Brave Little Baby

Dressing your baby for sleep in South Africa

After reading this guide, you’ll never worry about dressing your baby for sleep again!

Ideal room temperature - dressing baby for sleep

1.What is the ideal temperature for sleep?

All research indicates that cooler temperatures help us sleep better. You can read more about this in our Room Temperature blog. The ideal recommended temperature is 18-22*C. Which might seem a bit cold! Depending on your home, the outer temperatures as well as the real feel, it’s still sometimes (mostly) impossible to achieve this range. Although room temperature is not always flexible, dressing your baby for sleep is possible!

Tip: Don’t depend on the reading in the monitor as this is often inaccurate. The GroEgg is more dependable, but not necessary for good sleep!

2. How should you be dressing your baby?

We loves swaddles and sleeping bags! They make life SO much easier for parents. If you dress your baby safely and right, you’ll never have to worry about them being too hot or too cold during sleeping time.

A good first step is: start by asking yourself, what am I sleeping in tonight? They will probably be ok with the same as you. (With the exception of newborns)

  • Hotter than 26*C, only dress your little one in a short sleeved vest or even just a nappy!
  • 24-25*C, 0.2/0.3/0.5 tog sleeping bag and a short sleeved vest.
  • 22-23*C, 1 tog sleeping bag + short sleeved vest.
  • 18-21*C, 1 tog sleeping bag + long footed babygrow + short sleeved vest OR a 2.5 tog sleeping bag + a long footed babygrow.
  • 15-17*C, 2.5 tog sleeping bag + long footed babygrow + short sleeved vest.
Clothing - dressing baby for sleep

3. Why should I use a sleeping bag instead of just a blanket?

  • Helps your baby’s body temperature to stay constant all night long. By creating a pocket around their body. In winter with higher togs, the sleeping bags provide warmth from below and above and it also helps when the baby’s body temperature drops between 2 and 4 a.m.
  • Easy to use, and your little one can still roll and kick freely in them.
  • With a swaddle bag you don’t need to learn a swaddling technique. There is no way your little one is freeing one arm out of these bags!!
  • By dressing your baby appropriately for sleep, there is no need for extra blankets which is a safe sleep recommendation.
  • Some sleeping bags(see below) can be used until 36 months of age, and because it has legs your little one will not get frustrated by it and can move around freely as necessary.

4. What on earth is a TOG!?

It’s the measure of thermal resistance. The higher in rating, the more warmth the product provides. Tog measures how well an item retains heat.

5. What tog rating should I buy?

To dress your baby for sleep effectively, and for all temperature conditions, we need to consider togs:

  • 0.1/0.2/0.5 Tog – a very light and breathable material. Best suited for rooms where there is no air conditioning or for use in nurseries that get a lot of summer sun. In summer this is ideal for your little one to sleep in just a nappy and a 0.2/0.5 tog sleeping bag and it will keep them just warm enough when the temperature drop early mornings.
  • 1 Tog – It holds in some heat and breathes somewhat. This is a great sleeping bag to use if you are able to keep your little one’s room at a certain temperature all day and night.
  • 2.5 Tog – Suited for colder temperatures and homes. Or if you have a little on which struggles to get warm enough.
  • 3.5 Tog – If you struggle to get your babies’ room to 16-18 degrees this is for you!
Togs - dressing baby for sleep

6. How will I know if my baby is too hot? 

For safe sleep we always want to be wary of overheating. But try not to obsess about it! If you’re doing all you can & baby is sleeping well. You’re doing great!

Too hot - dressing baby for sleep

“Your baby may wake during the night which may be a sign that they are not at a comfortable temperature. If the back of their neck (or their tummy) feels nicely warm then they are fine, if their skin feels damp they may be too hot. Do not worry if their arms, hands or feet feel cool as this is quite normal and helps them to maintain a regular temperature. It is not recommended to put a hat or hood on your baby when they are in bed as this can cause them to overheat. It is better for your baby to be cool rather than hot, and if they are too cold they’ll soon let you know!”

On the other hand, how will you know if your baby is too cold? We often feel their hands and feet. But the correct place to measure temperature while they are sleeping is on their tummies. If it feels slightly warm they are OK!

According to the NHS

7. Do you recommend different bags for various ages?

For Newborns we LOVE these:

  • It’s a great substitute for a swaddle.
  • Easy to get in and out.
  • Easy for midnight nappy changes.
  • Great as a transition swaddle to get out of once baby starts rolling. 
  • Add a ergoPouch Layers underneath to add another Tog if needed.

For our babies 4-12 months we love:

  • Lots of free space so babies can kick and roll around. Safe for hips. Easy to get in and out!
  • The sleep suit bag is lovely if your baby prefers having their legs free, and it’s easy to transition from a sleeping bag so a sleep suit.

12-36 months we love:

  • Gives walking babies free range.
  • Can be used in and outside the cot.
  • Can cover feet with grip socks so will not slip when walking on. Or can roll up when warmer weather.

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