What Should Baby Wear to Sleep What Should Baby Wear to Sleep

Unlocking Sweet Dreams: What Should Baby Wear To Sleep

Being a new parent, it is the common question “What should baby wear to sleep?”. Having the right sleep attire is essential for keeping baby safe, comfortable, and rested throughout the night. This comprehensive guide covers everything parents need to know about the best clothing and accessories for baby to sleep in.

What Should Baby Wear to Sleep

Importance of Proper Sleep Attire

A baby’s sleep environment plays a major role in their sleep quality and safety. Along with safe sleep practices like placing baby on their back, keeping blankets/items out of the crib, and not overheating, choosing proper sleepwear is vital.

The right baby sleep attire helps by:

  • Regulating body temperature – ensures baby doesn’t get too hot or cold, which could disrupt sleep
  • Allowing free movement – non-restrictive clothes reduce risk of covers tangling around baby
  • Reducing SIDS risk – no dangerous strings/ties + breathable fabrics lower suffocation risk
  • Absorbing moisture – prevents dampness from sweat or spit up

Following age-based sleepwear guidelines helps parents know what should baby wear to sleep as their needs change.

Importance of Proper Sleep Attire

Ideal Sleep Attire by Age

The optimal sleep attire adjusts as babies grow in the first year:


Newborns cannot regulate body heat well, so the goal is keeping them warm without the risk of covers/blankets. One-piece sleepers or sleep sacks made of breathable cotton or muslin work best.


3-6 Months

By 3 months, babies gain mobility and have less startle reflex. Footless sleepers or wearable blankets allow leg movement while ensuring the upper body stays warm.

6-12 Months

Around 6 months, the sleep transition period happens as babies learn self-soothing skills. Transition suits with arm and leg sack openings support this.


For toddlers over 12 months, pajamas with feet or matched short sets allow more independence. Wearable blanket sacks ensure warmth and safety.


Temperature Regulation

Keeping baby at a comfortable temperature all night is key for sleeping through disruptions.

Ideal sleep temperature range:

  • Newborns = 68-72° F (20-22° C)
  • 1-12 months = 65-70° F (18-21° C)

Signs baby is too hot: flushed cheeks, damp hair, sweaty back.

Signs baby is too cold: cold hands/feet, shivering, mottled skin.

Adjust sleepwear by season as needed – lighter attire in summer, warmer options in winter. Parents can layer different sleepwear pieces for adaptable warmth.

Material Considerations

The materials baby’s sleepwear is made of can impact safety and comfort. Ideal fabrics:

  • Breathable – Allows ventilation and moisture wicking. Cotton, muslin optimal.
  • Non-slippery – Sleeper’s feet shouldn’t slide around easily when kicking.
  • Durable yet soft – Stands up to frequent washing without irritating delicate skin.

Safety Guidelines

Safe sleep attire prevents injury/suffocation risk:

✅ Secure neck, arm, leg openings

✅ No loose bedding before 1 year

✅ No ties/fasteners/attachments

✅ Snug-fitting, can’t ride up to cover face

Common Baby Sleepwear Options

There are a few main types of sleep attire used from newborn through toddler ages:

  • One-piece footed pajamas/sleepers – Zip-up jumpsuit style, attaches at diaper area
  • Wearable baby blankets / sleep sacks – Baby goes inside, replaces loose blankets
  • Sleep socks – Keeps feet warm if sleeper has footless option
  • Lightweight cotton onesies – Layer under other attire pieces for adjustable warmth/comfort

Specific Attire Tips By Age

The best mix of sleepwear pieces adjusts as your baby grows:

Newborn Essentials

  • Footed cotton one-piece sleeper
  • Breathable wearable blanket sleep sack
  • Hat for keeping warm

Benefits: Allows movement/kicking while keeping your newborn warm and secure.

3-6 Month Recommendations

  • Lightweight footless or convertible sleeper
  • Sleep sacks with leg openings
  • Sleep socks

Benefits: Accommodates increased movement/rolling without loose blanket hazard.

9-12 Month Transitional Attire

  • Convertible sleep suits with detachable arm/leg sacks
  • Transition style wearable blankets that become toddler blanket later
  • Short sleeve cotton onesies under

Benefits: Adapts as babies transition out of swaddling and gain more independence.

Toddler Sleep Sets

  • 2-piece short sleeve T-shirt + shorts/pants PJs
  • Wearable blanket sleep sack
  • Footless pajamas

Benefits: Allows freedom of movement for toddlers while maintaining warmth/safety.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Should Baby Wear to Sleep?

1. What is the best fabric for baby sleepwear?

The best fabrics for sleep are breathable natural fibers like cotton, bamboo, or modal. These allow ventilation, moisture wicking, and are gentle on delicate skin. Aim for at least 100 thread count lightweight cotton.

2. Can my newborn sleep in a regular blanket?

No, babies under 12 months should not use loose blankets in the crib due to suffocation/SIDS risks. Opt for one-piece sleepers or wearable sleep sacks instead to keep your newborn warm while allowing free movement.

3. What temperature should baby’s room be for sleeping?

Ideal sleep temperature range is between 68-72°F (20-22°C) for newborns and 65-70°F (18-21°C) for babies 1-12 months old. Use a room thermometer to monitor temperature.

4. My baby always scratches off socks – what alternatives work?

If baby won’t keep socks on try footed pajamas or sleep sacks with built-in foot coverage instead. You can also look into baby sleep sacks with fold-over hand mitts to prevent face scratching.

5. When can my baby start wearing a blanket?

Pediatricians recommend waiting until 12 months old before allowing a loose blanket, once the risk of suffocation/SIDS has lowered. Another option is using a wearable blanket sleep sack with arm and leg openings for transitional swaddling after 6 months.


Following guidelines on proper sleepwear by age ensures your baby will be equipped for maximum comfort and safety all night. Focus on breathable one-piece outfits or wearable blankets for the first year and introduce mix and match PJs later on. Checking baby’s temperature, neck/arm/leg openings, and avoiding loose bedding are also key for reducing SIDS risks and helping baby sleep peacefully. Now, you are able to choose “What should baby wear to sleep?”.

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