When the cold weather sets in, you may start to worry that your little one isn't warm enough. When babies get cold during the night, they can wake up due to the discomfort - and then it can be difficult for them to fall asleep again.
Unfortunately, blankets are unsafe to be included in a baby's crib. It's actually recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that until babies are at least 12 months old, their crib should not contain any stuffed toys or loose bedding - not just blankets.
Luckily, there are many safe ways of keeping your baby nice and warm during the winter months. We've compiled some of the best methods of ensuring your little one is kept comfy, cozy, safe, and warm. In particular, we'll have a look at the ideal temperature for a baby's room, what sleepwear is the most appropriate, and go over how the right TOG can improve your baby's sleep.
We'll also list some great tips for making sure your baby is warm without a blanket, as well as some more safe sleep tips!
In this article
What is the ideal room temperature for a nursery during the winter months?
Just like us grown-ups, babies struggle to sleep if their room is too hot or too cold. In order to keep your little one comfortable and safe, you need to make sure their room or nursery is at the right temperature.
The correct temperature for your baby's room is considered to be between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. If you use Celsius, the best room temperature would be between 20 and 22 degrees. The same room temperature actually applies all year round, not just in certain seasons.
It's very important that your baby's room isn't too hot, as when babies overheat, the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) increases. Due to this, you need to be careful not to let them overheat even during the winter.
If your baby's room doesn't have a thermostat, you can use an indoor thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. Aim to keep your room's temperature within the range we specified above, but remember that you can always make slight changes by dressing your baby in different types of sleepwear.
How to dress your baby for sleep in the winter
It's crucial to dress your baby in appropriate sleepwear in order for them to remain safe and comfortable overnight. One of the best ways to make changes to your baby's temperature is simply by adding or removing a layer of clothing.
A good general rule to follow is that to be comfortable, your baby will need one extra layer than what you're wearing to bed - if you're in one layer, your little one will be more comfortable in two.
During cold winter nights, you can try layering your baby in pyjamas or a bodysuit in addition to their sleep sack or swaddle. Additionally, to really make sure your little one is at a comfortable body temperature, it's good to be familiar with the idea of TOG.
What is TOG?
TOG stands for Thermal Overall Grade. It's a measurement used to show how warm a product is - in this case, we'll be talking about our range of Zen Sleepwear™. We label our sleepwear with its TOG level so you can know which one your baby needs depending on the temperature.
Let's have a look at some examples!
Which sleepwear has which TOG?
In the summer months, when the outside temperature is around 75 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (23 to 25 degrees Celsius), lighter clothing such as our Zen Sack™ Premier Bamboo is more appropriate, as it has a low TOG level of 0.3.
Our Zen Sack Classic Cotton will suit babies much better when the temperature is more moderate, such as between 64 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit (17 to 22 degrees Celsius). It has a TOG level of 0.5. You could also try our Zen One™ Classic if necessary - its TOG level is a little higher, at 1.0.
During the winter, when indoor temperatures are between 61 and 63 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 16 degrees Celsius), our Zen Sack Winter Cotton is a great choice - its TOG level is 2.5, meaning it'll help keep your baby nice and warm. All our Zen Sleepwear is gently weighted to mimic your touch - this helps soothe them to sleep!
Becca S. left this review for our Zen Sack Winter Cotton:
"Our little guy loves his sleepsack. The Winter version is so nice because it keeps him warm. He sleeps for so much longer when he naps in this."
Top tips for keeping your baby warm without a blanket
Since blankets are unsafe for babies, you will need to look for alternative methods of keeping your little one warm during the winter. As luck would have it, there are plenty of methods of ensuring your baby is kept at a comfortable temperature!
As we mentioned earlier, adding a layer of clothing is a great way of keeping your baby at a comfortably warm body temp. Pyjamas or bodysuits can be worn as well as their correctly used swaddle, wearable blanket, or sleep sack - we'd recommend our Zen Sack Winter Cotton for the colder months.
Layers of clothing are great as you can always remove a layer if you need to. Always make sure to check for an item of sleepwear's TOG level to ensure your baby is kept at the best temperature.
If your baby's room has a window, air conditioning, or heating vent, ensure you choose a location for their crib that is out of their direct path, in order to stay out of the way of drafts. This can also help keep your baby at a comfortable temperature.
You could also warm your baby's sheets by leaving a heated item like a hot water bottle or heating pad in your baby's crib for a little while before you put them to bed. Just ensure to remove your heated item before bedtime rolls around, so the sheets don't get too hot.
One thing we wouldn't recommend is dressing your baby in any hats or head coverings overnight. Any hats or head coverings could lead to a baby overheating, so the safer option is definitely to go without.
More tips for safe sleep
When it comes to safe baby sleep, temperature isn't the only factor to keep in mind. Here are some more tips that you can follow to help reduce the risk of SIDS, and ensure your little one has a safe sleep environment.
It's important that until your baby is at least 12 months old, they are placed down to sleep on their back, and stay that way through the night (this also applies for naps). Babies should never be placed to sleep on their tummies or on their sides, as this can increase their risk of SIDS.
Share a room with your baby, but don't share the bed. Sharing the room with your little one for the first six months of their lives can help reduce the risk of SIDS - you're able to keep an eye on them, make sure they're comfortable, and feed them. Sharing a bed, however, can be dangerous and isn't recommended for babies of any age.
Make sure your baby's mattress is nice and firm, and as we mentioned previously, ensure there is no loose bedding, or any other objects that could be dangerous such as blankets. You should also ensure that your baby doesn't fall asleep, or isn't placed down to sleep, in dangerous areas such as on an armchair, couch, pillow, or lounger.
Letting your baby sleep with a pacifier can also reduce the risk of SIDS. If you're not breastfeeding, feel free to give your baby a pacifier at any point. If you are breastfeeding though, you should wait a couple of weeks before giving them one, so you can be sure that the breastfeeding is going successfully.
Swaddling your baby is fine as long as they are swaddled correctly, and only stay on their back. If you're looking for a safe swaddle, we'd recommend our Zen Swaddle® Classic - it's a gently weighted swaddle that soothes just like your touch.
Commonly asked questions about keeping babies warm without a blanket