Winter. The months when we hibernate indoors and share plenty of cuddles with our minis. It's about this time of year; that we get many questions about how to keep baby warm in winter at night, and rightly so, it's confusing. You don't want to underdress or overdress them. If just that sentence has you spinning, we got you.
Ideal room temperature for a baby to sleep
Let's start at the very beginning; your fresh newborn babe will most likely be in the same bedroom sleeping soundly (fingers crossed) right next to you. Or you have a wee baby sleeping in a cot in their own nursery. The ideal temperature for a nursery/bedroom whilst sleeping is 18Cº - 20Cº degrees, regardless of the season. We know that's not achievable for everyone, so our TOG rated range of newborn sleepwear ensures your baby is dressed appropriately for varying temperatures.
So, you have your room temperature sorted, now what?
You guessed it: what is a TOG? If you're new to this and wondering what the heck a TOG is, let alone getting your head around swaddling, we have your back.
A TOG stands for Thermal Overall Grade and is a unit of measurement for insulation and warmth of sleepwear and bedding. Put simply, the lower the TOG rating, the lighter the fabric. The higher the rating, the more padded and insulated it is.
With TOG-rated sleepwear, you do not need additional blankets in your child's sleep space. TOG rated fabrics are an essential tool that helps take the guesswork out of choosing your baby's right winter sleeping garment.
All ergoPouch sleepwear is TOG-rated and made from breathable, natural fibres such as soft organic cotton with 5% elastane, which allows for stretch in all directions across the chest. As your baby cannot regulate their temperature like adults can, the layers they wear to sleep are integral to ensuring they are at just the right temperature.
Learn more about TOG ratings.
What TOG is right for winter?
Now, let’s get to it: how to dress baby for sleep in winter!
1. Start with a 2.5 TOG Cocoon Swaddle Bag (Ideal for room temps between 17Cº -23Cº). If you have the heating on and your room is warmer in winter, opt for the 1.0 TOG (best for 21Cº – 24Cº).
Ok, let's quickly run through Swaddling.
We swaddle our babies to avoid the sudden flailing of their arms and head that swiftly snaps them awake, undoing all that hard work it took to get them to sleep. That flailing movement is known as the Moro, or startle reflex. It is a jerk in their bodies that can occur every 20 minutes in some babies. It is entirely normal and begins in the first trimester in utero. A loud noise, a sudden bright light, movement or even a parent laughing can trigger the reflex.
Swaddling calms this jerking movement while keeping your mini comfortable and content. You can read more about swaddling. Your baby should be swaddled with their arms in for sleeping until they're rolling; learn about transitioning to arms-out sleeping.
Our Cocoon Swaddle Bag is a zip-up, no-fuss swaddle in stretchy organic cotton. It's hip-friendly, nappy-change friendly, and it transforms into a sleeping bag. It is designed to be both easy to use and difficult to escape from. A Cocoon Swaddle Bag removes the need for a blanket. Made in sizing 0000, 0-3m, 3-6m and 6-12months. Excellent for newborns either swaddled or arms out once rolling (see When to stop swaddling and how to transition baby to arms-out sleeping blog for more info).
For newborn babies who prefer arms-up swaddling, Our Cocoon Sleep Set gives you the option. This set includes a Butterfly Cardi which can be used over the top of a Cocoon Swaddle, creating little butterfly wing pockets so your baby can sleep comfortably with their hands near their face. This set doubles as a transitional tool to help babies transition from swaddling to arms-out sleeping once they show signs of rolling.
We know babies and children sleep better in natural fibres for the simple reason that they improve breathability and keep your little one's body at an even temperature, resulting in safe and content sleep for your mini.
Additional layers are an essential item for chilly nights and days, for that matter. Wondering how to layer baby clothes for winter? As a baby sleeps around 16 hours a day, you'll find you don't need to dress them in their day clothes vs nightclothes – a comfortable Long Sleeve Layer that is easily put on and removed is all you need. Your baby would wear their Layer underneath their Swaddle. Our sweet little Layers are perfect for mixing and matching and TOG rated to boot. Each Layer is made from a beautifully soft, organic cotton fabric, making them breathable and comfortable.
When the colder winter months come around, it's sufficient to put your baby in a Long Sleeve 1.0 TOG or 0.2 TOG Long Sleeve Layer and place a 2.5 TOG Cocoon Swaddle Bag or 1.0 TOG Cocoon Swaddle Bag on top (room temp dependant). This will ensure your baby comfortable and won't overheat. And remember, when you use our Layers and Cocoon Swaddle Bags, you don't need to use any blankets.
0.2 TOG Layer + 1.0 TOG Cocoon Swaddle Bag = Suitable for 22 degrees Cº – 24 degrees Cº
1.0 TOG Layer + 1.0 TOG Cocoon Swaddle Bag = Suitable for 21 degrees Cº – 22 degrees Cº
0.2 TOG Layer + 2.5 TOG Cocoon Swaddle Bag = Suitable for 20 degrees Cº – 22 degrees Cº
1.0 TOG Layer + 2.5 TOG Cocoon Swaddle Bag = Suitable for 16 degrees Cº – 20 degrees Cº
3. Meet the Baby Tuck Sheet
Our new Baby Tuck Sheet is a TOG-rated, safe alternative to blankets suitable from birth. Designed to use over the top of a swaddle or sleeping bag, the Baby Tuck Sheet is a firm-fitting mattress sleeve that provides added security and comfort for a newborn during sleep. Each side of the Baby Tuck Sheet is TOG-rated; simply flip the sheet over to adjust the warmth and follow our Bedding Temperature guide (included) for help layering. The zips allow you to adjust to two levels of firmness (tightness) to find the perfect fit for your baby's size or strength of startle reflex.
We design product with safety first as a priority. Safety is the cornerstone of the ergoPouch brand, along with support for all parents on their journey. We want to assure parents that the Baby Tuck Sheet product has been through stringent testing trials, approved as safe by leading Australian infant safety group INPAA, and follows Red Nose guidelines for safe sleep.
Key safety points:
- The Baby Tuck Sheet has been stringently tested and approved as safe by leading Australian safety organisation INPAA.
- The Baby Tuck Sheet is a firm-fitting mattress sleeve that follows Red Nose safe sleep guidelines for baby bedding.
- The Baby Tuck Sheet is designed for newborns and babies who are not rolling. When the right size is used, the sheet cannot be pulled over a baby's head, become untucked from the mattress or be classified as loose bedding in any way.
- The Baby Tuck Sheet is TOG-rated and light enough to work with our existing range of pouches but firm enough to provide added security and comfort to a newborn.
- The Baby Tuck Sheet comes with a new What to Wear Bedding Temperature Guide to help parents understand how to use it in conjunction with our TOG rated swaddles, sleeping bags and layers to prevent overheating.
- Discontinue use once baby shows signs of rolling.
4. Lastly, Bodywear
Your baby is going to need loads, and we mean loads of singlets and bodysuits. Our delicious Bodywear collection is a range of gorgeously soft, ribbed and organic cotton bodysuits and singlets. Designed to be worn underneath your mini's Cocoon Swaddle Bag and Layer for that extra warmth. Also, like Layers, you need a few of these classic everyday staples.
Psst, ideal for a change of clothes in your nappy bag on day trips.
And that's it, our uncomplicated guide for dressing your sweet baby boo how to dress your baby for winter and keep them warm at night. Fun fact, you will receive a FREE Room Thermometer with every Cocoon Swaddle Bag. This little beauty measures the temperature of your babe's room and recommends the right TOG and Layers. Did we mention it's free? And oh-so-helpful for sleep-deprived brains.
It's imperative to dress your child correctly to accommodate their room temperature while they're sleeping, as their little bodies are not as great at regulating temperature as our adult ones. Following our handy What to Wear Guide will take the guesswork out for you.
Which ergoPouch product is right for my child?
As your child grows and develops, so too does their style of sleeping. ergoPouch products are designed towards the age, developmental milestone and physiology of children aged newborn – 6 years old, and the different sleep needs and challenges your child will have during this timeline.
We can suggest an ergoPouch product for every milestone in the first six years and beyond. Use our handy Milestones Chart to help you decide which products are best for your child at their current age throughout all seasons. The green flags indicate a typical journey through the range based on standard developmental milestones.
Pair it with our Sleep Tools
Now that you know how to dress your baby for winter, complete your tool kit with our newborn essentials.
Newborn babies sleep a whopping 16-17 hours a day! That’s several naps spanning across daylight hours. To shield your baby from the sunlight and create a dark sleep environment use our Window Blockouts. A completely dark room will help stimulate melatonin production and help prevent early wake-ups due to the sun shining through
In the womb, by about 20 weeks your baby will begin to hear sounds from the mother’s body such as blood flow, deep whooshing sounds and her heartbeat. The Drift Away White Noise Machine is inspired by those familiar and comforting sounds such as pure white noise and the mother’s heartbeat. These provide a calming effect to bub and help them wind down for sleep as well as mask disruptive sounds. This is the ideal tool for newborns and infants for naps on the go.
Another great tool for sleeping on the go is our Portable Bassinet. This handy lightweight bassinet packs up into a carry bag backpack and can be bought out when it's time for the baby to snooze.
Mama to Mama (and Dad) Tips
- To check your baby's temperature, just put your hand on their chest, tummy or back. This is the best way to feel if they are too hot or too cold, rather than feeling their hands or feet. Often your baby's feet or hands will feel cooler than their core temperature;
- A baby who's too warm may have damp hair or be sweaty, flushed and have a fast pulse. In this case, remove a layer of clothing, and you can even try moving your baby to another room that's a bit cooler;
- A baby who's too cold may not want to feed, may become lethargic and difficult to wake. There are warnings that a baby being too hot or too cold can increase the risk of SIDS. It's imperative to dress your baby correctly to accommodate their room temperature while they're sleeping;
- Often your baby's feet or hands will feel cooler than their core temperature, which is normal! As a baby is developing their circulatory system, their body gives their vital organs priority when it comes to blood. As babies and children use their extremities to get rid of heat when they feel too hot, don't make the mistake of covering hands and feet during sleep;
- Babies control their temperature mainly through their head. The best way to stop them overheating is to place them on their back with the head and face uncovered;
- Sleep baby on their back;
- Keep head and face uncovered;
- Position baby’s feet at the bottom of the cot;
- Use a tightly fitted sheet only that tucks under the mattress (try our new Baby Tuck Sheet); and
- You've done some hard work growing and birthing a baby (understatement); treat yourself to a little bit of luxury with our Matchy Matchy Robe, ideal for winter days. 100% bamboo jersey fibres, pockets for mum-things, and in matching prints to your boo.