 60F 3.5 Tog Long sleeved onesie + singlet

How to Dress Your Baby for Sleep in Summer

It might be tempting to over dress your newborn to cater to the fluctuating temperatures, but this will likely cause overheating and increase your risk factors of SIDS.

The summer months can pose a challenge for what to wear at night time as your baby will likely fall asleep before sunset, after which the temperatures will likely drop.