How to Dress Baby For Sleep

Do you wonder whether your baby is too hot or too cold when they’re sleeping?

Whether you’re living in a warm climate all year round or if you’re living in a place with all four seasons, this worry will always come up because it’s just one of those things that parents worry about, right?

If you find yourself worried about your little one and their sleep attire, here are some tips on how to properly dress your baby for bedtime.

For Cooler Climates

One of your natural instincts will be to layer baby for sleep.

However, you need to keep in mind that overheating is a real thing that is associated with the risk of SIDS.

To gauge whether or not your baby is too cold, touch the nape of their neck or back. If they are too warm to the touch or even sweaty, then you may want to try something cooler.

Keep in mind that they will be swaddled which will add another layer of warmth to the onesie or pajamas you choose.

To choose a proper onesie, look for long-sleeved ones like Zipease baby rompers. With the long sleeves and the right material, the only layer your baby will need is their swaddle blanket.

What About Mittens When Baby Sleeps?

While we want to protect our newborns from scratching their faces at night, experts suggest it is not worth the risk that comes with their mittens falling off during their sleep, or again, of possible overheating.

As with the cap, babies give off heat through their hands and head so these are two places in which you shouldn’t layer to protect them from getting too hot.

At times, your baby may come loose from their swaddle and try to scratch their face.

The danger posed is that the mitten may fall off and block them from being able to breathe through their nose.

It is riskier at night since you will be catching up on sleep yourself. However, during the day when they are up, are when mittens are needed the most since that’s when they’re most active and have more chances at scratching themselves or poking themselves in the eye.

Allow your swaddle to restrain them from scratching during sleep time. If you swaddle them properly, it will keep their hands in place and even allow them to sleep longer since they’ll be cozy.

If your baby struggles to keep from scratching during sleep, you may want to file their nails to keep them short.

If you do, however, have your mind set on having your baby wear mittens.

It is suggested you use the type of onesies that come with a mitten cuff. These are usually found on long sleeves. That way, you don’t risk the chance of a mitten coming loose and becoming a suffocation or choking hazard.

What About Hats and Headwear?

Another item you won’t be needing for sleep during cooler days are hats.

The only time baby should be sleeping with a hat on their head is during their stay at the hospital.

The reason nurses will put a cap on your baby’s head after birth is because the temperature in the hospital may be too cold for them after leaving a warm womb.

Therefore, to get them adjusted and comfortable, a light cap is put on their heads.

And of course, since you have a medical team around 24/7 after birth, it’s safe to say that baby is being watched carefully.

After a couple of day at the hospital, your baby needs to regulate their body temperature on their own. One of the reasons pediatricians are not fans of wearing headwear to sleep is that babies need to release excessive heat through their head, therefore, you want to leave all the cute hats, headwear, and headbands off.

Not only is there a chance for overheating, this also poses a risk of choking and suffocation should baby’s headwear fall on their face during sleep, no matter how secure their headwear may feel.

If you have a matching cap that completes the outfit, feel free to have baby wear it during the day when you’re most watchful.

If baby seems uncomfortable, fussy, or flushed it may be a sign that the hat is making him too hot or uncomfortable. During nap time, however, it may be wise to allow them to sleep without it.

For Warmer Climates

During warmer days, you’ll want to switch to a lighter swaddle and onesie.

Your baby’s onesie should be short-sleeved and made of light cotton material. You’ll want to use blankets such as Baby Tula baby blankets that are made from bamboo which gives the material an ultra-soft, light, and breathable feel that allows airflow to help regulate the baby’s body temperature.

This will be especially helpful for naptime during warmer days since temperatures are the warmest during the day.

A fan is another helpful way to make sure that your baby stays at a comfortable temperature during their sleep.

A fan not only keeps the air circulated to keep SIDS away, but it also adds some white noise that can help your baby during their nap or bedtime.

For extra precaution in either climate, most pediatricians recommend a temperature between 68 and 72 degrees for your baby’s nursery.

Be sure to not place the bassinet or crib directly underneath or by airflow. Doing that can make the air a lot hotter or cooler for baby.

If you’re using a space heater, do not place it by or directly on your baby.

The best advice for dressing your baby for sleep is to keep it simple and do regular temperature checks in their room.

It is said that if you are comfortable, they will be too. If you find yourself too hot or too cold then you’ll want to adjust the temperature or their attire.

It may take some time, but you will find what works best for your baby.

Dressing Baby for Sleep

There you go! Tell me in the comments what you do to keep your baby warm or cool when they sleep.


Angela is a WAHM and a California native that is now raising her 2 year old son in a city between the mountains of Utah. On her downtime she writes posts about her new role as a mother, wife, and her escapes back to her home state which you can find on her blog at