How to Dress Baby for Sleep in Summer
Maybe you’re the type of family that likes to sleep with all the windows open, letting a balmy summer breeze flow through your home at night. Or perhaps you’re the type of family that sets the air conditioner on full-blast and bundles under covers even on the hottest nights.
There isn’t one right way to sleep in the summer months.
While a large part of how to dress baby for sleep in summer depends on different temperatures, there are several general guidelines and rules to know, as well as tips that will make getting baby to sleep (and keeping her that way) a lot easier. So, read on if you’re trying to figure out how to dress your baby to get the best summer night’s sleep for her…and for you, too.
Summer Sleeping Choices
Before purchasing hot-weather sleeping clothes for your little cutie, it would be beneficial to think about her night environment. Some of the questions that you should consider before shopping for baby girl pajamas are:
- Do you use air conditioning? If so, what cooler temperature do you set at night?
- If you don’t use air conditioning, do you leave the windows open at night?
- Do you cool the room with a ceiling or floor fan?
- Is your baby’s room uncooled?
- What are typical night temperatures like where you live?
Once you’ve got a pretty good grasp of the different temperatures at night that your baby will encounter in the summer, you can better understand how to dress baby on summer nights and start shopping for the best summer baby essentials.
Sleeping in An Air Conditioned Room
If your baby sleeps in an air-conditioned room, you have maximum control over the ambient temperature and, thus, maximum choices in the sleepwear department for your baby. Some of the most common ways to dress a baby in summer are:
- Diaper alone
- Swaddle over diaper or onesie
- Sleep sack over diaper or onesie
- Top and bottom pajamas
- Hat and mittens
Depending on how low you set the thermostat, you might choose to combine some of these possible sleepwear options as follows:
- Below 68℉ – This is considered a cooler temperature. Maintaining an indoor temperature below 68℉ means you need to make sure your baby stays warm enough all night. A newborn baby especially struggles to thermoregulate their bodies. This means it’s your job to make sure your little one stays at a normal body temperature until she reaches about 18 months and can easily thermoregulate herself. There’s nothing wrong with choosing to let your sweet pea sleep in a cool to cold room, as long as you keep her comfortably bundled. Opt for some or all of the following:
- A sleep sac over a onesie or long fitted and footed pajamas
- A warm swaddling blanket
- Between 68℉ and 75℉ – Many experts consider this range to be the ideal room temperature for a baby. In this range, your baby won’t struggle to retain heat or maintain her normal body temperature. Nonetheless, you do need to monitor her for overheating or a chill. A good rule is that if you feel uncomfortable, your baby probably does, too. Try putting her to bed in:
- A cotton or light fleece sleep sac over a long sleeve onesie
- Footed pajamas
- Fitted two-piece pajama set with socks
- Warm swaddle over a onesie or footed pajamas
- Above 75℉ – If you keep your baby’s room above 75℉, you’ll need to dress her lightly and watch for signs of overheating in the night. You’ll also need to learn how to keep baby cool in hot weather and temperatures. Some excellent pajama choices that will keep your baby cool when the room is this warm are:
- Diaper alone or with a cover
- Diaper with a light, breathable cotton or muslin swaddle
- Breathable onesie
Sleeping in A Fan-Cooled Room
You don't need air conditioning to create a cool haven for your baby in the summer. By utilizing fans—either ceiling or floor—you can create an ideal sleeping environment. The trick with fans is to make sure your baby isn’t in the direct line of circulating air (this applies to the drafts from an air conditioner or open window as well).
As in air-conditioned rooms, the pajamas your baby wears in fan-cooled rooms will depend on the temperature range. For a cooler room try:
- A wearable sleep sack over a onesie
- Light cotton footed pajamas
- Fitted two-piece pajamas
For a warmer room try:
- Diaper and light muslin swaddle
- Breathable sleep sac over a diaper
- Short sleeve onesie
One notable difference between air-conditioned rooms and fan-cooled rooms is that air conditioning will maintain a steady temperature all night while a fan might not. It’s important that you monitor the room periodically throughout the night to make sure it isn’t getting too cold or too warm. Luckily, your hungry little peanut will likely wake you plenty for that job.
Sleeping Without Cooling The Room
In certain climates, it’s entirely possible to sleep with only an open window to cool the room (hello, California). In others (say, Florida, for instance), summer months necessitate more intense cooling. But even if you’re able to keep your baby’s room in the ideal range between 68℉ and 75℉ without a fan or air-conditioning, it’s nonetheless important to:
- Circulate Air – Keeping the air moving in your baby’s room at night is vitally important. Research has shown a correlation between warm, uncirculated air and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Even just purchasing a small portable fan and positioning it in such a way that it circulates the air (without blowing directly on your baby) can help reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Check Periodically – While you may be able to snuggle into your comforter if the temperature drops or a wind rises during the night, it’s safest to put your baby to sleep without a blanket , so she doesn’t have that luxury. Instead, be mindful to check on her throughout the night, even if she’s sleeping. Similarly, if the temperature rises in her room, you’ll want to cool her down since overheating has been linked to SIDS.
- Dress Baby Correctly – Nobody wants to do a fashion show at 2 am, but if you don’t have the power to keep your baby’s room at an ideal temperature, you’ll need to adjust her sleeping gear according to the temperature changes throughout the night. Having items that are easy to layer, while still secure, will help. Consider layering and then removing the following pieces if the room grows warm:
- A baby girl onesie
- Kimono top
- Sleep sack
- Warm swaddle
- Be Aware of Signs of Overheating – Know the signs that might indicate that your baby is overheating, such as:
- Skin that feels hot to the touch and is red or flushed
- Abundant sweating (although some babies don’t sweat at all)
- Vomiting, fussiness, or restlessness, even after eating
- Lethargy or sluggishness when she should normally be awake
- Elevated heart rate (normal resting heart rate is between 70 and 150 bpm)
What To Do if Your Baby Shows Signs of Overheating
Whether you use air-conditioning, a fan, or nothing at all to cool your baby’s room, you should be able to respond quickly with the following steps if you think your baby is overheated:
- Check Baby’s Temperature – Locating and properly using a functional, accurate thermometer (even in the middle of the night) is an essential parenting skill. Your baby’s ideal temperature should be below 100.4℉.
- Reduce Layers – Strip your baby down to just a diaper if it seems like she’s overheated.
- Move Baby – If your baby’s room is causing her to overheat, she should be moved to a cooler room.
- Bathe – Give your baby a lukewarm bath or a cool wipe down with a washcloth to help lower her body temperature.
- Hydrate – An extra serving of formula or breastfeeding should help keep the baby hydrated during the night.
Other Tips for Good Summertime Sleep
Aside from keeping your baby comfortable, she’ll sleep better if her little body stays in a normal temperature range. And good sleep for your baby means good sleep for you, too. It’s a win-win.
To make the most of your summer nights, here are a few tips:
- Form good sleep habits early, such as winding down with a book or bath
- Watch for signs of sleepiness and respond immediately with a bedtime routine
- Use room-darkening curtains, especially when the days are long and bright
- Use a secure crib with a breathable, tight cotton sheet
- Never place pillows, loose blankets, or bumpers in your baby’s crib
- Keep nighttime diaper changes and feedings calm, quiet, and low-lit
- If your baby seems warm in the night, reduce her layers and give her a little cool sponge bath
Sleep Tight with RuffleButts
Whether your baby’s bedroom is cool and air-conditioned or balmy and breezy, you can help her get good summertime sleep by dressing her appropriately.
At RuffleButts, we’re passionate about creating the best quality sleepwear on the market. From our adorable ruffled baby girl onesies to our darling printed footed baby girl pajamas, RuffleButts are always silky soft, and constructed with high-quality details, like tagless labels, 2-way zippers, mitts on 0-3 month pajamas, and elasticized ankles.
Take a look at our selection of baby girl sleepwear and see why our customers rave about RuffleButts for all seasons of sleep!
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Warmth and Temperature Regulation. https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/warmth-and-temperature-regulation#:~:text=Even%20full%2Dterm%20and%20healthy,can%20increase%20by%2010%20percent.
WebMD. What’s the Right Room Temperature for a Baby? https://www.webmd.com/baby/what-is-the-right-room-temperature-for-a-baby
Nationwide Childrens Hospital. Sleeptime: Increase Air Circulation to Lower SIDS Risk. https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/family-resources-library/sleeptime-increase-air-circulation-to-lower-sids-risk
Epidemiology. Ambient Temperature and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in the United States. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5552234/
8 Summer Baby Essentials
From oh-so-sweet strawberries and colorful wildflowers to blue skies and cookouts, there are an abundance of signs that it’s time to celebrate the summer season.
But if you have a new baby in the house, summertime creates a balancing act between keeping your little darling cool and cute yet protected from the sun and heat. With that in mind, we’ve put together a solstice-inspired guide to help you decide on baby must haves for summer.
Whether you call it a baby girl bodysuit or romper, there’s one thing that’s for certain: it’s a summer must-have. Despite the lack of consensus regarding its name, nearly all of us can agree that it checks several essential summer boxes.
Here’s what we mean when we say “bodysuit” and why it’s essential for warm-weather months:
- Snaps between legs
- Ends at the top of the thighs
- Plain or patterned
These versatile items can be used as an entire outfit when the summer temperature soars or even as a base layer in cooler weather. When it comes to how to dress a baby for sleep in summer, bodysuits are also the perfect option for pajamas on hot nights and can be used with or without a light sleep sack or swaddle. Tiny as they are, bodysuits also make for a handy backup outfit to keep in your diaper bag for a quick change if your baby gets sweaty or messy.
For a hot summer day, you’ll want to look for bodysuits that are lightweight, breathable, and made of a natural material like cotton or bamboo.
Sometimes confused with onesies, baby girl rompers are another all-in-one style that makes dressing your baby as easy as cherry pie for summer. However, unlike bodysuits, rompers tend to be:
- Short-sleeved, flutter-sleeved, or strappy at the shoulder
- Looser and slightly longer on the thighs
- Detailed with bows, ruffles, and fine details
If you are wondering how to dress baby in summer, rompers are an ideal choice for an outing to the park, backyard barbecue, or playdate. But if you do take your sweet little bee outdoors in a romper, make sure to keep their sensitive skin protected from the sun at all times, especially midday. It only takes a few minutes for a baby to develop a painful sunburn which is why it is important to learn about what UPF clothing is and why it’s essential.
Because sunscreen isn’t generally recommended for infants under 6 months old, keeping your baby out of the sun entirely is the best way to protect their skin. Some layering garments that work well over a romper are:
- Cotton cardigan
- Muslin wrap
- Long-sleeve kimono tops
#3 Shorts or Diaper Cover
If you want a look that’s cool yet complete for your baby, simply pulling toddler girl shorts over a bodysuit will have them looking pulled-together and staying comfortable while you run errands, visit friends, or play at home. Alternatively, a diaper cover can be an easy way to keep their legs cool while looking decidedly darling.
#4 Cotton or Muslin Blanket
If your baby is very young (11 weeks or less) when the summer temperatures start to climb, you’ll need to be vigilant about keeping them both cool and warm enough. Because newborns can’t self-regulate their body temperature and tend to lose body heat quickly, being able to layer them with a blanket is key to keeping them warm—especially when transitioning from the balmy outdoors to the icy, air-conditioned indoors. Additionally, when paired with a hat or umbrella, a blanket is an excellent choice for sun protection when venturing outdoors with your newborn.
But the wide range of baby blanket materials available might seem a bit daunting. A few of the top choices for a handy and durable summer blanket are:
- Cotton – Always an excellent choice for baby blankets or clothes, cotton is natural, soft, washable, and comes in an endless variety of thicknesses and weaves. A newborn’s skin is only a fraction as durable as adult skin, so choosing a cotton blanket that is downy-to-the-touch is essential.
- Bamboo – Soft, hypoallergenic, and sustainable, bamboo baby blankets are relative newcomers to the market. If you’re looking for a fabric that lets you feel good about your environmental impact while still keeping your baby protected and warm, look no farther than bamboo.
- Muslin – A loose-woven material with roots in India, muslin (also called gauze) technically is cotton. However, as a perfect summer-weight fabric for a baby blanket, it deserves its own category. Made using a plain weave technique—meaning one thread of warp per one thread of weft—muslin blankets can be used as a swaddle or added layer of clothing without overheating your baby.
- Flannel – A classic baby blanket material, flannel can be heavy and dense for winter or light and airy for summer. When wrapping your baby in flannel—even a summer-weight flannel—it’s important to keep a close eye on them to make sure they’re comfortable and not overheated.
Let’s be honest, baby girl sunglasses simply don’t work for all babies. If your baby fusses or seems upset by the added accessory, you might not have a sunglasses enthusiast on your hands. For others, however, baby sunglasses can be an excellent source of sun protection and one of the most helpful summer baby necessities.
If your baby does tolerate wearing sunnies, make sure they:
- Cover the entire eye from edge to edge
- Include UV-filtering lenses that won’t shatter
- Boast a durable frame material that can handle a fall—or a throw
If your baby won’t tolerate sunglasses, it’s doubly important that you keep a hat handy when outdoors in the sunshine.
Hand-and-hand with sunglasses, a baby girl sun hat is a must-have for babies on bright summer days. You might already know from your pediatrician that keeping your baby’s head covered prevents heat loss, but when temperatures are soaring, a hat is equally important when it comes to how to keep baby cool in hot weather. Not only does your little one’s head take in a lot of heat from the sun, but it’s also susceptible to sunburn. Keeping it covered and protected is essential.
Some styles of baby sun hats that you might encounter are:
- Flapped (in back or sides or both)
All of the above are terrific choices as long as you take the following important qualities into consideration:
- Coverage – No matter the style, a baby sun hat should be wide enough to cast a shade that protects your baby’s head, face, ears, neck, and even shoulder tops.
- Material – The material should be both breathable and tightly woven to prevent sunburn. If your baby is going to be swimming, consider investing in a hat that is both UV-protective and waterproof.
- Fit – The hat shouldn’t fit too snugly on their little head nor should it fall so low as to cover the baby's eyes and ears. Most baby hats are one-size-fits-all, so you may have to do a little hunting to find one that fits your little pea perfectly.
- Strap – Unlike an adult or older child, a baby won’t be able to adjust their hat for a comfortable fit throughout the day. Having a tie chin strap makes it a cinch for you to secure your baby’s hat against wind and jostling.
Summer isn’t summer without splashy good times in a pool, river, reservoir, or ocean. But purchasing beach essentials for toddlers along with adorable baby girl swimwear for your baby is only the first step in the process.
Here’s a list of questions you should ask before heading out on the high seas with your little mermaid are:
- Can I keep them protected from sunburn if they’re too young for sunscreen?
- Is the water an appropriate temperature for a baby?
- Is the water chlorinated? If not, what possible contaminants does it contain?
- What kind of swim diaper will they wear to keep the water clean?
- How will I keep them warm after a quick dip or swim?
Once you’ve thought through the possibilities, you can begin shopping for the ideal swimwear. While baby bikinis are darling, consider adding a UV-protective layer like a swim shirt or rash guard while directly exposed to the sun. Better yet, opt for a swimsuit made with UPF 50+ fabric to help keep the sun’s rays at bay.
#8 Plenty of Layers (And A Stocked Diaper Bag)
Summer can sometimes mean steamy heat—and bone-chilling air conditioning. Having a diaper bag stocked with the layers and baby products you need to keep your baby cool or warm is one of the most essential pieces of the puzzle. It doesn’t matter whether you start with a onesie, bodysuit, or romper, being able to layer your baby will be key to keeping them comfortable and carefree.
Lucky for you, we’ve already tailored a list of baby products to keep stocked in your summer diaper bag:
- Plenty of diapers, wipes, and rash cream
- Sundress or romper
- Shorts and tops
- Light sweater
- Sun hat
- Water and sunscreen for yourself
Find Your Summer Essentials at RuffleButts
We get it—planning for a baby can be a challenge, especially in times of surf, sand, and sun.
At RuffleButts, we want to help you find the best quality garments for your little ladybug. From sweet bodysuits and tiered sundresses to ruffled rompers, we’ve got your cutest summer essentials in stock.
You can count on RuffleButts to deliver not only the most adorable styles but also the highest hand-me-down worthy clothing in your baby’s summer wardrobe. Take a look at our summer collection today and start dreaming of those blue sky swimming days, star-sprinkled warm nights, and sweet strawberry picnics with your little bumblebee.
Seattle Children’s Hospital. Sunburn. https://www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/sunburn/
WebMD. What’s the Right Room Temperature for a Baby? https://www.webmd.com/baby/what-is-the-right-room-temperature-for-a-baby#:~:text=By%20around%2011%20weeks%2C%20though,temperature%20of%2097.5%20degrees%20Fahrenheit
Archives of Dermatological Research. Change in skin properties over the first 10 years of life. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5606948/
MasterClass. Fabric 101: What Is Muslin? https://www.masterclass.com/articles/fabric-101-what-is-muslin-how-to-use-and-care-for-muslin#what-is-muslin
American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Head Insulation and Heat Loss in Nakes and Clothed Newborns Using a Thermal Mannequin. https://aapm.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1118/1.1481518
Nemours KidsHealth. How to Be Safe When You’re in the Sun. https://kidshealth.org/Nemours/en/kids/summer-safety.html
4 Beach Essentials for Toddlers
Towels? Check. Umbrellas? Check. Sunscreen? Triple-check. You’ve got all the adult beach essentials ready to go. But what about your little swimmer-in-training?
Pull out the packing list—we’ve got your family beach day needs covered.
From sunshine to wet waves, your child’s wardrobe will need to brave the elements on the shore. That’s why we’ve assembled the top beach must haves for toddlers. With our kid-friendly guide, family beach day will stay fun and stress-free from sun-up to sun-down.
#1: UPF Swimwear
Of course, swimwear is one of the top beach essentials for toddlers and adults—but our UPF baby girl swimwear isn’t your average one-piece.
What SPF is to sunscreen, UPF (or Ultraviolet Protection Factor) is to clothing. If you are wondering, “What is UPF clothing,” UPF measures the percentage of sun rays that any fabric blocks. The higher the UPF, the more UV light stays off your little splasher’s skin beneath their clothes.
You might think—doesn’t all clothing block sunlight? As it turns out, average shirts have microscopic holes that still let sun exposure in. Depending on the thickness, weave, color, and fabric used in production, clothing ranges across the UPF spectrum with measurements like:
- UPF 5 – This tends to be your typical t-shirt’s rating. At UPF 5, clothing blocks just 80% of UV rays (definitely not enough for sunny beach days). The darker, thinner, and more loose the fabric, the closer it falls to UPF 5.
- UPF 30 – Blocking 97% of UV rays, UPF 30 is the minimum rating recommended for sunny outdoor activity. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation only gives its Seal of Recommendation to clothing with this rating or higher.
- UPF 50+ – At RuffleButts, we choose the strongest UPF 50+ rating for our swimwear (any higher has little added protection). UPF 50+ clothing blocks 98% of UV rays or more. Translation? Protection from sun exposure for your little one and peace of mind for you.
Why choose a UPF bathing suit when SPF is right there? For kids, sunscreen can get a little tricky.
Chemical formulas, reapplication, and partial-UV blockage all make sunscreen a less stable form of sun protection (and unsafe for babies). On the other hand, UPF swimsuits are the perfect summer baby essentials and offer sun protection that’s:
- Permanent when worn
- Time savvy (no reapplication needed)
- Broad-spectrum (blocks UVA and UVB rays)
When they’re splashing in the waves, a UPF 50+ bathing suit with our adorable toddler designs will keep them safe and stylish.
#2: Protective Hats & Headwear
Between the sunshine and the ocean breeze, your little one’s head needs some protection on the beach. Keep that noggin shaded and secure with the proper headwear.
Over a long beach vacation, these toddler beach essentials can shield your child’s face, neck, and crown. Try out some of these cute accessories for all-day protection:
- Hats – Curious about how to keep baby cool in hot weather? A wide brim, floppy sun hat will keep the sun and wind off your baby’s face. For ensured protection, try a sun hat with tie-strings. Plus, our baby girl tie hats are made with UPF 50+ fabric, blocking sun rays from hitting the top of their head.
- Headbands – Adorable and practical, headbands add that extra pop of style to any beach-going look. Avoid hair snags and headaches with stretchy designs that keep every strand in place.
- Scrunchies – For little girls and boys with flowing locks, a scrunchie keeps the knots at bay. Slip on an oh-so-soft scrunchie to protect that beautiful hair.
Protective eyewear is a beach essential for all ages. Like with skin, UV rays can actually cause immediate and long-term sun damage to the eyes. Protect those peepers with UV-blocking sunglasses fit for kids. Our baby girl sunglasses feature stylish designs for toddler-size heads.
The best part? They come with certified full-spectrum UV ray protection.
#4: Cover-ups & Sets
For the car ride up there (and for the post-swim snacks), they’ll need something besides their wet clothes to stay dry and warm. A water-friendly and absorbent cover-up is the way to go.
From robes to long sleeve shirts, there’s a cover-up to fit every small swimmer. Look for designs that are:
- Water absorbent – Unlike swimsuits, cover-ups should wick away any leftover water droplets—not repel them. Our cover-ups use soft cotton and polyester for the perfect blend of absorbency and stretch similar to that of a beach towel.
- Machine washable – After a beach trip, there’s always some sand to wash off. Make the next laundry day easy with machine-washable cover-ups.
- Stylish – Even your baby deserves to look their best on a beach vacation. Cute designs like rainbow stripes, tassels, and tunic embroidery turn the shoreline into a runway.
Breezy Beach Days with RuffleButts
You and your little swimmer deserve a carefree beach trip. It all starts with bringing the toddler beach essentials—and there’s no better place to begin packing than at Ruffle Butts.
From UPF baby girl swimsuits to sunglasses, our designs combine quality protection with adorable looks. The result? A hassle-free beach day and a picture-worthy moment. Beyond the beach necessities for toddlers, RuffleButts also has the everyday clothing essentials you need— featuring everything from rompers and tops to sweaters and jackets.
Shop RuffleButts today to build their comfiest and cutest wardrobe yet.
FDA. Should You Put Sunscreen on Infants? Not Usually. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/should-you-put-sunscreen-infants-not-usually
Hopkins Medicine. How to Protect Your Eyes from UV Damage. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/articles/how-to-protect-your-eyes-from-uv-damage
Skin Cancer Foundation. Sun Protective Clothing. https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-prevention/sun-protection/sun-protective-clothing/