What Should Your Baby Wear at Night for Sleep?

What should your baby wear at night, from summer heat to winter cold? Take a look at these guidelines for better sleep! 

What Should Baby Wear at Night?I wasn’t expecting a heat wave at the end of October, but there I was, running the air conditioner with a newborn in my arms. I didn’t know whether to bundle him up at night or if that would only make him feel hot and stuffy.

When the weather finally turned cold, the new dilemma was how to keep him warm enough at night, considering that loose blankets weren’t a safe option because of the risk of SIDS. Even if they were, he’d simply kick them off as he moved around in his sleep. Come the next morning, his legs and feet felt cool, making me wonder whether he was warm enough as he slept.

How exactly are you supposed to dress your baby for sleep at night, given changing temperatures?

What should your baby wear at night?

Figuring out how to keep your baby comfortable at night can be a challenge, don’t you think?

Running the air conditioner all night could keep the room too chilly, even on summer days. The heater in the winter could make the room get too hot and dry. Blankets aren’t safe for infants, either. According to Eric Suni from the Sleep Foundation:

“Babies should be dressed in layers that suit their bedroom’s temperature to avoid overheating. Experts also advise against covering babies with blankets or putting anything on or over their head during sleep to prevent suffocation or strangulation.”

Plus, you don’t want too many layers that might make middle of the night changes even more frantic than they already are. (Changing a wailing baby in the dark at two in the morning is no easy task!)

So, we rely on clothing to keep them comfortable depending on the weather.

After three kids, I learned the art of layering clothes with the changing temperatures. That way, no matter the weather, your baby can be appropriately dressed through the night. The best part? A comfortable sleep attire can help your baby sleep longer stretches—he doesn’t wake up crying because he’s too hot or cold.

So, what should he wear at night? Take a look at these layering strategies and recommendations, going from light layers to heavy:

Warm weather

  • Short sleeve onesie: The most basic outfit for a baby to sleep in is a short sleeve onesie. This keeps his arms and legs exposed so he isn’t too warm, yet keeps his body (and diaper) covered.
  • Long sleeve onesie: Wearing long sleeves can add full coverage for his arms as the temperature begins to drop.
    long sleeve

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Mild weather

  • Footed pajamas: Now that the weather isn’t so warm, pajamas provide full-body coverage for your baby without feeling too bulky. I recommend PJs with zippers for easy dressing during middle of the night diaper changes:
    footed pajama
  • Onesie and footed pajamas: A pajama is a fantastic option if you’d like an additional layer on top of a onesie.
    bodysuit and footed pajama
  • Long sleeve and sleep sack: Want to add even more layers? Layer a long sleeve onesie beneath a sleep sack. As the temperature begins to drop, your baby might be more comfortable in something heavy. This is when sleep sacks come in handy, offering an extra layer. Think of them as safe wearable blankets.
    long sleeve and sleep bag

Cold weather

  • Footed pajamas and sleep sack: Add full-body coverage with footed pajamas and a sleep sack. The pajamas can keep your baby’s arms and feet covered while the sleep sack acts as a soft, safe blanket for warmth.
    footed pajama and sleep bag
  • Onesie, footed pajamas, and sleep sck: Add even more layers with a short sleeve onesie beneath the pajamas and sleep sack.
    bodysuit, pajama, bag
  • Long sleeve, footed pajamas, and sleep sack: To keep his arms extra warm, a long sleeve onesie can go under the pajamas and sleep sack. Make sure that the pajamas have room enough to accommodate a lightweight long sleeve underneath.
    longsleeve pajama bag
  • Socks, mittens, and hats: For truly cold nights, add accessories to cover your baby’s head, feet, and hands for a comfortable bedtime.

Changing the material for weather

Besides mixing and matching combinations for the changing weather, you can also swap the material of your baby’s clothes. For instance, choose breathable fabrics like cotton, muslin, or bamboo for warmer weather, and flannel, wool, or fleece for colder weather.


No more guesswork, friend! Now you know exactly what your baby should wear at night for a comfortable and restful sleep. Layering onesies, pajamas, and sleep sacks can give you so many options—even during a heatwave in October.

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  1. I would really appreciate if you could help me with some tips for a newborn during the winter time.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      One general rule of thumb is to dress the baby in one extra layer than what you’re wearing. So if you’re at home and wearing a long sleeve sweater, you’d want to put a long sleeve on the baby and perhaps a onesie underneath. If you’re stepping out of the house wearing three layers, including a thick winter coat, you’ll want to make sure she also has something equally thick, plus one additional layer.

      Then set your temperature to between 68-72 degrees F. That’s the ideal “comfort” temperature for them. Any colder and perhaps turn on your heater.

      As far as car seats, you don’t want to dress the baby in a thick blanket or swaddle because there’s no way you’d be able to buckle her in. So you want to get a carseat-specific jacket or bundle with a hole for the straps.

      For baths, make sure the bathroom is warm before undressing, as well as the water, so that it isn’t so shocking to the baby when you undress. Then rub lotion to keep skin from drying out.