What is a TOG Rating? Everything You Need to Know About Dressing Your Baby for Sleep
Helping your baby regulate their body temperature at night is a great way to improve their sleep. And, when baby sleeps well, so do you. But, regulating your little one’s body temperature isn’t just a matter of comfort, it’s also an important safety consideration. As you prepare for your little one’s arrival, it’s important to have suitable clothing options for different temperatures. How do you know which items work best for different seasons? The TOG rating, which you may have come across while shopping for your little one, is a helpful tool to help you select the right weight for your baby. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about TOG and how to ensure your newborn’s body temperature stays within a safe range during sleep. As always, note that we are not experts and recommend you consult your pediatrician or health care provider should you have any questions or concerns.
Table of Contents
- What is a TOG Rating?
- Why is the TOG rating important?
- TOG Rating Chart
- What is a normal body temperature for a newborn?
- What temperature should I keep my baby’s room?
- How do I know if my baby is too warm?
- How do I know if my baby is too cold?
What is a TOG Rating?
A TOG rating is a number that tells you how warm your baby’s clothing is. It stands for Thermal Overall Grade which is a unit of measurement for a fabric’s level of insulation. The higher the TOG rating the warmer the garment will be for your little one.
Why is the TOG rating important?
You might be wondering why the TOG rating system is so important. Why can’t you simply assess the weight of a fabric visually as you do for yourself? The reason for this is that babies can’t regulate their body temperatures as effectively as an older child or an adult. Your little one’s body surface is about three times greater than an adult’s compared to their weight. This means that they can lose heat very quickly. This is especially true if your little one was born prematurely or at low birth weight. However, even full-term newborns are unable to maintain their body temperature if the environment around them is 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 a baby’s temperature drops below a normal range, 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 overly 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 the TOG rating!
TOG Rating Chart
How do you know which TOG rating to select when you’re purchasing a sleep bag or other sleepwear for your little one? Below is a helpful TOG rating chart to help you decide which Pehr sleep bag is right for your little one. We recommend the 1.7 TOG sleep bag for room temperatures of 69 - 74 °F or 21 - 24 °C. For slightly warmer rooms around 75 - 81 °F or 24 - 27 °C we recommend the 1.0 TOG sleep bag.
24 - 27 °C
69 - 74°F
21 - 24°C
What is a normal body temperature for a newborn?
It’s important to note that the above TOG rating recommendations are only guidelines. Just like adults, some babies will run warm while others might be more prone to feeling cold. As you get to know your newborn, you’ll have a better sense of what works for them. The best way to determine your baby’s temperature is, of course, to take their temperature using a thermometer. A normal body temperature for a baby is 97.7° F or 36.5°C.
There are three ways to take a baby’s temperature:
- Rectal temperature
- Armpit temperature
- Forehead temperature
Make sure you are using the correct thermometer and following the manufacturer guidelines as an oral thermometer, for example, is designed differently than a rectal thermometer.
What temperature should I keep my baby’s room?
The optimal temperature for a baby’s room is around 68°F to 72°F or 20°C to 22.2°C. This temperature is ideal because it not only helps your little one maintain a healthy body temperature but also allows them to sleep peacefully while still waking up to auditory signals. This helps decrease the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
In order to ensure the temperature in your baby’s room stays within a safe range, it’s a good idea to have a thermometer handy. Some baby monitors also have room thermometers which can be very helpful. Wearable baby monitors that measure your little one’s vitals have even started to become available. However, there is no substitute for the watchful eye of Mom or Dad so no matter what tools you have at your disposal, make sure that you are regularly checking in on your little one for signs that their body temperature is within the normal range.
How do I know if my baby is too warm?
While you can always take your baby’s temperature to determine if they are too warm or too cold, there are also a few easy-to-spot warning signs that you can look out for.
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
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
How do I know if my baby is too cold?
Just like overheating, babies show signs of distress that are easy to spot. A baby who is too cold will also give you some warning signs that their body temperature is not quite right.
Here are some key indicators that your baby’s body temperature is dropping below a normal range:
- They become sluggish or unresponsive
- Their cry is weaker than usual
- Their skin is pale and cold to the touch
- They are having trouble breathing
- They are not feeding
If you suspect that your baby is too cold there are a few things you can do right away to try and warm them up:
- Add layers of clothing
- Use your own body heat by holding your baby close to you. You can also drape a blanket over them but never leave them unsupervised with the blanket.
- You may also want to swaddle your little one
If you’ve tried to warm your baby up using these techniques but their body temperature is not rising, call your paediatrician right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you are trying to decide which TOG rating is best for your little one, pay attention to the temperature of the room they are in, rather than the season. A 1.0 TOG rating is ideal if your baby is in an environment where the temperature is between 75 and 81°F (or between 24 and 27 °C). If you find your home is within this temperature range during the winter than a 1.0 TOG sleep bag will be suitable. If your home is colder than this during the winter, opt for a sleep bag with a higher TOG rating.
Yes, 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 the TOG rating of your baby’s sleep bag accordingly.
The TOG rating that you should use for your baby’s sleep bag in the summer depends on the temperature of your nursery. A TOG rating of 1.0 is appropriate for room temperature of 75 - 81 °F or 24 - 27 °C. If the air conditioning in your home is keeping your baby’s nursery cooler you might find a 1.7 TOG sleep bag more suitable. As the temperature outdoors fluctuates and you make adjustments to the thermostat in your home, you might find that the temperature in your nursery oscilates as well. That’s why it’s a great idea to have a thermometer in your baby’s room so you can track the room temperature and select the right sleep bag for your little one.
A 1 TOG sleeping bag is suitable for a room temperature of around 75 - 81 °F or 24 - 27 °C. If the room is on the warmer side of this temperature range your can dress your little one in a short-sleeved one-piece under their sleep bag. If the room temperature is on the colder side of this range, you can dress your little one in a long-sleeved one-piece.