How to Dress Baby for Sleep: The Best Ways To Keep Baby Cosy In 2023

How to Dress Baby for Sleep: Keep Your Baby Cosy and Sound

We all can relate to parents’ struggles in the United Kingdom figuring out how to dress baby for sleep in the chilly weather and the battle to keep heating costs in check. But with our unpredictable weather, it becomes even more challenging. You want to ensure your little one stays warm, comfortable and the baby wear you pick is suitable for the occasion.

So, what’s the best way to dress a baby for sleep? It might seem like a simple question, but it can be daunting for new parents and dads. We hesitate to turn on the heating, not just in winter but even during the summer, so picking the suitable baby wear, tog ratings, sleep sacks, and the rest is terrifying.

As a dad, you have a strong instinct to provide for your family, including keeping your baby cosy. The dilemma is real. Do you endure the rising energy bills by turning on the heating more frequently, or do you stick to the house rule of using blankets and hot water bottles after 5 p.m., all while trying to figure out the correct number of layers to keep your little one snug?

Thankfully, after reading this article on dressing your baby for sleep throughout the seasons, you won’t need to make that tough decision anymore. You’ll have one less thing to worry about, and your little bundle of joy will be safe and comfortable all night long.

How Do I Know If My Baby Is Cold?

While your baby’s hands and face might feel cold, it’s essential to remember that this can be different from their core body temperature. To get a more accurate sense of whether they are cold, gently feel the skin on their tummy and back. These areas should feel comfortably warm, indicating that your baby is at a reasonable temperature. Avoid relying solely on their hands and faces, as they might not accurately reflect their overall body warmth. 

How Do I Know If My Baby Is Too Hot?

Watch out for potential symptoms, including flushed cheeks, sweating, or fussiness. When a baby is too hot, their skin will often feel hot, particularly in the early stages of overheating. However, as overheating progresses, babies may feel cool to the touch, appear pale, and show signs of illness. It’s essential to carefully monitor your baby’s temperature to ensure their comfort and well-being.

Remember, When You Dress Your Baby For Sleep…

Young babies have yet to develop the ability to regulate their body temperature efficiently, and they can release heat slowly. While they may seem self-centred, we as dads must proactively enhance our knowledge and not solely rely on our partners to have all the answers.

Learning how to dress baby for sleep, particularly in the evenings, is essential to ensure they get a restful night’s kip. After all, you wouldn’t want to be woken up every hour, either! Frequent wake-ups might be expected depending on your child’s age, but you get the idea.

Understanding TOG ratings can be beneficial. You can find more information in this PDF resource. Depending on the temperature, these ratings can guide you in selecting suitable sleep sacks and determining the appropriate number of layers your newborn should wear during sleep. Learning about this will serve you and your baby well, so let’s get started! Please don’t leave it all to your partner; let’s work together for the well-being of our little one.

how to dress baby for sleep

What Temperature Should A Baby’s Bedroom Be?

The key to safe sleeping for your baby lies in the baby’s room temperature. Keeping your baby’s room between 16 and 20 °C is crucial. To monitor the temperature effectively, you can invest in a room thermometer, like the reliable egg thermometer that indicates the temperature through colour changes.

At this recommended temperature, dressing your baby appropriately is essential. A vest and a sleep sack are good starting points, and consider using a reasonably lightweight sleeping bag or a swaddle to keep your little one comfortable throughout the night. Ensuring the room is at the right temperature and dressing your baby accordingly creates a safe and cosy sleeping environment for your precious bundle of joy.

Right, So What About Clothes?

Hold on there, hot shot. Before you grab your D.I.Y. tool belt, take a moment to learn how to dress your baby for sleep. Safety is paramount, so remember, no duvets or pillows are allowed. If you opt for a light blanket, be mindful not to overdo it, as your little one’s active legs can easily kick loose blankets off. Instead, consider using swaddles or a sleep sack for their comfort and safety.

As we discussed earlier, dressing your baby appropriately depends on different temperatures. Given the unpredictable weather in the United Kingdom, it’s wise to have a variety of baby clothes on hand. Always start with a vest and then add layers based on the temperature. A swaddle or sleep bag can provide the perfect cosy solution.

In the U.K., where temperatures often dip below 20 degrees throughout the year, you can layer up your newborn with a sleepsuit around 70% of the time. However, stay moderate and add hats or gloves for bedtime, even in cold weather; sticking to the basics is sufficient.

Lastly, the importance of a high-quality sleeping bag must be considered. Shop around to find the best choice, as a good one can last for months before needing an upgrade. Prioritising your baby’s comfort and safety in their sleep attire will lead to peaceful nights for both baby and parents.

What About The Summer?

Let’s consider how to dress baby for sleep during the summer months.

It’s essential to remove any excessive layers. One layer of babywear should be sufficient to keep your baby cool. Look for lightweight swaddles and sleeping bags while shopping around.

When you’re out and about with the stroller on sunny days, ensure your baby is shielded from direct sunlight and has plenty of shade to avoid overheating.

Also, keeping the nursery curtains closed during the day will maintain the baby’s room temperature and create a comfortable sleeping environment. Paying attention to these points ensures your baby’s sleep is restful and safe throughout the summer months. 

What About Cold Temperatures?

When it comes to how to dress baby for sleep in the colder months, consider layering them in cotton to trap heat between the layers and keep them cosy.

Ensure your baby is well-prepared for outings in cold temperatures with a hat, mittens, and a warm coat. Remember to think about their legs too, and have blankets for warmth.

Regulating your baby’s room temperature is crucial for their comfort. If your house becomes too cold, don’t hesitate to bite the bullet and turn on the heating to ensure your little one stays warm and content. A comfortable and cosy sleeping environment is essential for your baby’s well-being.

What Checks Can I Do During The Summer To Make Sure My Baby Isn’t Too Hot?

If you suspect your baby might be too hot, there are simple checks you can perform. Place your hand on their chest or the back of their neck, as this will indicate their body temperature.

Look for other signs your baby might feel warm, such as damp, sweaty hair, flushed cheeks, rapid breathing, or heat rash.

If your little one feels hot, consider removing a layer of clothing and rechecking their temperature in 10 minutes. You can also improve air circulation by opening a window slightly. Remember that checking their hands or feet may not accurately reflect their overall body temperature, as these areas are often cooler than the rest of their body.


The above should indicate how to dress baby for sleep throughout the seasons, ensuring their temperature is healthy. Unfortunately, the energy crisis isn’t going away soon, and you will want to prioritise your baby’s comfort. So, saving those few extra pennies for that traditional cold snap is best to ensure your baby doesn’t notice the blizzard outside.

If you have enjoyed reading this article on how to dress baby for sleep, please check out our blog for more direct, light-hearted advice on fatherhood and subscribe to our newsletter here.

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Real-life advice, sense, and nonsense from someone who is currently there, doing it, and wearing the slightly tight, chundered on t-shirt.