How to Dress Your Baby for Sleep in the Summer
Life is a whole lot easier for parents when their baby is sleeping well. So, it’s not surprising that many new parents have a lot of questions about how to set their little ones up for success when it comes to naps and bedtime. So many different factors are at play when it comes to your baby’s sleep routines and clothing is definitely an important piece of the sleep puzzle. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to dress your baby for sleep in the summer and share a few of our summer sleep must-haves. Remember, the more sleep your baby gets, the more opportunities for sleep you get! Sounds good? We thought so. Let’s dive in. A good night’s sleep is within reach!
Table of Contents
How to dress your baby for sleep in the summer
Why your baby’s sleep clothing is so important
Many first-time parents wonder why so much emphasis is placed on sleep outfit selection. There is a great reason for this and it relates to your baby’s health and safety. Babies can’t regulate their body temperatures as effectively as older children and adults. This is because a newborn's body surface-to-weight ratio is about three times greater than an adult’s. This means that they can both lose heat and overheat very quickly. This is especially true if your little one was born prematurely or at a low birth weight. However, even full-term newborns are unable to maintain their body temperature if the environment around them is too hot or too cold. In fact, they lose body heat about four times faster than adults! What’s more, they are unable to shiver like we do to increase their body temperature when it drops below the normal range. When this happens, it can impact their breathing and their body’s use of oxygen.
Unfortunately, it’s not just low body temperature that you need to be concerned about. Your baby can also overheat if they are in an environment that is too warm or if they’re too bundled up. As you can see, maintaining a comfortable and safe body temperature for your little one can be a delicate balancing act. Hence, the importance of selecting the right clothing for your little one at naptime and bedtime.
Dress your baby for the temperature of their room
When wondering how to dress a baby for sleep in the summer, a lot of parents make the common mistake of dressing their little one for the temperature outdoors rather than the temperature of their baby’s room. For example, you may bundle your baby up too much because it’s cold outside or you may dress your little one down too much because it’s hot outside. Instead of focusing on the weather outdoors, set up a thermometer in your child’s room and dress your little one for the indoor temperature.
Light, breathable layers work well for summer
When dressing your child for summer nights, it’s always a good idea to opt for a light, breathable fabric. Our organic cotton sleep collection is a great option for your child on warm days. From sleepers to footless pajamas, to sleep bags, and options for your toddlers - we have something for all your child’s sleep stages. On warm nights, a summer onesie or short sleeve sleeper underneath a lighter 1.0 TOG sleep bag is likely a good option. If it’s especially warm in your child’s room, you can skip the sleep bag and opt for the sleeper on its own.
How do I know if my baby is too warm?
The best way to determine if your child is overheating is to take their temperature. But there are also a number of other easy-to-spot signs you can look for to determine if your baby is too warm. Here are some key indicators that your baby is overheating:
- They feel warm to the touch
- Their skin is red or flushed
- They are nauseous or vomiting
- They have an elevated heart rate
- They are acting tired or sluggish
- They appear to be confused, disoriented, or dizzy
- They are sweating or they have damp hair
What should I do if I think my baby is overheating?
If you are worried that your baby is overheating there are a few things you can do to help reduce their body temperature:
- Remove your baby’s clothing
- Take them to a cooler location if possible
- Offer your baby fluids (breastmilk, formula, or a glass of water if they are old enough)
- Give your baby a sponge bath with lukewarm water
Summer sleep must-haves for your little one
- Short Sleeve Sleeper
- Made with the softest organic cotton in Pehr’s signature Stripes Away print, it’s the perfect addition to your warm weather nighttime or nap time routine. With all of your favorite features from our original Sleepers, like a two-way zipper with a chin guard, it’s now available in a snug fit with short sleeves and shorts at the leg for a sweet night's sleep.
- 1.0 TOG Sleep Bag. Made from 100% organic muslin cotton, these 1.0 TOG Sleep Bags are the perfect summer weight for a peaceful night's sleep and are suitable for temperatures between 75 - 81 °F. With two layers of muslin, it's both breathable and incredibly soft, and unzips from the side to the bottom for easy diaper changes. Our Sleep Bags are designed for your little one's comfort and your peace of mind. With under-arm snaps in our 0-9 mos. size, it ensures a perfect fit for your growing baby. Check out more info on TOG and Sleep Ratings here.
- Summer Bugs Swaddle. If your baby is still being swaddled, make sure that you have a breathable, light-weight swaddle on hand for summer nights. Our softest swaddle in our sweetest Summer Bugs prints is a perfect option. Ethically made from organic cotton in a generous size, this swaddle really does it all. Whether you need a sun shield or a cozy blanket, it does the trick.
- Summer Bugs Crib Sheet. When you’re thinking about how to dress your baby for sleep in the summer, don’t forget to consider the fabric they’re sleeping on. A light, breathable, and soft crib sheet is a must-have. Crafted in brushed cotton, our Summer Bugs crib sheet collection will give your little one the perfect night’s sleep all summer long. Designed to ensure a safe snug fit, our baby crib sheet fits cots and mattresses up to 52" x 28" x 8" and stay soft wash after wash.
- Indoor Temperature Gauge. A great rule of thumb when you’re dressing your little one for sleep is to select clothing items based on the temperature of your child’s room, not the weather outside. So, make sure you have a thermometer set up in your baby’s room or purchase a baby monitor with a temperature gauge.
Many first-time parents worry about how to dress their baby for sleep in the summer. But as long as you’re well equipped with a few key pieces of knowledge, and a handful of summertime sleep essentials, both you and your little one are sure to have an easy breezy summer filled with lots of restorative sleep sessions!
Frequently Asked Questions
When dressing your baby for sleep during the winter, it’s important not to bundle them up too much as you may risk them overheating. Remember, even if it’s freezing outside, your baby’s room might not be as cold as you think it is. So, put a thermometer in your child’s bedroom and dress them for the temperature indoors rather than the weather outdoors. Once you have a sense of the temperature of your baby’s room during the winter, select pieces of clothing that will keep your little one warm without overheating.
“What should my newborn wear to sleep?” is a common question for first-time parents. It’s important to know that if your baby is overly bundled up while they are sleeping, it is possible that they will overheat. In order to help your baby regulate their body temperature, select a sleep bag with a TOG rating that is appropriate for the temperature of the room your baby sleeps in. Make sure to keep a thermometer in your baby’s room so you can keep track of any changes in temperature and adjust which TOG-rated sleep bag you use accordingly.
A lot of parents wonder how to dress their baby for sleep in the summer if they don’t like to be swaddled or if they are starting to show signs that they are ready to transition away from being swaddled. The good news is there are a few different options you can try:
The one-arm-out method. This is a great first step in this transitional period. As the name suggests, you’ll swaddle your baby normally, but keep one arm out. The second arm stays in the swaddle in case the Moro Reflex is still present. With one arm in the swaddle the baby is less likely to startle themselves out of sleep.
The two-arms-out method. If your baby doesn’t like the one-arm out method or you’re trying to transition them away from the swaddle, you can try the two-arms-out method next. You may notice that in these transitional steps, your baby takes a little longer to fall asleep. But typically once they become accustomed to their new sleep arrangements, they settle back in.
The Sleep Bag. If your little one doesn’t like the swaddle or you’re ready to transition them away from the swaddle completely, a sleep bag is a great option. These are the perfect bridge from the swaddle to a blanket. Our sleep sacks provide your baby with a safe sleep space, plus, they’re made of breathable, soft fabric with a side-to-bottom zipper allowing for easy diaper changes when your newborn wakes to feed in the middle of the night.
Baby Sleeper. Some babies sleep perfectly well without a swaddle or a sleep bag. If this is the case for your little one, a sleeper is a great option. We have classic sleepers as well as footless options to choose from depending on your baby’s age and size.
The answer to this question depends on a variety of different factors. The first thing you’ll need to do in order to make this decision is to assess the temperature of your baby’s room. If your baby is still being swaddled and you are able to maintain a comfortable temperature in your little one’s room, a light, breatheable cotton swaddle is likely suitable. Just be sure to keep an eye out for signs of overheating. If your baby sleeps well without a swaddle, a summer pajama made with a light, breathable fabric is a great option.
If your newborn seems comfortable sleeping in a diaper during the warmer months, it is absolutely fine to let them sleep in just a diaper. However, because babies lose body warmth much faster than older children and adults, it is likely they’ll prefer having a light layer even on warm days. A good rule of thumb for parents wondering how to dress their baby for sleep in the summer, is that your baby probably needs one more layer of clothing than you would in order to be comfortable.