Your child’s sleep environment is an important factor in getting good quality sleep.
This includes the room temperature. Our bodies naturally sleep better in lower temperatures and warmer temperatures often affect the quality and duration of sleep we get. A rise in body temperature causes night wakings and also increases the amount of time it takes to get back to sleep during a waking. Dressing appropriately to induce a steadier body temp will help get more quality nights rest.
As the summer months and warmer temperatures approach, here are some ways you can dress your baby, toddlers and older children for bed.
1. Choose a light weight pajama. Avoid polyester fabric blends. I recommend organic Pima cotton for children of all ages (and adults!) For babies - A muslin fabric has a wider knit allowing for more air flow. This would be a good option when wearing a sleep sack. In much warmer temperatures, where air conditioning is not an option, or if you find your child sweats in their sleep, you want to look for moisture wicking fabrics like bamboo. If your baby has sensitive skin, Bamboo is a particularly good option.
2. Switch up the sleep sack. Choose a lighter tog (tog is the unit of thickness in the sleep sack). A tog of 1.0-1.5 for most houses with climate control is appropriate but always base tog on the temperature inside your child’s room. See dressing guide by sleep tog below:
A muslin cotton or bamboo fabric are good options here as well.
If you choose not to change to a lower tog sleep sack, you can minus a layer on the bottom instead. Forgoing the pajama pants and or choosing a pant less style onsie.
3. Changing up the bedding for these hotter months is ideal. If your child is old enough for a blanket in the crib or their bed, changing to a lighter fabric is recommended. Even if a blanket is on the thinner side- if it is polyester it does nothing to regulate your body temperature while you sleep. Synthetic materials don't breathe, and thus, will always leave you feeling too hot, or too cold. Linen blend comforters or blankets are great for keeping a cooler temp while staying comfortable. Some companies make ‘cooling’ blankets that are great for hot sleepers. But keeping to natural fabrics (bonus for organic) will help just fine. Most children will often kick off the blankets off naturally at night if too warm so a long sleeve light weight pajama might be appropriate.
I often talk about how it is worth the investment for higher quality sleepwear and bedding because your baby spends up to 75% of their life with these fabrics pressed firmly to their skin. A toddler getting their full12 hours a night means they are spending half their life closely surrounded by these materials. Choosing conscious minded brands doesn't just serve your family once, but benefits our sleep and overall health for years to come.