How To Dress Baby For Sleep: The Complete Guide

Baby laying in a crib in onesie

As a parent, you make a lot of decisions, and figuring out how to dress your baby for sleep can be a difficult one. With so many sleepwear options on the market, it’s hard to know which one is the best choice.

Here, we’ll help you put the pieces together so you know what to avoid when dressing your baby and how to help your little one sleep safely and soundly!

How To Dress Baby For Sleep

 baby stretching in cute baby pajamas

Swaddle Your Baby

Swaddling is a technique in which you place your baby’s arms by their side and wrap a swaddle blanket around their entire body.

This keeps them nice and tight to mimic the womb and help them stay comfortable while sleeping. It also helps control their body temperature.

Also, babies have what’s called the startle (or Moro) reflex, which can make their limbs move when they’re sleeping. This is where the swaddle blanket comes in handy: It holds your little one’s arms and legs in place so these movements don’t wake them.

Newton Baby’s Organic Swaddle Blankets are made with breathable, soft cotton to keep your baby safe and comfortable while they drift off to sleep,

Because our swaddle blankets help control body temp, you don’t have to worry about your baby overheating while they sleep. But keep in mind when dressing your baby for bed that they will have an extra layer on (their swaddle).

Always swaddle your baby whenever they’re going to sleep, so this includes daytime sleep and nighttime sleep. However, you won’t swaddle your baby forever. Once your little one starts rolling over, it’s time to stop swaddling them because it can pose a safety risk.

Consider The Weather

At your baby shower, you may have received an array of sleepers, from fleece to cotton ones. But sometimes the sizing of the sleepers doesn’t match up with the seasons.

As tempting as it may be to overdress your baby because you want to make sure they’re warm enough, just dress them how you would dress for that season.

For example, avoid putting your baby in fleece sleepers during the warmer months. Choose lighter material, like cotton, to dress your baby in for this time of year.

Choose A Tight-Fitting Sleeper

Loose-fitting clothing won’t keep your baby warm. In fact, it’s actually unsafe to dress your baby in loose clothing while they sleep.

Opt for sleepers that fit snugly around your baby’s cute little body and that aren’t too long.

What To Avoid When Dressing Baby For Sleep

 Mom kissing baby and showing how to dress baby for sleep

Overdressing Your Baby

We get it: You want to make sure your baby is comfortable. But the number one mistake when dressing babies for sleep is overdressing.

This can lead to overheating, which can then lead to an increased risk of SIDS. Plus, dressing your baby in more clothes than they need actually makes them uncomfortable — which is the opposite of what you want!

A good rule of thumb is to go by your own internal temperature. What are you comfortable wearing in your home? Do you tend to get hot or cold easily?

Chances are, your baby has a similar internal thermometer even though theirs is still adjusting. If you’re too hot sleeping in long pants during June, they probably will be too.

Letting Your Baby Sleep In A Hat

When you brought your newborn home from the hospital, they were probably wearing some type of hat.

Hats serve a good purpose: They help keep your baby warm as they adjust to the new world around them. But it’s best to take the hat off when your baby is ready to go to sleep.

Even though newborns can’t roll over, they still move their heads quite a bit while they’re sleeping. A hat could slide around and eventually end up covering your little one’s face. All in all, it’s a safety hazard you want to avoid.

Giving Your Baby A Blanket

Along with sleepers, you probably have a slew of blankets from your baby shower. While baby blankets are super cute and versatile, sleeping with one isn’t an option right now for your infant.

Giving your little one a blanket to sleep with is unsafe. It’s another suffocation hazard for babies since their motor skills aren’t quite developed enough to move the blanket away from their face should it cover their mouth and nose.

For now, save the adorable blankets for playtime and cuddle time, and remember to always keep an eye on your baby when a blanket is involved.

Signs Your Baby Is Uncomfortable

 baby wearing cute baby outfit with ruffles and flowers

It would be so much easier if your baby could just tell you what they want, but since they won’t be able to do that for quite some time, you’ll have to look for clues, such as crying.

Crying is the main form of communication for your baby. They cry when they’re hungry, tired, or need a diaper change — and that’s just a short list! If your baby is fed and changed but still crying, they might be trying to tell you something.

The following are signs that your baby may be too hot or too cold:

  • Sweating
  • Rash
  • Wet hair
  • Red cheeks
  • Quickened breathing patterns
  • Fussing
  • Their tummy and back of their neck are warm (Their hands and feet might still feel cold because their circulatory system is still developing, so check these areas instead.)
  • Bluish tone to their skin

Tips For Helping Your Baby Sleep Well

 Baby wearing a swaddle blanket to show how to dress baby for sleep

Adjust The Room Temperature

Temperature settings are a hot debate among family members. For the sake of your baby, the temperature should be between 68 and 72 degrees.

It’s best to have some type of thermometer to measure the temperature in the room where your baby sleeps. Some devices even alert you if it’s too hot or too cold!

Use A Firm And Breathable Mattress

One way you can regulate your baby’s body temperature while they sleep is by using a breathable mattress. These types of mattresses allow for better airflow to help your baby stay cool and reduce the chance of them overheating.

We have just the mattress to do the trick! The Newton Baby Crib Mattress is breathable and washable, so your baby can breathe straight through it and you can wash it whenever you need to.

What’s more, your baby won’t wake up because of a sweaty back. They’ll sleep better and safer with a Newton Baby mattress, which means you'll sleep better because your mind is at ease.

Our mattress is the answer to all your baby’s sleep needs!

Run A Fan

You may also want to run a fan in your baby’s room to help keep the air circulating. Without it, the air can feel stagnant and hot even if the temperature is just right.

Plus, it’s a type of white noise and can help lull your baby to sleep!

Lay Your Baby On Their Back

When laying your baby down to sleep, place them on their back. Back is best — or back to sleep, as the saying goes.

This is important because if your baby were to roll over, they wouldn’t be able to roll back and may get stuck with their nose and mouth buried in their mattress. Another reason why a breathable crib mattress is a must!

Don’t Add Any Extras To The Crib

As tempting as it may be, there’s no need to add any extras to your baby’s crib. Even if you received a cute crib set at your baby shower, don’t use it in the crib while your baby is sleeping!

The crib needs to stay clear of any extras, including pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and bumpers. If you want to use them as decor for nursery pictures, go for it. Just remember to take them out when your baby is sleeping.

Use Tight-Fitting Sheets

Your baby’s clothing isn’t the only thing that needs to fit snugly. Their sheet should be tight-fitting as well to make their sleep experience as safe as possible.

You actually don’t have to use sheets with a Newton Baby Crib Mattress because it’s completely cozy and washable.

But if you are looking for the perfect crib sheet, our Organic Cotton Sheets are breathable, soft, and safe to use with any crib mattress. They provide a snug fit for all mattresses — standard and mini!

Dressing For Sleep Success

 baby laying on back on on crib mattress

If you want a successful night’s sleep for you and your baby, dress them for the occasion!

Remember the dos and don'ts of how to dress baby for sleep, and look for signs that your baby is uncomfortable. Help your baby sleep safely by keeping the room temperature just right, running a fan, keeping their crib clear, and using tight-fitting sheets.

Finally, don’t forget to choose a breathable Crib Mattress that allows for superior airflow. With Newton Baby’s breathable sleep products, you can dress your baby for sleep success every night!