Swaddling your baby – a Guide to the Seasons

With the change in seasons sometimes it’s hard to gauge how many layers to include in your baby’s cot. Swaddling your baby in transitional seasons like Spring and Autumn can be confusing and leave mothers worrying that their baby is too warm or too cold.

Along with this, babies grow out of being swaddled so it’s important to help them transition out of the swaddling stage. Here we’ll explain how to adapt swaddling to the seasons.

Swaddling is a useful technique for helping calm your baby, keeping them warm and stopping them from waking themselves up with their startle reflex. It’s important to know how to swaddle correctly, you can find more information in this article on Safe Swaddling .

When cooler weather arrives and you are not sure how many layers to dress your baby in, consider these tips:

  • Keep your baby’s head uncovered while they sleep. Babies regulate their body temperature by losing heat through their heads. Putting them to bed in a hat interferes with their natural ability to regulate temperature.
  • Dress your baby for sleep, as you would dress yourself.
  • Consider the temperature of the room where your baby sleeps and choose a swaddle with this in mind.
  • Feel your baby’s body temperature by touching their chest or stomach. Cold hands and feet are not an indicator of your baby’s overall body temperature as these are not the areas that you are adding layers to.
  • Consider the weight or tog rating of a baby wrap as this is a useful indicator. Tog rating is a measure of thermal resistance. A rating of 2.5 for transitional seasons is recommended (16-20C). Or consider using a swaddle or wrap whereby the manufacturer has specified what temperature zone the swaddle is suitable for. Light weight for nursery temperatures of approx. 21 – 25C or a cosy weight for nursery temperatures of approx. 16 – 20C.
  • The ideal room temperature for your baby is between 16 – 20C. If you are unable to adjust the temperature in your home to this range, dress your baby according to the room temperature. Consider using a baby sleep bag, swaddle or wrap appropriate for the temperature. For example light weight for nursery temperatures of 21 – 25C, a cosy weight for temperatures of 16 – 20C or a sleep bag that is Tog rated.

There are several products available that provide guidelines for how to dress your baby depending on the room temperature. These guidelines can help with determining how many layers your baby should have on and which weight to choose, depending on weather.

See table guide on what to wear as the seasons change

There are also products available that are designed to let you choose if you swaddle your baby with arms inside or arms out of the wrap. These are useful for transitioning your baby out of the swaddle, into a sleeping bag. You can read more about transitioning your baby out of the swaddle here.

One thing that is helpful to remember when considering if your baby is warm enough: if they are sleeping soundly, i.e. not having a restless sleep, moving around the cot a lot or waking frequently then it is likely they are warm enough.


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