Easy Tips for Dressing your Child for Bedtime in the Winter
Deciding on how to dress your baby can be a challenge when your baby can’t really tell you they are too warm or too cold. Here’s a guide that can hopefully take the guesswork out for you. Keep in mind that it is NORMAL for your baby’s hands and feet to be cold to touch. The best way to check your baby’s temperature is by checking the back of their neck. If it’s sweaty, then the baby is too hot. If the back of their neck feels cool, they aren’t warm enough.
Newborns: a general rule for dressing newborns is that they should be in 1 more layer than what you would wear. If you are wearing only 1 layer, then they should be wearing two layers. A bodysuit, long sleeve footed pajamas and a thin swaddle of muslin material would be ideal. If your room is drafty we would recommend them wearing a cotton hat as well. We do not want babies to overheat with a thick wool blanket as they can quickly develop heat rash or most importantly increase their risk of SIDS. You may want to save that hand-knitted blanket that was gifted to you for outdoor stroller walks instead of using it for sleep in the crib. Breathability in the sleeper is important to keep a baby at a perfect temperature. Lark’s reverse zippers are perfect for this age as you will still need to do diaper changes at night. The reverse zipper prevents you from having to completely undress your baby for a change.
4 Months and older baby: It is important to make the switch from swaddle blanket to sleep sack once the baby shows any signs of rolling. In a winter climate, it would be best to dress baby only in one layer, with their sleep sack for sleep. You can choose a heavier sleep sac if your room is cooler, or a lighter sleep sac if your room is warmer. Lark sleepwear is great to keep your little one from overheating. Being too cold or too warm can lead to poor nighttime sleep and short naps. A baby is still at risk for SIDS until 12 months of age so keep them cool to decrease the risk.
Toddlers and Preschoolers: Toddlers can transition out of their sleep sacks when they move to a toddler bed and they can use a warm blanket for sleep. Long sleeve, long pant pajamas with socks would be appropriate. You can also use flannel bedding and sheets in the winter for the toddlers. Breathability is important to help keep your toddler from being too cold and waking at 5 AM ready to play. Lark’s PJs are super breathable and soft making them a fantastic option for this age group.
The temperature of your baby’s room should be 68- 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, keep in mind the location of drafty windows or if their crib/bed is against an exterior wall. If the sun shines into the room it will heat it up fairly quickly. You also never want to place a fan directly on a baby.
Enjoying bundling your little ones and snuggling up close during this season!
About the author:
Diana Martins is a Certified Sleep Consultant and works with the parents of babies and toddlers to gently help them sleep through the night (10-12 hours) in as little as 10 days. Interested in sleep coaching your little one? Find out more here: www.wee-sleep.com/diana-martins or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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