The best sleepwear for children: An age-wise guide

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The rules of sleepwear for your child change according to his age. Find out more about this important topic in this article.

Just look at your precious newborn looking so cute in those itsy bitsy two-piece pyjamas, all snuggled up and cosy in bed. But have you ever stopped to think that perhaps those pyjamas are not the most appropriate sleepwear for your little angel?

Sleepwear for your baby shouldn’t just be about looking adorable or being comfortable. Safety needs to be factored in too – and in a big way. Taking all this into account, experts recommend that children of different ages be dressed in appropriate sleepwear that ticks the two main boxes of comfort and safety (okay, it’s a bonus if they’re cute, too!).

If you’re wondering exactly what you should be dressing your little one in at bedtime, we’ve done the legwork for you and come up with this handy guide for appropriate sleepwear for children of different ages.

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Yes, this baby tucked in with her stuffed toys is adorable. But for the sake of safety, your little one should not sleep with stuffed toys, or under heavy bedding.

Newborn sleepwear (age 0-3 months)

It’s really important not to dress newborn babies in sleepwear that is too loose, too warm, rides up and over their faces, and/or has ribbons or ties. This is in order to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which newborns are most vulnerable to in the first four months of their lives.

Experts indicate that loose clothing as well as ties and ribbons could pose the risk of strangulation or suffocation while your baby is sleeping. And while you think your little one needs to be kept really cosy while he is sleeping, sleepwear that is too warm, especially in our humid climate, can also increase the risk of SIDS.

The best sleepwear for your newborn are footed “onesies” and sleep swaddles/ sacks. Remember to not have any pillows, soft toys or blankets in your newborn’s cot.

If your newborn is in a footed romper or onesie, swaddled or in a sleeping bag, the ideal temperature of his room should be between 23 – 25°C. If you like the idea of a sleeping bag or swaddle, then dressing your baby in a short onesie (underneath the sleeping bag/ swaddle) should be adequate and will ensure he doesn’t overheat.

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A correctly swaddled newborn will feel snug and secure, just like he did in your womb.

Where to buy newborn sleepwear: 

You can find a lovely range of newborn sleepwear that is practical, safe and totally cute at next.co. Check out their range here. You’ll spend approximately SG$30 for a pack of three, footed newborn sleepsuits. They offer free delivery for orders over SG$40 (otherwise, it’s SG$6 per order).

Mothercare Singapore also has a good selection of newborn sleepwear. Just drop by a store closest to you and check out their range.

If you’d rather pop your newborn in a sleeping bag or swaddle, check out the very clever Gro-snug. The two best things about it are its ergonomic design that reduces the risk of hip dysplasia in your baby, and the ease with which you can use it on your baby. Just unzip it, zip up your little one and you’re done!

The Gro-snug costs SG$49.90 and you can find it at Motherswork, Kiddy Palace and www.agapebabies.com.

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Footed onesies are still a good sleepwear choice for your infant.

Infant sleepwear (age 3-12 months)

The same newborn sleepwear rules apply to your infant as well, at least until the age of one, after which the risk of SIDS is greatly reduced.

Continue to dress your baby in comfortable, safe sleepwear, such as a footed onesie or a sleep sack. Since your little one will still probably be needing at least one diaper change in the night, a onesie with snap-buttons will make change time convenient for you.

When choosing your infant’s nightwear, it’s best to always go for clothes made out of cotton. Such clothes are soft and breathable and this helps keep your little one’s body temperature at an ideal level while he is asleep.

Another point to keep in mind is to choose sleepwear that is either flame-resistant or snug-fitting (or ideally both). This is because loose clothing is more likely to catch fire and of course, you want to eliminate that risk. Good sleepwear for both newborns and infants will almost always have a label indicating that it is fire-resistant.

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Flushed cheeks during sleep may be an indication that your baby is too warm.

Where to buy infant sleepwear

H&M has a great selection of infant sleepwear. Check out their 2-pack pyjama set for SG$29.90 — they’re available both as two piece sets or onesies. Cotton On also has really nice infant onesies (footed and short) for SG$19 each.

Toddler sleepwear (age 12-24 months)

Sleepwear rules get more relaxed as your baby grows into a toddler. Some mums still like the convenience of a onesie for bedtime, but as your child grows older, finding rompers that will fit him might be a bit challenging.

Still, stick to cotton for comfort and body temperature regulation. If your child sleeps in an air-conditioned room, then long pyjama pants and a long sleeved top will work. Otherwise, you could opt for comfortable cotton short pyjamas.

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As your baby grows into a toddler, the rules of sleepwear relax a little. Still, it’s best to go with comfortable cotton sleepwear to help with body temperature regulation while he is asleep.

Where to buy toddler sleepwear

We love the selection of toddler sleepwear at Uniqlo. Made from 100% cotton, the top and bottom attach with a side button so that your little one’s tummy stays covered even with all the wriggling around he probably does in his sleep! A pair of these pyjamas costs SG$24.90.

Cotton On and H&M also have a good range of comfy sleepwear for toddler girls and boys. The sleepwear sets at Cotton On are available as long sleeved and short sleeved options.

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As tempting as it is to cover your newborn or infant with a soft, heavy blanket, it’s not safe to do so as it may increase the risk of SIDS.

Safe sleepwear and sleep tips

  • It’s so important not to overdress your baby for bed, risking overheating. If you’re co-sleeping, remember to factor in your body heat too, and appropriately dress your little one with this in mind.
  • Learn how to “feel” your baby’s body temperature. Medical experts say that “cold hands and feet indicate the need for more warmth, while hot, sweaty skin indicates the need for less clothing and/or a cooler sleeping environment.”
  • Avoid blankets whenever you can, especially for infants under the age of one. Instead, create an appropriate sleep temperature through the wise choice of sleepwear.
  • Always lay your baby down to sleep on his back (especially if under the age of one) in order to avoid to risk of SIDS.
  • Your child’s cot should be placed in an area that is smoke-free and has good ventilation. If mosquitoes are a concern, use a mosquito net or attach a mesh screen to your window to keep them at bay.
  • If you don’t use a swaddle on your newborn, don’t forget the mittens! Your little one’s fingernails can be quite sharp and can scratch his face during sleep.

Now that you have the knowledge to appropriately dress your sweet angel for bedtime according to his age, hopefully it’s sweet dreams to all and peace of mind for you especially, mummy! Do share this information with your other mummy friends too, especially those who are first time mums.

Mums, what are your tips and tricks to get your baby to sleep fast? And how do you ensure sleep safety for your little one at home? Do share your valuable knowledge with us by leaving a comment below.