How to dress a newborn for sleep in the summer

Shopping for baby clothes can be a very fun experience for both moms and dads. If you are a new parent, choosing baby apparel for a certain season may seem slightly difficult. Most parents find that dressing their baby during the months of summer is actually a lot easier than dressing them during the months of winter. Here are a few of the things that every parent should know about baby summer wear before they begin shopping for apparel.

Onesies will be your saving grace during the months of summer. Not only do they make changing your baby’s diaper very easy, but they are lightweight and come in short sleeve varieties. Babies can wear onesies in the day with a pair of lightweight pants or shorts. At night, they can sleep in onesies.

T-shirts will also be essential for the months of summer. When onesies are not available, a lightweight t-shirt will provide ultimate comfort to your baby. It is important to prevent your baby from overheating, but keep in mind that a lightweight jacket or blanket should be kept in the stroller with your baby in case it gets chilly at night or if there is a breeze.

When are shorts appropriate? Depending on the region that you live in and the temperature, there is a strong possibility that lightweight pants can be worn most of the time. However, if your baby seems somewhat more irritable and cranky, it could be because he is hot. When the temperatures are very hot and if there is no air conditioning, shorts are appropriate. Take notice of what other mothers are dressing their babies in. This should help you determine if shorts are a good idea.

One of the most important baby accessories that you will want to purchase for summer is a sun hat. Babies have very sensitive skin, which should not be exposed to sunlight. Applying sun block is important but usually is not enough. A sun hat will prevent the sun’s harmful rays from burning your baby.

Unlike with baby winter wear, socks may not be essential for your baby to wear at all times. Depending on where you live, they should probably be worn at night or on cool windy or rainy days. Even during these times, however, lightweight socks are a much better choice than heavier socks. Overheating during summer is a common problem for babies. Since the feet are the control center of the body’s temperature, it is important to avoid socks that will cause baby to sweat. Shoes are often unnecessary as well.

Chapped lips on a newborn are more than just uncomfortable; they can negatively affect feeding and sleeping and may lead to potentially serious infections. Because of this, treating a newborn’s chapped lips as quickly as possible is important. In most cases, chapped lips can be treated at home and will take only a few days to heal. Chronic chapped lips require medical attention to rule out dehydration or other health conditions.

Apply lanolin to your newborn’s lips. Lanolin creams, such as Lansinoh, are available at most pharmacies and retail stores and are often used by breastfeeding mothers to soothe dry, cracked nipples. Lansinoh is safe for use on newborns.

Is it Safe to Lay Out in the Sun While Pregnant?

Leave a small amount of breast milk on your baby’s lips after nursing. Breast milk will not only help moisturize your baby’s lips, it will help prevent infection from developing in any cracks or cuts.

Use a clean cotton swab to apply a small amount of olive oil or petroleum jelly to your newborn’s chapped lips just before bed. This will help hold in moisture while protecting your baby’s lips from drool during sleep. While petroleum jelly is non-toxic, your baby may develop diarrhea, abdominal pain or coughing if the product is ingested, according to the National Institutes of Health 3.

Blotchy Skin Rash on a Baby’s Face

Cover your baby’s lips before you take him outside. Apply a tiny bit of natural lip balm to his lips will help protect them from the drying effects of the sun, wind and cold.

Run a humidifier inside your baby’s room at night. Increasing the moisture level inside your home will help hydrate your baby’s lips and skin.

Keep track of how much and how often your baby is feeding. Dehydration can cause chapped lips in newborns. If your baby does not seem to be eating as much as he should be, if his urine output is reduced, or if he shows other signs of dehydration, call your pediatrician immediately. The Mayo Clinic states that sunken fontanelles on your baby’s head, a lack of tears, extreme sleepiness and rapid heartbeat are signs of severe dehydration in infants 2.

How to dress a newborn for sleep in the summer

If your baby was born during the winter, no doubt you are enjoying getting outside in the warmer weather and the abundant sun of these warmer months. I’m sure you figured out how to bundle up your baby to keep her warm in the frigid temperatures, and are anticipating dressing your baby in sweet summer fashions.

As for sleep, you likely had the temperature in your house just right and Baby was dressed comfortably for snuggly winter nights. But as the temperatures rise, perhaps you are wondering about the best way to keep her cool while she sleeps in the summer.

There is no one single right way to dress your baby to sleep in summer. It will depend on the climate where you live, if you have air conditioning or not, and your baby’s preferences. But here are a few things to consider as you get your baby ready to sleep during summer nights.

How to Dress Your Baby for Sleep in the Summer

Don’t be tempted to overdress baby

Because overheating at night has been linked to SIDS, don’t put Baby in too many layers.

I tend to run cold, even in the summer, and I was always battling with how to dress my summer newborn. Don’t project your own level of comfort on to your baby.

Cool fingers and toes don’t convey an accurate gauge of Baby’s body temperature. Checking the back of the neck or the tummy is the best indicator. Skin should be cool and dry to the touch; if the neck or tummy is hot or sticky, Baby is too warm.

Utilize lightweight layers

I’m sure you’ve heard that generally speaking, babies wear one more layer than you are wearing. When they are tiny, babies are unable to regulate their own temperature and tend to run colder than we do.

Natural materials such as cotton that are lightweight and breathable are perfect. A short sleeve onesie with a long-sleeve, footed sleeper may be one option. Or if you are still swaddling you may want use a cotton swaddle or lightweight sleep sack with a onesie underneath.

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If it’s particularly warm and your house is not air conditioned, a short sleeve onesie should be just fine. Babies don’t have the same need to be covered in a blanket like we do.

You may need to check on your baby frequently at first until you have a good idea of what she is most comfortable wearing. If your baby is fussy and all other needs are met, she may be uncomfortable and her layers may need to be adjusted. Monitor her closely and follow her cues, she will let you know how she feels.

I remember worrying about every little thing at first and I wish I would have given myself more grace. Somehow my husband and I got it figured out and things run a little more smoothly in our house these days.

As with anything, new seasons and stages have an adjustment period. It may feel that you just figured out how to keep your newborn comfortable in winter and now it’s time to transition to a new season. That feeling will be with you for a little while.

Don’t worry too much about each new change. As you observe your growing little one you will discern how to meet her needs through each phase.

Even with the AC on, they probably don’t need as much as you think.

Dressing a baby for nighttime sleep can be a surprisingly stressful task: will he be too hot in this or too cold in that? Since professional advice across the board warns against putting a blanket over an infant to sleep, deciding on the right sleepwear is the only factor you can safely control. So with warmer days on the horizon, what do you need to stock your baby’s closet with so they can sleep comfortably?

Creating The Optimal Sleep Environment In The Summer

Before you figure out what baby should sleep in, it’s important to consider the temperature of the room they’re in, whether they’re in their own nursery or still bunking with mom and dad. “In the summer time, attempt to keep the sleep area 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 72 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Lydia Yeager, CPNP-PC and Director of Care Management at Ryan Health, in an interview with Romper. If temperatures are below that range, she says the baby may wake more frequently in the night. In hot temperatures well above that range, there is amore serious issue. “Studies have shown that when babies become overheated, they are at increased risk for SIDS,” Yeager says.

Of course, it’s simply not always possible to keep their room within that optimal temperature range. If baby’s sleeping environment is well below or above that, you may need to add or subtract layers. Most monitors have a handy temperature gauge so you can stay informed about the temperature in baby’s room at all hours of the night.

Dressing Your Baby For Safe Sleep In The Summer

Jeanne Faulkner, a nurse and host of Common Sense Pregnancy and Parenting Podcast, tells Romper that a good rule of thumb is to dress your baby in one layer more than you’d wear if you were sleeping in the same room. Faulkner assures parents that on warm nights in rooms without air conditioning, a single onesie is likely enough to keep baby comfortable. If the room is air conditioned, of course, another layer will likely be called for.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

🍂🍂 Wanna avoid entitlement in your home? Grab our “I Will Give Thanks” gratitude notepad for kids (and moms!) in time for the Thanksgiving season!

If you need some newborn summer clothes ideas, want to know how to keep baby cool in hot weather at night, and want my general best tips on keeping baby cool in the summer, this will help.

Well, you’ve got a newborn baby and you are knee deep in that newborn sleep schedule.

You’re probably feeding what feels like every hour or two. Or maybe you’ve already figured out your newborn feeding schedule.

How to dress a newborn for sleep in the summer

Newborn Feeding Chart

Use this simple printable chart to track your feeds to make sure baby is fed, your supply is up, and everyone is well.

How to dress a newborn in the summertime

Style wise, you’re on your own there, mama. But safety wise, there are a few things to consider because we know keeping baby cool in the summer is a priority if you live in super hot weather.

How to dress a newborn for sleep in the summer

When dressing your newborn baby during the summer months…

  • Buy breathable loose materials. If the materials aren’t that loose, they need to be extremely breathable. Of course, if you’re in the north this isn’t as important, but for certain hot climates, it’s a must.
  • Your baby doesn’t need to be covered from head to toe, but be mindful of sun exposure. Vitamin D is great, even for newborns, but you want to avoid sunburns, obviously.
  • Bring layering blankets. If you dress baby for a hot day then it gets more chilly at night, you can always wrap baby up in a breathable muslin.
  • Dress keeping the ambient temperature in mind. So if the a/c is on quite cool, baby needs less layers and maybe even diaper only.

How to dress a newborn for sleep in the summer

How to keep a baby cool in summer at home

The easiest way to keep baby cool is obviously to put less layers on them.

You want to make sure that in homes with an a/c that it’s on nearly all day long in hot temperatures.

From the American Academy of Pediatrics published study…

“Although studies have shown an increased risk of SIDS with overheating, the definition of overheating in these studies varies.

Therefore it’s difficult to provide specific room temperature guidelines to avoid overheating.

In general, infants should be dressed appropriately for the environment, with no greater than 1 layer more than an adult would wear to be comfortable in that environment.

Parents and caregivers should evaluate the infant for signs of overheating, such as sweating or the infant’s chest feeling hot to the touch. “

Fans are also a great way to keep baby cool and they can be put on near baby’s crib, rotating, etc. to increase air circulation.

At night and for nap time, breathable materials, fans, and the a/c keep baby cool and will help promote healthy sleep habits.

How to dress a newborn for sleep in the summer

How to keep a baby cool in hot weather at NIGHT

It is important that babies are kept at proper temperatures, neither too hot nor too cold.

And at night, this can be tricky!

Newborns also need to be swaddled to sleep well so parents can often get into a bit of a pickle.

How to swaddle baby in hot summer weather:

  • Dress baby in diaper only and swaddle in thin sheet (this was suggested by a mother in a hot humid part of Australia!).
  • Swaddle in a very light muslin blanket over a diaper only.
  • Find mesh swaddles or mesh blankets that are able to be wrapped tightly.
  • Wrap and swaddle baby’s arms only, not entire body.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, you can always lightly wet your swaddle so it’s damp.

How to dress a newborn for sleep in the summer

Newborn Sample Routine

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How to keep baby cool in hot weather outside

As we know, there’s a lot of things to do with our kids during those summer months. And we want baby to come with us!

If you’re going to be outside in 90+ degree weather (hello, Florida!) there are some things to keep in mind,

  • If you are wearing baby, get baby out of the carrier regularly to avoid overheating. The carriers are often made of heavy duty material that, while sturdy, can make baby hot.
  • Get a shade or canopy for your stroller. Some strollers come with these, if not, buy one. You don’t want to cover the top with a blanket during super hot weather, but a breathable shade will keep baby cool.
  • Use a spritzer. You can buy a fan that attaches to the stroller to keep some air circulating while you are outside wandering.

How to dress a newborn for sleep in the summer

Newborn Sleep Schedule SUMMARY

Download and keep this handy to make sure you are prepared for the weeks to come.

How to dress a newborn for sleep in the summer

One question that the Good Night Sleep Site team gets from parents quite frequently is how to dress baby for sleep in the summer at night. While most people know how they like to dress for sleep in the summer, they aren’t sure if the same rules apply to their little ones. Keep reading for some helpful specifics when it comes to dressing baby for sleep on warmer nights.

What Baby Should Wear For Summer Sleep

Should we still use sleepsacks? Yes, you can still use them in the summer—and you should! There are many lightweight sleepsacks available, but I actually really love a wool sleepsack in the summer. (And I’m sure you’re now thinking—“Did she just write wool for the summer?”) I did! Wool is a great body temperature regulator, both in the cold months and the warm ones. Though wool sacks are definitely on the pricier side, they are a great investment, in that they can be worn for a few years, are high quality, and hold up very well over time with the proper care, making it unnecessary to invest in a bunch of other lower quality ones. Woolino and Merino Baby are two excellent brands. (And in case you’re wondering, you do not have to dry clean a wool sleepsack. I wash ours on delicate on the cold cycle and then let them air dry.)

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Should we use a onesie or footed pajamas? That is the question. To which I answer, either! For children who are often sleeping in air conditioning or in a cooler nighttime summer climate, their small bodies can get cool at night. A baby’s circulatory systems focuses mainly on keeping the chest cavity warm during sleep, which means extremities can often get cooler. I love the bamboo cotton footed pajamas made by KicKee Pants. They are soft and lightweight but do the job in terms of keeping those arms and legs warm. Their footed pajamas go up to size 4T.

For babies who sleep in non-air conditioned environments where it can stay sticky at night, opt for a short-sleeved onesie under a sleepsack.

But what if their hands and feet feel cold? See my note about their circulation above. Don’t use the way their hands or feet feel to determine how hot or cold they might be running. A great temperature check is by checking the back of their neck. If it is cool and dry, you can feel confident that they are not too hot. Also, trust your baby! If he or she is really uncomfortable, she will let you know. But if you take the steps above, you can rest easy that temperature will be just fine. Dressing your baby appropriately helps to create a perfect sleep environment that will support your little one getting the restful and restorative sleep they need.

Written by Good Night Sleep Site Consultant.

Good Night Sleep Site provides free child and family sleep support through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We invite you to join our sleep community as we work towards Good Night Sleep Site’s mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips, subscribe to our newsletter and visit Good Night Sleep Site.

From swimming to sleeping, here’s what they need to wear.

If you’re a new parent who just welcomed your little bundle of joy into your life, congratulations! There are probably a million things going through your head right now, and as a mom to a summer baby myself, I know that it’s basically a mixture of “Oh, I guess I never get to take cupcakes for a class birthday celebration” and “Oh crap, what do babies wear in the summer?” Newborns don’t adjust to temperature changes as well as adults do, meaning that extreme weather conditions can be tricky. And since they can’t tell you that they’re too hot or too cold, you have to figure it out on your own.

It’s especially important to keep an eye on their body temperature in the summertime heat. Babies can easily become overheated, and if you’re spending a lot of time outside, this can lead to heat rash or even heatstroke, which can be serious for an infant. You have to be wary of overheating at night, as well: studies show that babies who are too warm at night can fall into a deeper sleep, which can increase their risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

That all sounds terrifying and intimidating, but the truth is, figuring out how to dress your baby for summer isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Mayuri Morker, MD, pediatrician at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, tells Romper that, generally, “in warmer weather, baby’s clothing can be reduced to a single layer. Normally it is advised to dress the baby in one more layer of clothing than you are wearing to be comfortable in the same environment.”

Still feeling confused? Here’s exactly how to dress your little one for specific situations.

How To Dress Baby For Summer Sleep

Remember: you want to keep baby comfortable while they sleep, but you don’t want them to be too hot. What they wear to bed will really depend on whether or not you have air conditioning. And, in general, they should wear what you’re wearing, with one extra layer.

Dr. Morker says to “avoid overdressing and overheating. If you’re comfortable in a single layer nightwear, then babies need one more layer.” If you’re using a sleep sack or a swaddle, they should still wear pajamas underneath. Dr. Morker recommends one single cool layer inside a sleep sack or swaddle, and suggests that if the home temperature is cooler, add long pajamas under their swaddle or sack.

If you’re using a sleep sack or swaddle, opt for something made with a breathable fabric, like cotton. A swaddle with mesh inserts is great for breathability. As for pajamas, go for lightweight fabrics, like bamboo or organic cotton.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

For their first few years of life, babies and toddlers spend approximately half of their day asleep (1). Choosing sleepwear that ensures they are comfortable and safe can be confusing. Learn what factors to consider when deciding how to dress your baby for sleep.

What Should a Newborn Wear to Sleep?

The American Association of Pediatricians recommends infants be dressed in no more than one additional layer (2) of clothing than an adult would wear to feel comfortable in the same environment. A diaper or underwear is not considered a layer.

In warm weather over 75 degrees (3), a single layer, such as a cotton onesie and diaper, is enough for a baby to sleep in. In temperatures under 75 degrees, additional layers are necessary. Breathable newborn baby pajamas made from materials such as cotton or muslin can be used along with a sleep sack.

Receiving blankets can be folded, wrapped, and tucked around the baby to create a swaddle (4). A swaddle keeps the arms close to the body but should remain roomy around the hips and legs, since too-tight swaddling can cause hip problems.

Pajamas or swaddles with snaps or two-way zippers are convenient for diaper changes after late night feedings. It’s important to make sure the fit allows for movement without excess material gathering around the face. Embellishments and fasteners that can come loose, such as buttons or pacifier clips, should not be used.

What Should an Infant Wear to Sleep?

Infants are more mobile than newborns and by 6 months often roll over both directions (5). Once they start attempting to roll — sometimes as early as 2 months old — swaddling should stop. While swaddling may help a newborn sleep on their back, should they roll over, the combination of swaddling and stomach sleeping increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (6).

Wearable blankets can be used in place of swaddles once a baby begins attempting to roll over. Wearable blankets are also called sleep sacks and sleep bags. They are unique in that they leave the baby’s arms free while still covering their torso and legs. Because sleep sacks are worn and not loose like blankets, there is little risk of the baby’s face becoming covered during sleep.

Wearable blankets come in a variety of materials, from jersey cotton to bamboo-derived viscose. They’re also available in a variety of shapes ranging from those with a bottom resembling a sleeping bag to those having foot holes that allow for walking. Take care to choose the best option for your baby’s current sleeping conditions and moving capabilities.

What Should a Toddler Wear to Sleep?

Many toddlers have an opinion on what they want to wear to bed, so having options that both parents and child are happy with is a good idea.

By law, children’s pajamas must comply with the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s ruling (7) that they either be snug-fitting or made from materials that pass specific flammability tests. Check tags for chemical fire-retardants as these may irritate skin. When possible, select tight-fitting pajamas that still allow a full range of motion.

Short or long two-piece pajamas or footed onesies are a good option to keep your toddler covered and comfortable through the night. Footed sleep sacks can still be used at this age as well. Although infants less than a year old shouldn’t use blankets or soft bedding because of the SIDS risk (8) they pose, blankets can be introduced to toddlers.

Can Babies and Toddlers Overheat?

Yes, babies and toddlers can overheat at night. Any time you add layers to your child’s sleepwear, make sure to check that they are not too hot. The AAP recommends head coverings not be used to help prevent overheating.

Materials such as cotton, muslin, and bamboo-derived viscose are breathable choices for sleepwear. A good test to see if your baby is too hot is to feel their neck or upper back, just under their pajamas or swaddle. If they feel hot, clammy or sweaty, they are too hot and a layer should be removed.