For their first few years of life, babies and toddlers spend approximately half of their day asleep. Choosing sleepwear that ensures they are comfortable and safe can be confusing. Learn what factors to consider when deciding how to dress your baby for sleep.
The American Association of Pediatricians recommends infants be dressed in no more than one additional layer of clothing than an adult would wear to feel comfortable in the same environment. A diaper or underwear is not considered a layer.
In warm weather over 75 degrees, a single layer, such as a cotton onesie and diaper, is enough for a baby to sleep in. In temperatures under 75 degrees, additional layers are necessary. Breathable newborn baby pajamas made from materials such as cotton or muslin can be used along with a sleep sack.
Receiving blankets can be folded, wrapped, and tucked around the baby to create a swaddle. A swaddle keeps the arms close to the body but should remain roomy around the hips and legs since too-tight swaddling can cause hip problems.
Pajamas or swaddles with snaps or two-way zippers are convenient for diaper changes after late-night feedings. It's important to make sure the fit allows for movement without excess material gathering around the face. Embellishments and fasteners that can come loose, such as buttons or pacifier clips, should not be used.