Dressing Your Baby For Sleep In Summer

Did you know that hot weather can come with as many risks as cold weather?

When the temperature soars, the one question every parent finds themselves asking is, "what should baby wear to bed in the summer?"

You worry your little one will get cold with the air conditioning on, so you layer them up in blankets/swaddles. When you don't have an AC, your worry your bub will overheat.

We are here to make it easier for you to decide what your little one should be dressed in during the warm summer months. It is probably less than you think!

Match Clothing To Different Temperatures 

Before you figure out how to dress a baby in summer at night, it's essential to consider the temperature. During summer, attempt to keep the room area between 68 degrees to 72 degrees Fahrenheit

If the temperature is below the given range, your baby might wake more frequently at night. And temperatures above that range can not only make baby uncomfortable but high temps are linked with the increase risk of SIDS.

Perhaps you have heard about the general rule of thumb for dressing your baby to sleep: "put them in one additional layer than you would wear at night."  It can be used as a "sanity check" but this tip always confused us so we wanted some harder science.

We asked the experts --  Here is a table to guide you on how to dress your baby in different temperatures.


Degrees (F)

Type of clothing 

Description (Examples)

70 - 77 °F

Minimal clothing

Light cotton bodysuits (short sleeve), muslin sleep sack 

64-70 °F

Standard clothing

Light cotton bodysuits (long sleeves) and pants or a cotton footie 

59-63 °F

Warm layers

Thick cotton bodysuits (long-sleeve) or footie and a sleeping sack or wearable blanket

<59 °F

Extra clothing and layers

Thick cotton bodysuits (long-sleeve) and a sleeping sack or wearable blanket, and an additional layer for extra coziness


How To Dress Your Baby For Sleep In Summer

We know how uncomfortable it is to be too cold or too warm.

Your baby has a limited ability to regulate its temperature. So, when dressing them for bed, follow the rules above. You should consider a sleep slack of different thicknesses, two-piece cotton PJ, rompers, footies, or lightweight muslin swaddle in warmer months.

Potential Health Hazards For Babies In Hot Summer

Babies overheat quickly in hot weather. And if their temperatures stay high, they risk dehydration or heat exhaustion. Compared to you, your nugget finds it hard to cool off. This is because babies do not sweat as much as adults, which is a way of cooling down the body.

And while it is challenging to care for your young one during hot weather, healthy babies who are thriving and well hydrated have less problem regulating their body temperature unless they become overheated.

During temperatures of over 80 degrees most, pediatricians advise avoiding the sun and heat. Because your child's body temperature rises faster than yours, they can be affected quickly by the impact of heat on their body. They are also prone to heat rash as their sweat glands aren't fully developed.  So unless the temp is in the low 70's avoid naps outdoors.


Young crawlers and toddlers can quickly become dehydrated during periods of hot weather due to doing lots of physical activities (can you even keep up?) and not drinking enough water. Their playing while taking in the sun exposes them to heat, making their body temperatures rise.

With the rise in body temperature, the water content in their bodies will fall, thus leading to dehydration. 

Some of the signs that your young one will show to tell they are dehydrated are:

  • Having a dark yellow or brown urine
  • Having fewer wet nappies than usual,
  • Having a dry and coated-looking tongue and mouth

If your little one shows these signs, giving them some water or an oral rehydration solution is best. You should also limit your outdoor times to when the sun is not scorching, and if you have to be out, then a shade is a good option for your tot.

Remember always to keep your bub hydrated and let them also have a sun hat! (just like mamma!) 

Some remedies for rehydrating include:

  • Ensure they feed adequately throughout the day
  • Offering small sips of age-appropriate fluids(water and milk)
  • Avoid juice, soda, juice, sports drinks, or dairy

Skin Irritation

While you must take care of your baby every season, summers with soaring temperatures can bring their share of woes to your baby's skin. Whether it is due to sweating, overheating, or direct exposure to the sun, certain skin conditions will mostly flare-up in the hot weather.

Some of the ways to ensure that you keep skin irritation at bay are:

  • Make sure you have the right summer pajamas to keep babies cool and comfortable. Organic cotton is ideal because it is breathable.
  • Keep your little one hydrated
  • Bath your baby regularly.
  • Stay indoors 
  • Avoid carrying your baby in a sling or a carrier for too long, as this can make babies hot and sweaty.

Difficulty Waking Up

You never want your little one to be too hot! This is because babies tend to sleep too deeply when they are hot. And overheating can raise the risk of infant sleep death, also known as SIDS.

Therefore when you are thinking, "what should a baby wear to sleep in summer?" remember that overheating is a risk hazard to your baby.


Your baby cannot sweat appropriately as their sweat glands are not yet fully developed; therefore, they do not have the same abilities to cool off their bodies as you. This can lead to heatstroke much quicker.

Signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion include:

  • Not responding when touched or called
  • Rapid breathing
  • Red, hot and dry skin
  • Rising body temperature

If your baby is suffering from heat exhaustion, you can offer them lots of fluids to ensure they are hydrated. Move them to a cool place with shade and remove all the extra clothes they might have. 

If the condition persists, seek medical advice.


Finn + Emma Beach Vibe Romper

Shop Finn + Emma's unisex Beach Vibe Romper - perfect for summer nights!

One crucial part you should not overlook when dressing your infant to sleep during summer is ensuring that the clothing materials are breathable and thin.

Here are some tips on dressing your baby for sleep in summer:

1. Do Not Fully Rely On The Thermostat

The ideal temperature for your baby's room usually is 68-72 degrees. But just because the thermostat is set at 68 degrees doesn't necessarily mean that's the temperature your baby feels as they sleep.

When using the touch test, monitoring how their body feels is essential. Touching their belly or the back of their neck will help you judge their core temperature. The touch should feel slightly warm but not sweaty or clammy.

2. Use The Golden Rule

Knowing that overheating is dangerous to your bub turns the pressure on getting them dressed for bed.

Don't sweat it! Think of it like this: in what type of clothing do you feel comfortable as you sleep at night? It is probably light and thinner pajamas. Your baby will also be comfortable in thin layers. You can start with a cotton onesie as a base.

If you decide to swaddle your baby burrito, pick one that is lightweight and breathable. Organic cotton is perfect for such baby clothes.

3. Pay Attention to TOG Ratings

Did you know that not all your baby clothes are created equally? TOG rating is a standard measurement that lets buyers know how warm the fabric is. And most textiles that make baby clothing and swaddles have a TOG rating.

TOG rating takes out the guesswork of telling how warm or cool a cloth or swaddle is. For baby summer clothes low TOG rating will be ideal.

4. Your Goal Is To Avoid Overheating

When looking for the right baby summer pajamas, remember that your goal is to avoid overheating. It is much easier to warm your baby up than cool them down.

Keep an eye out for signs of overheating as your baby sleeps. And if you notice any symptoms of overheating, remove at least one layer of clothing and try to move to a cooler spot in the room.

    Know The Signs Of Temperature Discomfort

    Your baby will always let you know whether their sleeping temperature is right! The faster you learn their language, the easier it will be for the both of you as you enjoy the much-deserved eye-shut.

    Ways in which your pint-sized peanut might be telling you that they are uncomfortable include

    • Being generally restless when you put them down for their bedtime or naps
    • More frequent wake-ups or shorter naps than usual
    • Awake but lethargic and still
    • More cries, especially in the middle of the night
    • Uninterested in feeding

    Do Not Overdress Your Baby

    Overdressing your baby might lead to an angry heat rash. It might also lead to overheating, which has been linked to SIDS as babies sleep deeply when hot, making it difficult to arouse them.

    Therefore when dressing your little one, ensure that they are not overdressed by following the golden rule of clothing them.

    What Materials Should I Look For My Baby To Wear To Sleep In Summer?

    Most fabrics are suitable for infant baby clothes. And you are not wrong to think that clothing made for children should use appropriate material that is safe and comfortable. But to be safe, you should always counter-check for suitable material.

    You need a material that will make the summer heat bearable for your young one making summer a breeze. With your baby's comfort being a priority, below are some great fabric options to get you started on your hot summer days.

    Cotton, Cotton, Cotton.

    Cotton is a natural plant-based fabric making it one of the best materials for hot weather. It is lightweight and breathable, not forgetting cheap. That's why it is easy to find many clothing options in cotton or cotton blends.

    Cotton is also super easy to wash and care for, so you do not have to worry about spills and stains. It is perfect for little ones' sensitive skin as it is super absorbent and allows heat to escape rather than locking it in, helping your baby stay cool in the hot summer.


    Finn + Emma organic cotton swaddle baby blanket

    Shop Finn + Emma's 100% organic swaddle blanket in heather

    Should I Use A Onesie Or A Footie in The Summer?

    The answer to this question is that you can go for either. If your little one sleeps with the air conditioner on, then most probably, you will want to put them in a footie. Use the temp guide above for easy reference.

    Your baby's circulatory system's primary goal is to keep the chest cavity warm during sleep, meaning the extremities can often get cooler. Footed pajamas will do the job right as they keep your baby's arms and legs warm.

    If your baby's room does not have an air conditioner, the environment can get sticky at night due to falling temperatures, so you should opt for a short-sleeved onesie.

    And if their feet and hands feel cold, do not get worried as this does not determine how hot or cold they are. Place your hand at the back of their neck or stomach to ascertain their temperatures.

    If the area is cool and dry, then your baby is not too hot but under comfortable temperatures. Dressing your baby in lightweight baby pajamas will help create a perfect sleep environment.

    finn + emma 100% organic footie in white

    Shop Finn + Emma's 100% Organic Footie Pajamas

    Using Swaddles In The Summer

    When you decide to swaddle your little burrito in the summer, you should first consider what they are wearing under the wrap. The material your baby's cloth is made of should also be considered because you do not want to make your tot uncomfortable due to the hot temperatures.

    During summer, your young one should not need more than one layer of cloth. Depending on the temperatures, you can swaddle your little ones when they are only wearing their diapers. The swaddle should be cotton or muslin material as both are lightweight and breathable. They also offer ample flexibility for easy wrapping and tucking.

    When you decide to swaddle in the summer, you must ensure that your little one's head is not covered by a hat or the swaddling wrap itself. Your baby's heat escapes from the head; therefore, keeping it uncovered will help your baby stay cool.

    Always remember that once your baby starts to roll over, it is time to lose the swaddle, as it is no longer a safe option.

    How To Tell If Your Baby Is Too Hot

    Familiarize yourself with these signs that show your baby might be too hot:

    • Red face and rashes
    • Increased irritability
    • Rapid breathing and raised heart rate
    • Clammy skin
    • Lethargic and disoriented

    General Baby Care Advice In Warmer Temperatures

    • Remove layers when necessary
    • Avoid bringing your baby into direct sunlight
    • Do not overdress your baby
    • Keep your baby hydrated
    • Go for baby clothes with fabrics that are cotton as they are breathable 
    • Provide good ventilation for your baby


    What do newborns wear in the summer? On these beautiful sunny days, the most important thing to remember about dressing your little one is to go with the temperature in their room and not outside.

    A hot child is a fussy child, and a fussy child does not sleep. So, dress your young ones in a cool, breathable fabric to ensure they do not overheat.

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