One of the best ways to determine if your baby is wearing cool enough or warm enough clothes is to realize what we ourselves are wearing. Chances are, if you’re feeling cool enough for a sweater, then so is your baby. One exception however, is in the case of premature babies who have less body fat to insulate them against the cold. An extra layer of clothing is recommended then.
Little babies don’t need pyjamas, as such. They need clothing that is comfortable, warm, dry and clean. Cotton is perhaps the best fabric for baby clothing, especially for sleepwear as air circulates freely and the material absorbs moisture from the body. Special flame retardant sleepwear is available for babies.
For sleeping, clothing should be loose enough to enable freedom of movement but not too loose so that it can come off during sleep. Sleepwear that includes the covering for feet is popular because it means that the legs of the garment don’t ‘ride up’ and expose the skin to cool air. Cold feet is a reason why some babies wake up.
Sleepwear should not be too warm. The risks of SIDS increase in babies who have become overheated during sleep. That said, however, it is better to dress your baby in warmer clothes and allow for lighter bed coverings so that in case the coverings come off altogether, he is still protected by his clothes.
Check in on your baby to see if his face feels warm or cool to the touch and adjust the bedclothes accordingly. Try to maintain a bedroom temperature of around 70 degrees for optimal comfort.
What you dress your baby in for bed needs to be safe because you will be providing less supervision than at any other time of day. Steer clear of clothing that features hanging strings or ribbons, because of the risk of strangulation. If there are any buttons, make sure they are securely attached so that they don’t come loose and present a choking hazard. Elastic shouldn’t be too tight or restricting and clothes should fit well; not too small and not too big, as each brings its own problems.
One-piece outfits with a zipper up the front are ideal for sleepwear, especially if they are made of cotton. They are warm, comfortable, non-restricting and generally have no superfluous trims that can be hazardous. One consideration to make, though, is that in winter, if you need to change your baby’s diaper, it means his whole body will be exposed to the cooler air, unless you are able to unfasten only the bottom half.
As with all baby clothing, sleepwear should be easy to launder. Babies can sometimes spit up in their sleep, and also a little leakage can sometimes occur out of the diaper.
Don’t be seduced into buying pyjamas simply because they’re cute and colorful. When it comes to babies, practical and safe is always the best option.