What Should a Newborn Wear to Sleep?

When you first bring baby home, he or she will sleep most of the time. According to experts on newborn sleep, infants need a whopping 16-17 hours of rest every 24 hours! To encourage your little one’s comfort and tranquility, they will need plenty of snuggles, blankets and comfy pajamas for the first few months of their life. 

Knowing how to dress a newborn for both day and night will make baby happier and healthier. It will also make diaper changes and feedings easier for mom and dad! Instead of searching the Internet or getting lost among posts on social media, explore our guide to the essential clothing items for overnight sleep sessions and baby naptime. Once you read it over, bookmark it so you can have it with you when you shop. No matter the season or where you live, you’ll be confident you’re dressing baby for comfort, style and safety.  

Dressing Your Newborn for Cold Weather Sleep 

What should a newborn wear to sleep in cooler weather? Pediatricians say that to help regulate baby’s body temperature, you need clothing that keeps baby’s arms, legs and feet covered. We think footed pajamas are an excellent choice for infants this age because of their convenient snaps and zippers. These popular garments allow you to change diapers overnight with only one hand and then quickly swap them out for fresh ones in the morning. Since your little one will be spending most of their time indoors, footed sleepers also make simple yet cute outfits for daytime play, feedings and naps. 

When looking for baby boy footed pajamas, get inspired by bold hues, blue shades and neutral colors. Many baby boy sleepwear items also come with fun graphics like tigers, bears and planets, as well as patterned stripes and stars. Baby girl pajamas are available in everything from cute pink polka dots to vibrant animal prints. No matter which style you like, consider choosing cotton PJs for early autumn and milder winter nights. Fleece is a cozier option when the temperature drops. Just be sure to select a lighter pajama fabric when you’re layering so baby doesn’t get too hot. 

baby laying on white blanket in green outfit, smiling

Bedtime Clothing for Warm Weather Babies 

If you live in a warm climate or have your baby in the spring or summer, you may want to choose pajamas snug enough to lull a newborn to sleep but lightweight enough to keep them cool. Try layering a cotton or muslin swaddle blanket on top of a short-sleeved cotton bodysuit. If your little one doesn’t like to swaddle (and you have air conditioning), a cotton footed pajama will make them feel safe and secure. 

If your newborn is wearing lightweight clothing but is still too hot, inspect the bedding in your child’s bassinet or crib. Consider swapping out thick sheets for a lighter 100 percent cotton fitted crib sheet. If you choose quality baby boy and baby girl bedding, the material will still be feather-soft. Cotton sheets come in nearly any pattern, so you’re sure to find one to match your child’s unique nursery style.  

baby laying on blue blanket in blue and white oufit

Creating the Best Sleep Experience for Your Newborn 

Cozy pajamas can set the tone for a restful sleep. In addition to dressing your child for the temperature inside your home and choosing comfy, high-quality bedding, there are other tools that can make naptime and bedtime easy. A sound machine with white noise or nature sounds helps drown out noise outside the nursery. You can also buy special soother sound machines that come equipped with glowing lights and lullaby tunes. 

Remember: Leave extra items out of the bassinet or crib. Blankets, stuffed animals and bumper pads are all risky to put in a newborn’s bed because they increase the risk of SIDS. If your child needs a blanket at night, try a swaddle blanket or wearable blanket instead. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to consult with your pediatrician—or trust your parental instinct! No question is silly when it comes to the first few months of your child’s life. Plus, every baby is different. What works for one family may not be the best choice for another. This is why getting to know your little one is so important. Experiment with your options, pay attention to your baby’s cues and cries and don’t be afraid to try something new. Discovering the best sleep experience is a huge stepping stone in understanding your family’s personality and your newborn’s unique preferences.