How should I dress my baby for sleeping in cold weather?

Those sunny, warmer days are now behind us and autumn has officially started. It almost feels as if summer never existed! You’ve just about got your head around how to dress your baby for sleeping in the warmer weather; which pyjamas they should wear, which sleeping bag and swaddle to use and now it’s time to change it all up again. Luckily, Katie Hilton, our Expert Midwife & Health Visitor has all the information you need to answer the question: how should I dress my baby for sleeping in cold weather?

When we think about moving into the autumn and winter seasons, we instantly think about keeping our babies all warm and cosy at night, but it’s important not to let your baby get too warm. Overheating a baby is linked to an increased risk of sudden infant death so it’s important to make sure both your baby and the room temperature are kept between 16-20c.

It’s rare to need to use heating during the night, especially in your baby’s room, but it is important to ensure the room is kept at a comfortable, safe temperature. The room should be between 16-20c, 18c would be the ideal temperature. You can use a room thermometer to keep a check on the temperature. To prevent your baby from overheating or becoming too hot keep the cot away from radiators and heaters and never use anything such as a hot water bottle or electric blanket to warm up the sleeping environment.

When selecting night-time bedding for a baby sleeping in cold weather, choose fitted sheets, terry towelling ones are ideally combined with a swaddling style sleeping bag or suit. Love To Dream offers the ideal range from birth to 4 years of age. The ideal tog rating for the autumn months would be a 2.5 tog, which is suitable for room temperatures between 16-19c.

For babies aged 0-4 months, choose the Love To Dream Swaddle UP Warm which offers the benefits of a traditional style of swaddle with the added benefits of a sleepsuit. The soft fabric gives your baby the same safe feeling of being in the womb during pregnancy, and the shape allows your baby to sleep in the natural arms-up position, with the hips and legs able to move around freely. This means your baby’s hips can develop properly and baby has the ability to self-soothe whilst preventing the startle reflex which can lead to frequent waking up. All this combines to help improve babies sleep patterns and parents report up to double the amount of sleep.

For a 4-6 months old baby, when sleeping in cold weather, select something such as the Love To Dream Swaddle UP Warm Transition Bag in a 2.5 tog. This is a stage 2 sleepsuit, made from exactly the same warm, comforting material as the warm stage 1 swaddle and offers exactly the same unique benefits. In addition, it also offers the ability to remove one wing at a time to help your baby gradually progress away from swaddling as they become a little older.

As your baby approaches the 7-month mark consider progressing up to the Love To Dream Swaddle UP 50/50 Transition suit, again in a 2.5 tog which is perfect for a baby sleeping in cold weather. The transition suit is perfect for babies who are ready to transition, but still love the safe secure feeling of being swaddled. The zip-off wings allow your baby to gradually adjust to arms-free and works well both on-the-go and at home.

For older babies and children ages 9 months – 4 years you might want to use the Love to Dream Sleep Suit, also available in a 2.5 tog. This suit will still provide your baby with that continuity and comforting feeling they associate with sleep whilst also transitioning along with their developmental needs as they begin to crawl, walk and explore.

Please refer to the chart below which provides an overview of which items of clothing to put your baby into before using the Love To Dream Swaddles or Sleepsuits. Remember your baby does not need to wear a hat indoors or whilst asleep, even when sleeping in cold weather.

Written by

Katie Hilton
Katie Hilton graduated from Staffordshire University with an RN Dip HE in Adult Nursing. She then went on to gain her BSc Hons Midwifery. Katie worked as a Midwife in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire and Cambridge before relocating to Vancouver in Canada. Katie spent this time working as a Registered Perinatal Nurse at a busy downtown hospital splitting her time between Labour Delivery Postpartum and the Neonatal Unit. On returning to the UK Katie continued to work as a Midwife, predominately in Labour & Delivery before completing her MSc SCPHN Health Visitor at the University of Wolverhampton. Throughout her career, Katie has gained a wide myriad of experience in all areas of obstetrics, child and family health.