What Should Baby Wear Under Swaddle?

What Should a Baby Wear Under a Swaddle?

Swaddling your child is one of your parenting superpowers. You’re able to transform a fussy, agitated baby into a content, cooing bundle of joy by wrapping them in the warm embrace of their baby swaddle blanket

This makes it easy to put them down for a nap so you can catch up on some chores around the house or get some much-needed sleep yourself. Enjoy it while it lasts - because you won’t be able to swaddle them for long! 

But to reap all the benefits swaddling has to offer, it’s important that you have a good grasp on not just how to wrap them up in a swaddle - but other best practices, like what clothing they should be dressed in. So - what should a baby wear under a swaddle?

We’re glad you asked. Today, we’re going to talk all about the importance of proper attire underneath the swaddle. You’ll learn how to tell whether your child needs some extra warmth or if you need to remove a few layers. And, we’ll empower you to parent your best with additional tips on swaddling. First things first - do they really need to wear anything under their swaddle blanket?

Do Babies Need to Wear Anything Under Swaddles?

This is an interesting question - as you’ll find parents who fall on both sides of the fence. Some wouldn’t dare wrap their babies in a swaddle without dressing them in their pjs first. Others say what’s the point of dressing them just to wrap them up in the warm embrace of a swaddle? Our opinion actually lies somewhere in the middle.

You can certainly forego clothing on those hot summer nights when your child would otherwise risk overheating. But, your child may end up too cold if you don’t dress them in an extra layer or two before wrapping them up and putting them to bed. 

Some experts say that regardless of conditions, you should dress your little one prior to swaddling. We’ll let you form your own opinion alongside the help of your child’s doctor. But for now, let’s talk about the importance of choosing the proper swaddling clothes for your little one.

Why What Your Baby Wears Under Their Swaddle is so Important

You may be thinking to yourself…why can’t I just swaddle my child in whatever they happen to be wearing that day? Do I really need to undress and redress them if I plan on putting them in their swaddle? Below, we’ll break down the two major reasons proper attire is so important when swaddling newborns - starting with temperature regulation and breathability.

Temperature Regulation & Breathability

Temperature regulation & breathability are perhaps the most important factor to consider when choosing what to dress your baby in under a swaddle. Infants are not able to regulate their body temperature as effectively as adults, so it's up to you as their caregiver to make sure they’re not too hot or too cold. 

When babies get too warm, they can become irritable, fussy, and have difficulty sleeping. On the other hand, if they are too cold, they can become lethargic and have difficulty maintaining their body temperature. Neither of these is ideal - and in some cases, improper temperature regulation can be downright dangerous.

One way to ensure proper temperature regulation is to dress your baby in layers. A good rule of thumb is to dress your baby in one more layer than you would wear to be comfortable in the same room. This can include a onesie, socks or booties, and a hat if necessary. By dressing your baby in layers, you can easily adjust their clothing to accommodate changes in the room temperature. 

Breathability is another important factor to consider when choosing what your baby wears under their swaddle. When babies get too warm, they can become sweaty, which can cause skin irritation and discomfort. To prevent this, it's important to choose clothing that is breathable and allows air to circulate. 

Overall Comfort and Contentment

Finally, overall comfort and contentment are important factors to consider when choosing what your baby wears under their swaddle. Babies are sensitive to texture and may become fussy if their clothing is uncomfortable or too tight. Choosing clothing that is soft and stretchy can help ensure your baby feels comfortable and happy.

So, What Should a Baby Wear Under a Swaddle?

So, what should a baby wear under a swaddle? As you can imagine, the answer is not one size fits all - it depends on the specific swaddle you’re using and the temperature in the room. So below, we’ll help you figure out what makes the most sense for your child.

Consider the Temperature to Determine How Many Layers They Need

One of the most important factors to consider when dressing a swaddled baby is the temperature of the room. You want to make sure your baby is not too hot or too cold, so it's important to choose the right number of layers. This is obviously easier said than done as they’re unable to communicate with you using words - so you’ll have to watch for signs of discomfort. More on that later.

A good rule of thumb is to dress your baby in one more layer than you would wear in the same room. For example, if you're comfortable in a t-shirt and pants, you might dress your baby in a knotted baby gown, a knotted baby hat, and their swaddle.

You can take this a step further and get really scientific with it, using the TOG ratings associated with your specific swaddle. TOG stands for “Thermal Overall Grade” and speaks to just how thermally insulated a given material or product is. Not all brands display this but if your does, you can coordinate the room temperature in which your baby is sleeping with the proper TOG rating:

  • Room Temperature of 75-81°F: TOG Rating of 0.2
  • Room Temperature of 68-75°F: TOG Rating of 1.0
  • Room Temperature of 61-68°F: TOG Rating of 2.5
  • Room Temperature of less than 61°F: TOG Rating of 3.5

Now that you have a better understanding of what specific types of clothing and how many layers your little one needs, it’s time to choose soft, breathable materials.

Choose Soft, Breathable Materials

When choosing what to dress your swaddled baby in, it's important to choose soft, breathable materials that won't irritate their delicate skin. If the material is itchy, scratchy, or lacks breathability, it doesn’t really matter how many layers your child is in - they’ll be miserable.

Cotton is a great choice for baby clothes, as it is soft, comfortable, and easy to wash. Other breathable materials to consider include bamboo and linen. Avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester, as they can trap heat and moisture and make your baby uncomfortable.

At Caden Lane, we have a wide range of newborn accessories to choose from - including a full collection of custom baby clothes, footed zipper pajamas, newborn bodysuits, and more. You can find boys' and girls' styles and even gender-neutral baby clothes - we’ve truly got something for every child. Now, let’s get back to the conversation at hand. 

Watch for Signs Your Child is Too Cold or Hot and Adjust if Needed

Eventually, you’ll come to be so familiar with what makes your baby most comfortable that you will get it right every time. At first, though, there may be a bit of trial and error as you find the sweet spot where your baby is not too cold, and not too hot. Even if you dress your swaddled baby appropriately for the room temperature, they may still become too cold or too warm. 

Watch for signs that your baby is uncomfortable, such as sweating, shivering, or red cheeks. If your baby is too warm, remove a layer of clothing or loosen the swaddle. If your baby is too cold, add a layer of clothing or adjust the swaddle to make it tighter.

Additional Tips for Keeping Your Little One Comfy & Cozy in Their Swaddle

Hopefully, we answered your question - what should a baby wear under a swaddle. Caring for a new life can be stressful, especially for your firstborn. But we’re here to help make it a bit easier and take some of that weight off your shoulders. Before we bring this conversation to a close, we want to provide a few more tips for keeping your baby comfy and cozy in their swaddle.

First things first - perfect your technique. Our complete guide on how to swaddle a baby is a great resource that walks you through the process. You can also learn how long to swaddle a baby for in our blog.

But beyond becoming an expert swaddler, you should empower yourself with the best swaddles for newborn babies. And for those, you can look no further than Caden Lane! You can get a basic bamboo swaddle blanket or create something really special for your little one through our selection of personalized swaddle blankets

All our swaddles are carefully crafted from the lushest, soft, and skin-safe fabric possible. You’ll love it, and so will your baby - you can count on it!

Final Thoughts on What Baby Should Wear Under a Swaddle

So, what should a baby wear under a swaddle? As you now know, it’s entirely dependent on the temperature of the room, the thermal insulation of their specific swaddle blanket, and at a certain point, their own personal preferences. 

In general, though, you want to dress your baby in one more layer than you’d be comfortable in yourself. And, you should choose soft, breathable, skin-safe materials not just for the swaddle blanket you use - but all their clothing. They deserve the best - and you can get it at Caden Lane. That includes their soft baby crib sheets, baby blankets, baby’s coming home outfit, changing pad covers, and everything else in their nursery for that matter!

Now that you know what your baby should wear under their swaddle, go get them dressed and put them down for a nap so you can get some much-needed you time!

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