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Pick the Best Sleepwear: Simple Tips to Dress Baby for Bed in Any Temperature

As the temperature fluctuates, it can be difficult to know what to dress your little one  in to keep them comfortable all night long. From pajama material to sleep sack TOG, there’s a lot to consider when you dress your baby  for bed each night. Luckily the frantic googling can end here! Pull up a chair cause we’re breaking down how to dress baby for sleep based on the temperature.

In This Article 


Warm Weather Sleep

Transition Season Sleep

Cold Weather Sleep

Common Questions from New Parents

Three babies in Zen Sleepwear sitting next to each other.

If each new season leaves you wondering how to dress baby for sleep, we’re here to help with simple guidance for appropriate sleepwear based on the temperature of your home. The rule of thumb is to try and keep your baby's room or sleep space between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 22.2 degrees Celsius). However, depending on the time of year and temperature control of your home, the temperature of your little one’s sleep space may slightly vary from that range. And there are ways to warm your baby up or keep them cool with some adjustments to their sleepwear.

Pro Tip: Know Your TOG

Know Your TOG

Before we get started, we need to introduce you to TOG (thermal overall grade). You’ll need to know this concept well when choosing sleeping garments for your baby.  TOG is the standard to measure how much heat a garment retains. Sleep bags are labeled with a TOG level to let you know which one you should dress your baby in depending on the season to avoid overheating in the Summer or keep them warm in colder weather. 

Warm Weather Sleep

How to dress baby for sleep in summer or during warm weather months is a common concern for parents. The warm weather might make you dress light, but some babies will still need a sleep sack or other special sleeping garment. When the temperature heats up, you definitely want to lighten up your little one’s sleeping outfit. Mid-to-high 70s external temperature call for short sleeved body suit or onesie, perhaps even no pajamas, as the base layer and a sleep sack made with super low TOG material. 

The ideal room temperature for babies is up to 69℉ or 20.5℃.
A room that is too warm or hot can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).    -Mom Junction

The Zen Sack™ Premier is a 0.3 TOG and is made with a high quality bamboo material. Bamboo is a naturally antimicrobial material. It inhibits growth odor-causing bacteria and other microorganism growth that can be caused by high temperatures and sweat. The bamboo material is also moisture-wicking, so your baby can enjoy a dry, clean sleep even as the summer heat sets in.

Baby asleep in crib. 

Transition Season Sleep

Spring and Fall, or transition seasons, can be some of the most tricky times to figure out how to dress baby for sleep. Big swings in temperature from day to night and from one day to the next can seriously complicate things! So, it’s a good time to integrate a slightly higher TOG sleep sack or swaddle and then use light layers underneath. You can make additions to the light layers  on especially chilly nights or you can leave some off if it’s a warmer night. For instance, layering a long sleeve bodysuit, then long sleeve pajamas, with a final layer of a cotton swaddle or sleep sack is perfect for mid-60s weather, but if it gets a bit warmer you can opt for a short sleeve bodysuit or just  omit the pajamas. Layering equals flexibility!

What we mean by a slightly higher TOG is anywhere between 0.5-1.0 TOG rating sleep gear. Zen Sack™ Classic has a 0.5 TOG and is made from 100% cotton, which makes it super breathable. While the Zen One™ Classic swaddle has a slightly higher 1.0 TOG and is still made with comfortable, high-quality cotton. 

Baby in Zen Sack.

Cold Weather Sleep

If the weather is getting colder, or your little one’s nursery is at a cooler temperature (think low-60s) it’s time to start integrating a swaddle or sleep sack with a higher TOG. Aim for sleepwear that is a warmer material, such as cotton, and a TOG between 1.5-1.5.  On colder nights it’s also helpful to layer baby in things like long sleeve bodysuits, long sleeve pajamas, plus their sleep sacks or swaddles. A common rule of thumb is that baby will be comfortable in one additional layer to whatever you’re sleeping in. So, if you’re in two layers, a sleep shirt and a sweatshirt, it’s likely your baby will be comfortable sleeping in three layers.

The Zen Sack™ Winter is made with 100% cotton and has the addition of poly-fiber filling that boosts the TOG to a snuggly, warm 2.5. Perfect to keep your baby warm during a chilly winter night.

Other Sleepwear Resources

Healthychildren.Org: How to Keep Your Sleeping Baby Safe

Sleep Advisor: Dress Your Baby

Common questions about the best sleepwear

What is TOG?

TOG is the standard to measure how much heat a garment retains. Sleep bags are labeled with a TOG level to let you know which one you should dress your baby in depending on the season. It’s crucial to understand what TOG is. You need to know the TOG of your baby’s sleepwear, wearable blanket, sleeping bag, or any baby wear that is safe for sleep, so that you can ensure that they can have a safe and comfortable rest.

What is the Optimal TOG for My Baby’s Sleepwear?

That all depends on what the temperature of your baby's sleep space is. A good rule of thumb is 0.5-1.0 in a warmer climate and 1.5-2.5 in a slightly cooler environment.

What Temperature Should My Babies Nursery Be?

The ideal room temperature for baby sleep is between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, this will vary depending on the time of year and the temperature control capabilities of your home, but your baby's nursery temperature should stay as close to that range as possible.

How Does Zen Sleepwear™ Help Get Baby to Sleep?

Zen Sleepwear™ is safely weighted in key areas to mimic a parent’s touch on their chest to soothe them into sleep faster and help them stay asleep longer. Over one million parents who have introduced Zen Sleepwear to their baby’s daily routine have seen improvements in sleep. It’s great to use as a part of your baby’s sleepwear!

What Zen Sleepwear™ is Right for My Baby?

That all depends! Zen Sleepwear™ is our range of sleep sacks and swaddles designed to suit different sleep styles and come in a variety of fabrics and TOGs. You can find more information about all our different sleepwear on our How it Works page.

Athena S.

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