mother sitting on bed holding infant wearing matching floral prints

How to Dress Your Baby for a Safe and Comfortable Sleep

By: Zoe Siegel


Babies sleep—a lot. Typical newborns will sleep for 14-17 hours a day, and sometimes up to 19 hours. To put that in perspective, adults only need around 7-9 hours of sleep (although if you’re a new parent, you’re likely getting a little bit less).

This isn’t surprising news to most people. Babies do a lot of growing in their first few months of life, and sleep is essential to their development.

What you may be less sure of, however, is what your baby should wear while sleeping.

If you’re a new or expectant parent asking yourself how to dress a baby for sleep, this guide is for you. Learn what makes for the best materials, find the keys to keeping your baby safe and comfortable through the night, and discover your baby’s new favorite sleep clothes.

Understanding the Right Sleepwear for Babies

When you pick out pajamas for yourself, comfort is usually the top priority. They can’t be too warm or too light, depending on the season, and the fabric needs to be soft and flexible. The same is true for your baby.

The right sleepwear will:

  • Regulate your baby’s temperature

  • Keep them comfortable and safe while sleeping

  • Soothe them to sleep

There are several different types of sleepwear that you can try for your baby. These include:

  • SwaddleSwaddles are a great sleepwear option for newborns. The gentle pressure and constriction are soothing and can prevent your baby from flailing their limbs or turning over during the night. A swaddle is typically worn over the top of fitted pajamas, like a bodysuit or one-piece. While swaddles have many benefits, they should only be used until your baby can start rolling over on their own, at about two months old.

  • Sleep bag – Once your baby has grown out of swaddling, a sleep bag (also called sleep sack) can offer some extra warmth and protection. Most are sleeveless to allow for more movement, and they come in different weights to accommodate colder or warmer temperatures. Learn more in our guide: What Should a Baby Wear Under a Sleep Sack?

You may find that your baby prefers certain clothing items over others, so feel free to try out different types to figure out the best fit.

Safe Sleepwear Materials

Sleepwear is only as good as the materials it’s made from. In particular, you want the fabric of your baby clothes to be:

  • Soft and comfortable

  • Fitted

  • Breathable

One material you may want to avoid is wool. Wool may be cozy to you as an adult, but for babies and their sensitive skin, it can be rough and itchy. You’ll also want to avoid synthetic fabrics that aren’t as breathable and don’t wick away moisture.

Instead, choose natural fabrics that allow for airflow, comfort, and flexibility. The most common include: 3

  • Cotton – Cotton is soft and gentle, making it a great choice for babies, but especially those with sensitive skin. A popular variation is cotton jersey knit, which is anti-pilling and anti-wrinkling with extra give and stretchiness. 

  • Fleece – Fleece clothes are best worn during the chilly months when your baby needs extra warmth to stay comfortable. Fleece is made from polyester, which is known for its moisture-wicking properties, as well as a variety of natural materials, such as hemp or rayon.

  • Linen – Conversely, linen is a great summer fabric. It’s incredibly light and fast-drying to prevent sweat from forming and sticking to the skin. If you want a thin sleep layer for your baby, try something made from linen.

  • Bamboo – Bamboo fabric gives your baby the best of both worlds. It can help your baby regulate their body temperature, both when they’re hot and when they’re cold. It’s also great at wicking away moisture, and is 4x stretchier than cotton, making it a great option for baby girl or baby boy pajamas

Posh Peanut is proud to make baby clothes with viscose material from bamboo. In fact, this is the material we use in our signature Päpook® fabric, named after the Armenian word for “soft.”

Aptly named, our Päpook® fabric is:

  • As soft as your baby’s skin

  • Breathable and lightweight

  • Gentle on baby’s sensitive skin

  • Stretchy

Thanks to the stretchy material, clothes made from Päpook® grow with your baby, so you’ll get more wear than those made from cotton.

Parents everywhere agree that our Päpook® fabric is top-notch—there are tons of positive customer reviews to show for it. It also won the Earnie Award, a great honor in the childrenswear industry.

Balancing Comfort and Safety

For babies, choosing the right sleepwear is especially important, not only for their comfort but also for their safety. Improper sleepwear may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Luckily, there are many precautions you can take to keep your baby safe and cozy at night.

Sleepwear that will keep your baby comfortable and safe is:

  • Fitted – Overly bulky clothes or too many layers may lead to overheating. Fitted clothing will keep your baby warm without twisting or coming off at night.

  • Breathable – A baby’s skin is easily irritated by moisture and sweat, which can lead to rashes or flare-ups. Breathable clothes will pull moisture away from the skin and keep your baby nice and dry.

  • Temperature regulating – Babies can’t control their body temperature well. To prevent overheating, you need to choose clothing made from fabrics that will keep your baby’s temperature stable.

It’s also recommended that you don’t put anything on your baby’s head while they’re sleeping to further prevent breathing blockages.

Choosing the right baby sleepwear isn’t the only way to keep your little one safe at night. Other factors to keep in mind for baby boy or baby girl pajamas include:

  • Room temperature – Your baby’s room temperature should stay stable throughout the night. A temperature of 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended.

  • Sleep orientation – It’s strongly encouraged that you lay your baby on their back to sleep, rather than on their side or stomach. 1 This prevents your baby from losing adequate airflow as they sleep.

  • Crib safety – Babies should sleep on a flat, bare surface, with nothing more than a fitted sheet.

It’s also smart to ensure your baby sleeps with a clean diaper. This can help prevent irritation or other accidents while they sleep. 

Making Sure Your Baby is Comfortable During Sleep

Since babies can’t communicate their needs verbally, it’s your job as a parent to judge their needs as best as you can. At bedtime, it’s important to check that your baby is comfortable, especially when it comes to temperature.

Testing your baby’s extremities, like their hands and feet, isn’t recommended, as it won’t give you an accurate indication of the baby’s temperature. Instead, feel their chest or the back of their neck. They should feel slightly cool to the touch. If they’re hot and sweaty, that means they are likely overheated. 5

Other signs of overheating may include: 5

  • Heavy or fast breathing

  • Irritability

  • Elevated heart rate

  • Red or flushed skin

Keep a close eye on your little one to ensure they’re as comfortable as possible while sleeping. Comfy babies will have a better time sleeping, and so will you.

Seasonal Dressing Tips for Babies

The general rule when dressing baby for sleep is to add one extra layer than you would wear yourself. 5 After all, babies can’t use blankets like adults can, so they rely on clothing layers to provide warmth and protection.

For those sweltering summer nights when you usually strip down, your baby still needs a layer of clothing to regulate their temperature. And for chilly winter nights, an extra layer or two will help keep them warm, but not too hot.

Extra layers can include:

  • Sleep pants or fleece sets

  • Swaddles

  • Sleep sacks

You can find out how warm a piece of baby clothing is by looking at its TOG, or thermal overall grade. The TOG can range from 0.5 to 2.5; the number increases as the warmth or weight of the material increases, with 2.5 being the warmest.

Shop Posh Peanut for Dreamy Pajamas For Every Member of the Family

If you’re looking for baby sleepwear that prioritizes comfort, safety, and style for the whole family, choose Posh Peanut . We offer adorable one-piece, and two-piece pajamas, swaddles, and sleep bags that will have you and your little one drifting off in no time. Plus, you can dress baby for sleep in style with our award-winning designs featuring bold florals, whimsical prints, classic solids and so much more! And, for the perfect family photo or holiday card, we have matching adult sets, too.

Browse our extensive collection by style, age, and print. For more helpful advice about all things baby (and all things parents), check out our blog.


1. Nemours KidsHealth. Sleep and Your Newborn.

2. American Academy of Pediatrics. Swaddling: Is It Safe for Your Baby?

3. Parent Herald. The Best Fabric For Baby Clothing and What You Need to Avoid.

4. Mayo Clinic. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

5. Parents. What Should a Baby Wear While Sleeping?

6. Family Sleep Institute. Dressing Your Baby For Sleep – Understanding TOG Rating.