What should my baby wear to bed?

Choosing the right sleepwear solution for your baby will come down to three important factors: safety, comfort, and effectiveness

Love to Dream has been dressing babies for sleep-filled nights since its founding in 2009. Now a globally popular brand, we specialise in sleepwear solutions for little ones from birth and into the toddler years. The success of our sleepwear range has been due to:

The many ways it models SAFE sleep practices

  • Our sleep garments are like wearable 'blankets', elimating the need for loose blankets in baby's sleep space, which can cause a breathing obstruction.
  • The arms-up design of the Swaddle Up especially encourages babies to sleep on their back – the safest sleeping position for infants.
  • The TOG-rated fabrics help parents to make well-informed decisions around how to dress their child to ensure they don't overheat or get too cold as they sleep.

The COMFORTABLE designs, fabric choices, and TOG rated options for every season

  • Full hip flexion is possible in all our garments, including the Swaddle Up, promoting the healthy development of your baby's hips.
  • Fabric choices include cotton, organic cotton, viscose (from bamboo), EcoVero™, and Australian Merino Wool.
  • Our TOG-rated options include 0.2 TOG (LITE) for warm temperatures; 1.0 TOG (MODERATE) for all year round temperatures; 2.5 TOG (WARM) for cooler temperatures; and 3.5 TOG (EXTRA WARM) for colder temperatures.

The proven EFFECTIVENESS of our our innovative designs in helping young ones sleep at their best

  • The unique, patented Arms Up design of our Swaddle Up allows babies to self-soothe for better quality sleep.
  • Our Transition garments allow for a gradual transition to arms-free sleep after swaddling.

Swaddling: The Ever-Popular Sleepwear Solution For Infants

So why is a swaddle the most common sleep garment for a newborn baby?

This age-old and popular sleep solution for infants provides them with a comforting and snug sleeping experience similar to the womb, and it also reduces their startle reflex, which can cause them to wake unnecessarily. Babies are commonly swaddled from the time they are born to when they are rolling (usually reaching this milestone between 3 to 5 months). There are a wide range of options, from traditional methods with folded material to more fitted options developed in recent years.

Our Love to Dream Swaddle Up™ is particularly unique in how it allows a natural arms-up sleeping position while still providing the snugly swaddled fit. It also allows a good range of movement compared to traditional swaddling methods. The two-way zip also makes it super easy to dress baby and do nappy changes in the night! 

If you are wanting to learn more about why swaddling is such a favoured choice for parents worldwide, we cover the benefits of traditional swaddles, as well as the additional benefits of our global award-winning Love to Dream swaddles here:

The Benefits of Swaddling

Love to Dream Stage 1Swaddle Up in 3 Easy Steps

How to Dress Your Baby Safely

Note that a swaddle also replaces the need for blankets, which is good safe sleep practice because it removes the risk of a breathing obstruction occurring in your baby's sleep space. Swaddling also encourages babies to sleep on their back (especially with the Arms Up™ design), which is an important factor in the prevention of SIDS.

Our Swaddle Up™ (and wider range) is available in four different temperature TOG ratings, which helps parents to ensure a safe level of warmth depending on the room temperature, the season, and other factors.

What is a TOG rating? TOG stands for Thermal Overall Grade and is a unit of measurement for insulation and warmth of sleepwear and bedding.

If you are able to set the temperature of your baby's room, a comfortable range is usually between 20–22°C. Having a thermometer in your baby's room is helpful for making decisions about what heating or cooling solutions you may need to use and what layers might be comfortable for them under their Love to Dream sleep garments.  

Layer Up!

 It also is helpful to know what layers (i.e. rompers and bodysuits) are suitable for your baby to wear underneath their Love to Dream sleep garment. This will be determined by which TOG rating their garment is, as well as what the room temperature is. 

Love to Dream layers
In the table below, note how the temperature ranges along the top correspond with which temperature rows each garment appears in. At the lower temperatures, multiple layers are recommended, and at the higher temperatures, you'll see just one garment, often with short sleeves. 

How to Dress a Baby After Swaddling

When your baby has started showing signs of rolling, it is no longer safe to dress them in a swaddle. This is because they need to have their arms free to allow them to roll back onto their back and/or position themselves well for a clear airway. 

Transitional sleepware. Transition swaddles. Ready to roll swaddles

Transition Bag

The transition from being swaddled to arms free can be tricky for some babies, as the swaddle provides a strong sleep cue and feels very familiar and cosy. To help babies adjust to the change gradually, Love to Dream developed Swaddle Up Transition Bags and Suits with zip-off 'wings' that can be removed one at a time and while baby is already sleeping. These garments also serve as sleep bags or sleep suits after bub has transitioned.

To learn more about transitioning techniques, see this article:

When to Stop Swaddling Your Baby (& How to Transition) 

Love to Dream Stage 2

How to Dress Your 6-Month-Old Baby

Once your baby has graduated from swaddling and has outgrown their transition bags/suits, it is a good idea to continue with blanket-free sleep by using sleep bags and/or sleep suits. These garments ensure your baby remains secured in their 'bedding' (unable to kick the covers off!) and are always dressed to be comfortable in the temperature of their room. 

Stage 3

What are the benefits of choosing a sleep bag over a sleep suit?

Some children settle best in a sleep bag because the roomy design maintains the familiar feel of the Swaddle Up.

Parents may also prefer sleep bags because they offer longer wear than fitted sleep suits, due to their flexible fit (sleep bags come in just two sizes, with wide height ranges: 6–18 months & 18–36 months; while there are four sizes for sleep suits to ensure a close fit). 

In addition, sleep bags may encourage a routine of your child staying in bed until you take them out of their sleep bag; do consider, however, whether your child is walking and/or toilet training. 

What are the benefits of choosing a sleep suit over a sleep bag?

For little ones that wriggle around lots in their sleep space, a sleep suit allows full freedom of movement.

It also enables toddlers to get in and out of bed independently if they are able to walk or are toilet training; and children can also wear their sleep suit around the home before and after their sleep time.

In our Transition range, the sleep suits come with additional zip-on arms which can be used during the transition (with mitten cuffs folded over as an extra step) and then after the transition (unfolded cuffs) for extra warmth.

So there are benefits to both, and the choice is ultimately up to you! 

Independent sleep suits and sleep bags

Ultimately, choosing the right sleep garment for your baby to wear to bed will depend on the weather, the age of bub, and how they respond to different coverings. Each little one is unique, and you and your baby should use what works for you, so that your whole family can have a restful night’s sleep.

Sleep Cues & Routines

One more thing to cover is that setting your baby/toddler up for a good night's sleep starts before they're dressed. 

Dressing your baby in a safe, comfortable, and effective sleep garment can be a strong sleep cue, but it can also be supported by the following sleep time routines and techniques: 

  • Encouraging your baby to have a big feed before they sleep 
  • Giving your baby a warm and relaxing bath 
  • A comfortable room temperature for baby's sleep space (between 20–22°C is recommended)
  • Black-out curtains or blinds in baby's sleep space
  • Skin-to-skin contact with your baby and nurturing cuddles
  • White noise or lullabies
  • Speaking in a gentle and calming voice
  • Maintaining a steady and unrushed pace 
  • Responding to baby's tired signs

For toddlers, lots of verbal cues will help them to understand and accept that it's almost sleep time, as will being involved in the process (laying their own pyjamas out, for example). Most of all, young ones need to feel connected to you (with affection and attention, i.e. cuddles and stories) before they are ready to fall asleep.

    These cues are all about about connection, preparation, and relaxation. For more resources, see this downloadable PDF Essential Sleep Guide the Australian team has put together with certified sleep consultants. The Essential Guide to Healthy Sleep Foundations is filled with information and tips to help you establish a rhythm to your baby’s day/night and lay the foundations for healthy sleep patterns and longer, better, safer sleep.

    Essential Sleep Guide. Love to Dream NZ. Free Gift. Download PDF.

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.