Babies often wake from the cold in the early hours of the morning, but it can be hard to work out how to layer your baby at night, especially if baby’s room is hot at the start of the night, but drops quickly overnight. So, if you’re wondering how to layer your babe for cooler temperatures, here’s a handy guide to winter layers for your baby.
Can babies regulate their body temperatures?
The truth is that babies need help to regulate their body temperature. These tiny bundles of joy come into the world clueless, and one thing for them to learn is how to control their body temperature. Too cold, they will cry, too hot and they are at risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and overheating. The result = sleepless baby and a sleepless you!
So how can you tell if your baby is feeling warm or cold?
Some signs of an overheated baby include sweating, flushed cheeks, and warmth to the touch. When checking their body temperature, you will want them to be somewhere around 36.4C, but this can vary slightly. A fever is usually considered when your baby’s body temperature is 39C or above.
You will also want to make sure your little darling is not too cold. If you noticed a slightly blueish tinge on your infant’s hands and feet, don’t fret, just add a layer. Those tiny fingers and toes should return to their rosy colour in no time. Research also suggests that babies who suffer to put on weight could be because of being too cold. All the calories they consume are working too hard to keep them warm instead of helping them grow.
When selecting clothes for your baby, pay attention to the TOG rating. Some baby garments, swaddles, and sleeping bags come with a TOG (thermal overall grade) rating that tells you how warm they might be.
Choosing the right layers of sleepwear
Layer 1: A singlet (or singlet suit)
I like to use a light organic cotton or merino sleeveless singlet or singletsuit. A singletsuit provides the added benefit of not riding up and leaving bubs with a cold tummy because of the snaps under the crotch, but either is a good base layer. Merino and cotton are both lovely on the skin and are breathable.
Layer 2: A long sleeved bodysuit
A soft and cosy merino bodysuit is perfect for a wide temperature range as it helps to regulate body temperature. These are especially ideal for Autumn through to Spring, when the temperature can be all over the place, and there are often drops to cool temperatures in the early morning. Merino is also great for wicking moisture away from the skin so baby doesn’t get all clammy and cold.
Layer 3: Sleepsuit or Pyjama’s
Time to get extra cosy! Long sleeves and long legs keep babe lovely and warm through Autumn and Winter. It’s important to know that it’s fine if your baby has cool hands – to check if baby is warm enough we would suggest feeling the top of their back – they should feel dry and warm (not hot) to the touch. If you’re worried your little one is too cold, add a pair of merino socks.
Layer 4: Swaddle or Sleeping Bag
The final layer is a swaddle or sleeping bag and depending on the time of year, room temperature and the age of your babe, you might be using a swaddle, a 3 seasons or midweight sleeping bag or a duvet weight/ 2.5 tog or 3.5 tog sleeping bag. You may even be swaddling over a sleeping bag (yes, you can use a Miracle Blanket swaddle & sleeping bag together, when you’re transitioning a baby out of swaddling!)