Babies wake for a number of basic reasons - they're hungry, they're transitioning from one sleep cycle to another, or they're uncomfortable. So, barring the first two reasons, babies wake more in winter because they get cold, particularly if they've been sweaty from being bundled up, and we're here to help you put a stop to that!
We've worked with a number of sleep trainers who have gentle approaches that we agree with and have a high success rate of helping babies sleep better and longer, and asked about how to dress babies for sleep at night during the winter. No matter what country you're in, the same principles and temperature guidelines hold.
Why is a baby sleep sack made of quality, natural materials important for good sleep?
Getting a baby to sleep soundly is hard enough in itself, but it’s particularly challenging in the winter when baby can easily get too cold or too hot
Babies wake when they’re hungry or uncomfortable, and particularly in the first few months outside of your womb, it’s hard for them to self-regulate their body temperature. When I left the hospital with my newborn my midwife advised me to put on the baby as many layers as I am wearing myself, then add one more layer. Sounds easy enough, but I would feel their little hands and feet and worry that they’re cold and then add another layer, just in case!
We chose only brands who use natural fibers in our sleep sacks and swaddles at Petit Tippi because natural materials are more breathable, meaning that even if you have overdone it with the layers, they are less likely to overheat. We love ErgoPouch and Malabar Baby's sleep sacks, swaddles and bedding for their commitment to using natural fibres throughout their products
What is the problem with overheating?
Besides the impact on their little body in trying to regulate their body temperature, it causes them to sweat and when they sweat they can easily get cold, particularly when temperatures drop in the early hours of the morning, and then they will wake because they’re uncomfortable.
From our personal experience with sleep trainers who use gentle (no tears!) sleep training methods, we have learned that keeping them sufficiently warm is key to helping them sleep longer stretches. For those of us who use air conditioning while sleeping, our sleep trainer recommends using a 2.5tog sleeping bag and then layering appropriately underneath. The sleep sack will keep them sufficiently insulated without letting them overheat. The problem with mass market sleep sacks is that the materials used for filling contain synthetic materials to help with heating without adding extra bulk or weight, and oftentimes the material used for the inner and outer layers also contain micro plastics in it and these all contribute to sweating and uncomfortable sleep. A completely natural material sleeping bag or swaddle is often more expensive, heavier and doesn’t dry as easily, but your baby’s comfort and your sleep is well worth every extra penny! We’ve had so many customers who tell us what difference it has made to their sleep when they switched their baby to one of our selection of sleep sacks, for babies and even for toddlers who don’t like to use blankets (or can’t them on from doing somersaults in bed while asleep!)