How Do I Dress Baby for Sleep – Downloadable Guide

Jul 15, 2021

Is baby too hot?

Is baby too cold?

In winter, spring, summer or fall, we all can question how to dress our children to ensure they are comfortable. As a general rule of thumb, I tell families to dress kids with one layer more than they are wearing. However, depending on a child’s age, the below chart and resources can help you.

As Baby Sleep Coach and Consultant, I work with parents every day, support and coaching them through a variety of sleep issues. A babies temperature and how to dress a baby comes up a lot, so I took the liberty of building a chart for you, based on the temperature in their sleep space, with suggestions on how you would dress baby to ensure they are not too cold and don’t overheat when they sleep.

First, I want you to understand the predominant way that you lose body temperature is through exposed parts of our body {hence my mom always yelling at me as a child to put a hat on when I went out in the winter ❄️  🥶 } This is referred to as ‘radiated heat.’ Babies have a very high risk of quickly losing heat because they have a high body surface-to-weight ratio and they can’t self-regulate as we do as adults.

How do I know if a baby is too hot?

  • Feel their belly, chest, or back area, it should be warm, not hot.
  • Look for visible signs of sweating.
  • Assess their cheeks, they should not be flushed or red.
  • Take their temperature under their armpit to double check-in you are in doubt.

How do I know if a baby is too cold?

  • Feel their belly, chest, or back area, it should be warm, not cold.
  • Their feet and hands are NOT a good gauge, it is normal if they feel cool.
  • Pale skin {more so than normal} can be an indicator that they are cold.
  • Sneezing can be a sign baby is cold, a response from the hypothalamus {the part of the brain controlling temperature} and not a sign baby has a cold/illness.
  • Stillness and quiet, lethargic – use skin to skin to warm them up and extra cuddles.

Their comfort is going to immediately correlate with how well they sleep through the night and how long they nap, so use these tools to support your baby in their first months with the right clothes for the right season and temperature in their sleep space. If you ever have more questions or need additional guidance, join my free Sleep Community, Slumber Made Simple.

If you are looking to hire a Certified Sleep Consultant, book a free discovery call today.

Courtney Zentz, Founder of Tiny Transitions Sleep Consulting, is on a mission to change the way the world views sleep and provide accessible sleep coaching resources for all families to build healthy sleep habits in their homes for children of all ages. As a multi-award-winning speaker, author, and Pediatric Sleep Expert, Courtney works intimately with families from around the world to teach healthy sleep habits to children and adults, helping her clients see that being tired is not a badge of honor but that sleep is the foundation for which the house is built. Courtney is a frequent contributor to MindBodyGreen, Purple, NBC, Fatherly, Yahoo, Thrive Global, Romper, Parentology, Create & Cultivate, and Bustle, among other media outlets and parenting blogs and resides outside of Philadelphia with her husband and two kids. 

Her team, the Slumber Squad, made up of trained Certified Sleep Consultants support families globally and also have in-person support available in Des Moines, IA, Scottsdale, AZ, Paducah, KY, St. Louis, MO, Dallas, TX, Austin, TX, Tampa, FL, Nashville, TN, Huntsville, AL, NY Metro, New Jersey Metro, Philadelphia and support clients in English and Spanish. 

Tiny Transitions - Baby Dressing Guide