It’s your first night home and you go to lay your baby down in their bassinet or crib for the first time and then you realize that you’re not sure what they should wear. Do you put on the too big pajamas you received during the last baby shower? Do you keep them in a onesie and swaddle him in a blanket? How are you going to change her diaper in the middle of the night?
Bedtime outfits for your baby shouldn’t be a mystery. It’s all about safety, temperature, and comfort – for both you and your baby!
Newborns have very little control over their bodies and tend to have lots of reflexive movements. That means that she can move around and since her body is still growing, she needs lots of support and to just rest.
There is also the risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) which is most likely to occur during the first four months of a baby’s life. The best thing you can do is dress your baby in clothing that isn’t loose and doesn’t have tops that could ride up and cover your baby’s face. She doesn’t know how to remove fabric from her face to keep her breathing.
Also, make sure that your baby’s sleeping space is free of any blankets or accessories — even pillows, mattress toppers, crib bumpers, stuffed animals. Rest your baby on a firm crib mattress with one sheet.
Your baby’s body doesn’t yet know how to regulate changes in temperature. The room your baby is in should be between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s cooler than that, add a few layers. You don’t want to have a loose blanket wrapped around your baby since that could come undone and suffocate him.
If it’s warmer than 75 degrees, consider bringing in fans or air conditioners to help keep your baby cool. If he’s wearing an Orchid knotted gown, you don’t have to worry about keep him tucked in. Knot the bottom of the gown so that his feet are snug and tucked in for the night. It will help his feet stay warm and cozy all through the night.
Your baby may not remember the feel of her clothes, but for sure you will! Make sure you’re dressing your baby in something comfortable and soft. Itchy fabric may irritate your newborn baby and keep her awake when you really want her (and need her to sleep!)
It’s not just about comfort for your baby. It’s also about comfort for you. When you’re looking at baby pajamas, you’re not thinking ahead to those middle-of-the-night feedings or diaper changes that await you. You don’t want to be trying to fumble with buttons and snaps when you’re half-awake and want to be back in bed. Luckily, your knotted gown makes it easy for you so you can get back to sleep as soon as you can.
Frequently Asked Questions
These guiding principles will help you as you pick out good outfits to dress your baby in during the first few months of their life. But you’re probably more worried about the more specific questions.
Should a Newborn Wear a Hat to Sleep?
Your baby should not wear a hat to sleep. Hats are loose fabrics that can move around and potentially suffocate your child. It’s best to remove the hat and make sure that they’re swaddled to stay warm.
You may be confused since the nurses in the hospital usually place a hat on your baby. This is to help them stay warm and acclimate to the colder world than they have been living in before their arrival. Also, there is always someone there to observe and prevent situations. Once you return home, you will find that the times that baby goes to sleep is when you also take a nap or are able to do some of the things around the house that you have been neglecting.
You can give them a hat to wear if you are holding them while they sleep and your attention is on him. Or when you’re heading outside to take a trip, this is also a good time to have your baby wear a hat when they’re sleeping.
Should a Baby Wear Socks to Bed?
Do you like to sleep with socks on? Your baby probably likes it too. Not because they’re so comfortable, but because your baby likes to be warm. Babies are extremely sensitive to temperature because their bodies aren’t able to regulate their own internal temperatures yet.
You should gauge how the temperature in a room feels for you. Do you feel comfortable? Or are you rubbing your hands on your arm and reaching for a sweatshirt? If you’re cold, your baby is probably chilly as well. Some good advice is to dress your baby in one more layer than you are wearing.
What Type of Baby Nightgowns are There?
You might be looking at all the options for baby nightgowns and wonder which is the best one. Truthfully, until your baby is 4-6 months old, you’re going to be up in the middle of the night for diaper changes. It’s important to consider that when selecting options for your baby’s pajamas.
Here is a quick summary of the different types of nightgowns for your baby to wear:
Knotted Baby Gown
We’re big fans of the knotted baby gown because these nightgowns are perfect all year round. With long sleeves and soft material, your baby will be comfortable in the warmer months and the cooler months.
Essentially, a sleep sack or bag is a blanket that your baby wears. You put them in a onesie and then zip them in and you don’t have to worry about loose blankets that could suffocate your baby. Our personal favorite is Ergobaby which you can buy here.
These gowns are different from knotted gowns because the gown is open at the bottom – there’s no way to knot the end. The bottom may have elastic, but it’s still open. You’ll need to put socks on your baby to prevent their feet from getting too cold. Our favorite is Simple Joys by Carter’s that you can purchase here.
Footed Baby Pajamas
Do you remember rocking the footed pajamas as a kid? I do! Maybe you rock them now. But these pajamas are good options once your baby is a little older and especially if they’re prone to the cold. You don’t have to worry about them kicking off their socks in the middle of the night or only losing one (which is the worst!). The pajama is one piece. The only issue is during those late-night diaper changes, you’ll wish you have something a little more simple. So hold onto this pajama set until your baby is sleeping more through the night. There are plenty of options, but Leveret has some beautiful pajamas that you will definitely want to purchase here.
Your baby is going to be sleeping for up to 16 hours a day during the first few months. To help her get the best sleep possible so that you can get the rest you need, make sure you follow these guidelines to keep your baby safe and comfortable.