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How to Dress Your Baby For Sleep in Winter


Cold, Cold, Go Away! In the Midwest, it’s another frigid day! We are getting plummeted by more freezing temperatures.

So how can you keep your baby warm (but not too warm) and how to dress your baby for sleep in winter? (affiliate links are included below but only for the products I love and recommend).

What is the ideal temperature to keep your baby’s room:

68-72 degrees is the optimal room temperature for your baby’s room.  Chances are, many families keep their room at the same temperature in the summer, so the outside chill shouldn’t have a significant effect on your sleepy baby.

Thanks to techy video monitors, a room’s temperature can be easily tracked.  Whichever brand you can buy, make sure that they have the temperature feature.

What if your baby’s room has drafty windows?

Drafty windows are no fun for any homeowner, let alone new parents with their little bundle of joy trying to stay warm in winter.

When I think of drafty windows, I think of expensive heating bills just being thrown down the drain.  Energy-efficient window coverings will help retain heat if your windows are drafty.

There are many different kinds of coverings that you can choose to decorate your baby’s room.

Blackout Window Shade:

If you have drafty windows, you want to keep the chill away.

The best option is Blackout EZ coverings, since they not only insulate your windows by retaining thermal properties but also rock at keeping your baby’s room dark (dark room = excellent sleep).


Blackout window covers are great when you need to darken your room and keep the cold air out!

Installing Blackout Shades is Easy With Blackout EZ

Cellular Shades:

These are the shades that I have in my house.  Now, please remember that I wasn’t a sleep consultant or even had kids when I decided these were the winner. I think they look nice, and they do their job keeping the draft from the windows.

But, unfortunately, I realized that they didn’t do the job since when you mount through an inside mount (through the window, not over).  Too much light filters into the room between the end of the shade and the side of the window.

I learned this the hard way when my crabby 3-month-old refused naps in the late afternoon (because of the bright western light that came straight through the window).

blackout cellular shades

Window Panel:

Panels are probably the best for the decorators out there that long for that Pottery-Barn perfection look.  Depending on where you shop, window panels can get a little pricey depending on the style that you choose. It’s worth investing in a higher quality panel, especially if drafty windows are your issue.  While investing, make sure to buy a blackout style so you can get the baby’s room dark for sleep as well.

blackout window panels

Keep your doorways closed.

Another good idea is to keep the doors closed in unoccupied rooms.  This little trick will help keep the temperature retained in specific areas in your house.

Who wants to pay extra heating bills anyway?  This will keep the warm heat all nice and snuggly in the areas that you are.

What should your baby wear to bed in winter?

OK, so let’s get into the clothes.

So first, once your baby is outside the newborn phase and the moro reflex (the twitchy reflex that wakes your baby up ), it’s always a good idea to move your baby into a sleep sack.  I recommend that your child wear a sleep sack for as long as they can… (to help prevent jumping out of the crib in those toddler years!)


A sleep sack is a safe, wearable blanket and a good opportunity to provide your baby an extra layer of warmth, especially in the winter years.

The key for picking out the clothes your baby wears is to figure out the combo that works for you to keep your baby warm but not too warm.

Explanation of the TOG Rating:

A TOG rating is just a fancy term for measuring the thermal warmth of a product.  Aden & Anais, a company that makes amazing baby products, provided a handy cheat sheet on which of their sleeping bags to wear dependent on a room’s temperature. (article found here)Aden and Anai's cheat sheet of which sleeping bags to wear based on your room temperature.

In the winter months, many parents will want to keep their babies dressed in the comfy sleeping bag (their wording for a sleep sack), but they have a cozy plus bag when the weather is colder.

Below is a visual to their products with an easy way to purchase by clicking the link: (Classic Sleeping Bag, Cozy Sleeping Bag, and Cozy Plus)

What Aiden & Anais Sleep Sack should your baby wear in winter

For those families that are loyal to HALO sleepsacks, the TOG ratings are as follows:

Cotton Sleep Sacks:  1.0-1.5 TOG (not quite as warm as Aiden & Anais, but close, 68-72 degrees would be fine)

Micro-Fleece Sleep Sack:  1.8 – 2.7 (good for the colder rooms, less than 68 degrees)

halo sleepsack

What should your baby wear under a sleep sack?

What your baby wears under a sleepsack comes down to personal preference.  Ya know, some adults sleep in socks, some don’t.  (I don’t!) 

I hated putting my babies in a onesie.  My kids were not a fan of putting anything over their heads and made it apparent by the loud screaming and screeching anytime I tired.

But, my girls love feet pajamas (and didn’t stop wearing them past age 4).  The extra love, maybe because the lazy parent that I was, kept them in PJs since it was the easiest.

If you are using the Aden & Anais cozy sleeping bag or the HALO cotton sleeper, I suggest wearing cotton pajamas underneath.  Just keep an eye out to make sure your child looks cozy and not too warm.

Your baby may be fine with just a onesie underneath the sack, depending on your baby’s room temperature.

Don’t forget safe sleep practices.

Cold temperatures should not be an excuse to throw safe sleep practices out the window!

Do not add blankets to your baby’s crib that could cause a suffocation risk or add pillows or anything else that would give a false sense of warmth. Safe sleep practices are essential, and you can see what the AAP suggests here.


Winter is the time to make a snowman, go sledding and drink hot chocolate.  If your baby is too young, still think of all the great winter opportunities you have for years to come.  Now, make sure your baby is warm but not too warm, and you can focus on how to dress your baby in winter!

What is your baby wearing this winter?  Comment below!


Susie Parker is founder of Sleep Baby Love and a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute. When Susie's not ridding the world of sleepless families, she loves spending time with her two girls that have given her a ton of real world sleep experience head on.

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