What should baby wear to bed in summer?

Woman laughing with baby

If there’s one question every parent finds themselves asking when the temperature soars, it’s ‘what should baby wear to bed in summer?’ When the air-con’s cranked up, they worry their little one will get cold, so they layer them up in blankets and layers. If they don’t have AC, they worry bub will overheat.

We’re here to dispel the myths and make it easier for you to decide what your little one should be dressed in at night during the warmer months. Tip: It’s probably less than you think.

What should a newborn wear in summer?

Keep them cool

We all know the obsession many parents have with keeping their baby warm. From the moment they’re born we’re wrapping them up in a blanket. Not long after we’ve got them in a cosy onesie, beanie and booties.

But what many parents don’t realise when they're wondering 'how should I dress my baby in hot weather?' is that babies have a limited ability to regulate their own temperature, so it’s equally as significant to keep them cool in summer as it is to keep them warm in winter.

And we all know how hot an Aussie summer gets. So it’s no surprise, really, that the season leaves first-time mums and dads fretting over what they should or shouldn’t be dressing their little one in.

Less is more

Baby in crib

Heather Turgeon, co-author of The Happy Sleeper: The Science-backed Guide to Helping Your Baby Get a Good Night's Sleep-newborn to School Age, wrote for Babble that, "One of the most common missteps we see in sleep consultations is people overdressing their babies. There’s a misconception that warmer equals sleepier, but the opposite tends to be true..."

So, on those hot and sticky summer nights, we’d suggest simply dressing bub in a lightweight onesie made from bamboo for breathability. Lose the blanket — a baby doesn’t have the expectation of needing their legs and feet covered the way we do (although, many of us don’t actually mind the cover getting kicked off when nighttime stays up in the 30s!).

If it’s a cooler night, or when autumn starts to draw closer, add a Stretch Jersey Wrap to keep bub warm and cosy.

Let them breathe

Beanies and booties are adorable accessories for bub, and are perfect for cooler days. But professional advice recommends hats coming off at night, no matter the season, for safety reasons — headwear on babies in bed can be a choking hazard. In summer, you’ll also want to lose the booties so their feet can breathe.

When asking yourself ‘what should baby wear to bed in summer?’, breathability should be top of mind. Materials like bamboo are ideal, as it provides ventilation and pulls moisture away from the body, allowing the skin to breathe. Happy baby, happy family! Baby summer clothes and newborn summer clothes are key here.

Checking bub’s temperature

Just because your baby’s hands and feet feel cold, this isn’t always a good indication of his or her temperature. To really find out how hot or cold bub is, feel his or her back or tummy. If you use a sling or carrier, remember your baby will be warmed by your body heat as well as the wraps or clothing he or she is wearing.

So what about the temperature in your baby’s room? There’s no need to monitor it. A good rule of thumb is to look at the amount of clothing you’re wearing, then add another layer. If your baby’s room is too hot, use a plug-in fan to keep them comfy. Just make sure to keep it on the opposite side of the room.

When asking ourselves ‘what should baby wear to bed in summer?’, many of us are rightfully left in a bit of a muddle. There’s so much information out there about what’s right and wrong that we end up feeling more confused once we start reading.

Just remember, your baby probably needs to wear less to bed than you thought when the temperature climbs. If you’re too hot for layers and dooners, chances are bub feels the same.

Disclaimer: Although our advice comes from research and professional sources, we always recommend checking with a baby professional when in doubt to get a second opinion.

Baby wrapping

Baby wrapping

Can’t get bub to settle? Wrapping is a great way to help calm your little one for sleep, as well as ensuring they’re kept in the safe sleeping position on their back.

When wrapping baby for sleep in the summer months, make sure to use a lightweight fabric such as bamboo. Our muslin wraps are perfect for settling bub for sleep in both the warmer and cooler months — just make sure the wrap doesn't go above bub’s shoulders or cover their head, ears or chin.

It’s also important to ensure the wrap’s not too tight and that there’s enough room for your little one to stretch.

Important note: Babies can be wrapped from birth until they begin to show signs they’re able to roll onto their tummies. This is usually around four months but does differ.

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