Baby sleeping bags are a wonderful solution to keep your baby warm when sleeping. They become particularly helpful once your baby starts moving around (from about 4 months old), and might start kicking sheets and blankets off with their feet.
But how do you choose the right sleeping bag? What’s the best one for summer or for winter? Plus, they come in a variety of different TOGs: how do you know which one is the most appropriate for your situation?
Here’s a sleeping Bags TOG guide to help you choose a baby sleeping bag.
- Best Sleeping Bags for Summer
- Best Sleeping Bags for Winter
- 4 Month Sleep Regression: why it’s the most important one to get right
- 6 Month Sleep Regression: Tips on How to Tackle it Fast
What is the TOG?
TOG literally means Thermal Overall Grade. It is a measure of thermal resistance. Basically, the higher the TOG rating, the warmer the product.
Baby sleeping bags are usually rated between 0.5 tog (lightweight) and 3.5 tog (heavyweight). If the room is cold, you will need more layers of clothes and a heavier sleeping bag. If the room is warm, you will need less clothes and a lighter sleeping bag.
TOG Rating vs Fabric Material
The TOG rating does not reflect the thickness of the sleeping bag! In fact, the thickness of the fabric can often be misleading in telling us how warm a product is. The type of fabric is much more important.
For example, winter sleeping bags often have a polyester or other type fill that traps the heat in and keeps the baby warm. This usually increases the thickness of the sleeping bag. However, there are also other fabrics like merino that work very well at keeping baby warm without the need for any extra fill.
Why is the TOG Rating Important?
Taking into consideration the TOG rating when wanting to buy a baby sleeping bag is extremely important. And that is because babies cannot regulate their own temperature very well and it’s very easier for them to get too hot or too cold.
If a baby’s temperature is too cold, they become lethargic and less responsive. If they’re too hot, they become irritable, restless, and in severe cases, susceptible to fever or heat stroke.
A sleeping bag with the right TOG rating will help with that and keep them comfortable.
How do I choose the Right TOG for my Baby’s Sleeping Bag?
Choosing the right TOG for your baby’s sleeping bag really depends on the temperature of the room they are sleeping in. Below is a baby TOG guide showing you what sleeping bag and clothes to put on your baby according to the different temperature.
Note that this is a guide only! Every baby is a little bit different and has its own levels of comfort. If you are just starting out with a sleeping bag, start by following the tog chart below, and then adjust the clothing depending on your baby’s reaction.
Related: How to Dress Baby for Sleep
Baby Sleeping Bag TOG Guide
Room Temperature below 15 °C (59 °F)
- 2.5 TOG Sleeping Bag with a long-sleeve bodysuit and onesie, or long-sleeve top and pants instead of the onesie. Use socks if the onesie doesn’t cover the feet.
- 3.5 TOG Sleeping Bag with a short-sleeve bodysuit and long-sleeve onesie, or long-sleeve top and pants instead of the onesie. Use socks if the onesie doesn’t cover the feet.
Room Temperature 16-17 °C (60-63 °F)
- 2.5 TOG Sleeping Bag with a short-sleeve bodysuit and onesie, or long-sleeve top and pants instead of the onesie. Use socks if the onesie doesn’t cover the feet.
- 3.5 TOG Sleeping Bag with a onesie or long-sleeve top and pants. Use socks if the onesie doesn’t cover the feet.
Room Temperature 18-19 °C (64-66 °F)
- 1 TOG Sleeping Bag with a long-sleeve bodysuit and long-sleeve onesie, or long-sleeve top and pants instead of the onesie. Use socks if the onesie doesn’t cover the feet.
- 2.5 TOG Sleeping Bag with a long-sleeve onesie or long-sleeve top and pants. Use socks if the onesie doesn’t cover the feet.
Room Temperature 20-21 °C (67-70 °F)
- 1 TOG Sleeping Bag with a long-sleeve onesie or long-sleeve top and pants. Use socks if the onesie doesn’t cover the feet.
- 2.5 TOG Sleeping Bag with a long-sleeve or short-sleeve bodysuit.
Room Temperature 22-23 °C (71-74 °F)
- 0.5 TOG Sleeping Bag with a long-sleeve onesie or long-sleeve top and pants. Use socks if the onesie doesn’t cover the feet.
- 1 TOG Sleeping Bag with a or short-sleeve bodysuit.
Room Temperature 24-25 °C (75-77 °F)
- 0.5 TOG Sleeping Bag a short-sleeve bodysuit.
Room Temperature above 25 °C
- A short-sleeve bodysuit or just a diaper, depending on how hot it is.
How do I know my baby is not comfortable?
If your baby is not comfortable, they will let you know by waking up during the night, and it won’t be for hunger. To make sure they are waking up because they are too cold or hot, check the back of their neck (or their tummy):
- If it feels damp, then they may be too hot.
- If it feels nice and warm, then they are fine and they are waking up for other reasons.
- If it feels cold, the they may be too cold. But usually when they are too cold, they are very good at letting you know!
Don’t worry if their arms, hands or feet are a it cold: this is normal. It their bodies’ way of maintaining a regular temperature.
It is best not to have them wear a hat or hood as this can cause them to overheat. It is better for your baby to be cool rather than hot. Also, make sure clothing is made of cotton and breathable.
How do I know and regulate the temperature in the room?
If you are not sure of the temperature in your baby’s room, just use a thermometer. What I found to be very useful is having a monitor with a thermometer as well, so that I can monitor the temperature throughout the day or night. The Motorola baby video monitor is an excellent example.
But once you know the temperature, how do you regulate it and make sure that it doesn’t change too much through the night?
I live in New Zealand, where the temperature drastically drops overnight, even in summer. You could go to bed with 26 °C and wake up with 20 °C at 2 am. So it can be a real challenge to keep your baby comfortable throughout the whole night!
This is what I do to keep the temperature almost constant in the room at night:
- In winter: I use a heater with a thermostat. I set the temperature to 19 °C and the heater automatically turns off if the temperature goes above that. I use a De’Longhi one, but there’s other brands that you can look into.
- In summer: I use a thermostat plug to plug the fan into the wall. I set the temperature to 24 °C, so that when the temperature in the room goes below that, the plug automatically cuts the electricity to the fan and it turns off.
Merino Sleeping Bags
Another great solution is using a Merino Sleeping Bag. Unlike brands of sleeping bags that come in multiple TOG ratings, Merino Sleeping Bags can be used year-round. Merino is a material with a unique ability to regulate body temperature: it helps keep your baby warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot.
They still come in 2-3 different weights, but each weight covers a big temperature range. The Merino Kids Standard Weight Sleeping bag covers all temperatures from 18 °C up! I have personally used a Merino Kids sleeping bag with both my daughters and couldn’t be happier.
Baby Sleeping Bags TOG Guide: Final Thoughts
Here it is mama, my sleeping bag TOG guide. I really hope the information and tog rating chart above will help you choose the right sleeping bag for your baby, no matter the season.
If you live somewhere where the temperature overnight doesn’t change drastically, or if you use fans or heaters to keep baby’s room temperature quite constant, then it’s going to be much easier to find the right sleeping bag with the correct TOG. If not, the task becomes a bit more challenging, so really pay close attention to your baby and make sure they are not displaying signs of being too hot or too cold.
If your baby’s room temperature varies a lot throughout the night, I really recommend you look into merino sleeping bags. They are a bit more expensive, but they last you through all seasons and most manufacturers have sleeping bags that go from 0-2 years. So it’s a good investment!
For more information on baby sleeping at night, you can read these related posts:
- 8 Best Baby Sleeping Bags for Winter (2.5 & 3.5 TOG)
- 10 Best Baby Sleeping Bags for Summer (0.5 & 1 TOG)
- How to dress Baby for Sleep
- Baby Waking Up Multiple Times a Night: here’s what you need to know
- 4 Month Sleep Regression (why it is the most important one to get right!)
Are you a mom looking at buying a sleeping bag for your baby and have more questions that haven’t been answered above? Then please let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!
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