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What should a baby wear under swaddle?

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All babies are different, so it’s no wonder ‘what should a baby wear under swaddle’ is such a popular search term!  As a general rule of thumb, most babies will require at least one more layer of clothing than you at any given time. Swaddling your baby counts as adding a layer, therefore you will want to make sure that whatever they’re wearing underneath is suitable. 

Typically, for babies sleeping in a room that is regularly kept 20-22℃, a long sleeved onesie or pyjama top underneath a swaddle will suffice. If the room temperature is higher, you may want to try dressing your baby in a short sleeved onesie, or even just swaddling them in their nappy. For colder rooms, add another layer of clothing beneath the swaddle.  

Felix wearing the swaddleme bath to bed gift set hooded towel

What to consider when swaddling your baby.

Swaddling is an age-old practice used by parents, midwives, and carers alike. The art of swaddling involves wrapping babies up tightly to simulate the feel of being in the womb. This helps babies to feel safe and snug, thus helping them to relax for naps and sleep time. 

Many parents search the term ‘what should a baby wear under swaddle’ and, although the answer can be as straightforward as we’ve discussed, there are also other factors that should be taken into consideration. Before you swaddle your baby, first consider the following:

  • Time Of Year
  • Room Temperature
  • Humidity
  • TOG Rating
  • Swaddle Fabric 
  • How Your Baby Looks And Feels

Let’s take a look at each factor in turn and discover how they can affect the number of layers your baby will require beneath a swaddle. 

Time Of Year

The time of year will most certainly affect the number of layers your baby should be wearing beneath their swaddle. As the seasons change, the average room temperature in your baby’s bedroom is likely to change too. This means that as the weather gets warmer or cooler, you will need to adjust your baby’s clothing layers beneath their swaddle. 

Typically in the warmer seasons such as summer and autumn, you’ll find that not only does the room temperature rise, but so do the humidity levels. In this scenario, it’s likely that your baby will be more comfortable wearing lighter clothing. In the colder seasons, your baby will need long sleeved clothing under their swaddle in order to keep them nice and warm.

Room Temperature

You should aim to keep your baby’s room temperature as stable as possible. Ideally, your baby’s room should be around  20-22℃. It is obviously unreasonable to expect a parent to be able to completely control the temperature of the rooms in their home, but it is unlikely that the temperature will change dramatically overnight. As long as your baby is dressed appropriately for the temperature, they will be happy in their swaddle. 


When searching for ‘what should a baby wear under a swaddle’, humidity is often an overlooked factor, however it can severely alter a parent’s decision when it comes to dressing their baby. Rooms that have too much humidity in them can not only make your baby uncomfortable, but they can also pose health risks to your child by providing the perfect growing conditions for black mould.

Ideally, a baby’s room should have a humidity level of between 30% and 50%. If you notice that your baby’s room has a high humidity level, try purchasing a dehumidifier to ensure they stay comfortable during the night. 

TOG Rating

If you haven’t heard of a TOG Rating yet, you’re missing out on some vital information. TOG (Thermal Overall Grade) is the measurement used by swaddle and sleeping bag manufacturers to allow for different temperatures. Generally speaking, when looking at the TOG rating of your baby’s swaddle, the higher the number, the thicker the fabric. As the temperature in your baby’s room changes, you will need to keep an eye on the TOG rating to ensure your baby does not get too cold or overheat. 

Swaddle Fabric 

Another factor that’s not often considered when parents are wondering what should a baby wear under swaddle is the fabric or material that the swaddle is made of. It’s not just the thickness of the fabric that can impact how hot or cold your baby’s body temperature will be, but also the type of fabric used. In most cases, swaddles are made from cotton or muslin – a breathable material that’s great for warmer temperatures. When it starts to get colder, you may wish to switch to a swaddle that has fleece lining.  

How Your Baby Looks And Feels

There’s one thing that searching the internet for ‘what should a baby wear under swaddle’ can’t tell you, and that is how your baby looks and feels. Do they look hot? Are they sweating? Are they shivering? Are their lips blue? The strongest parenting tool a family has is instinct. It’s likely that with a little trial and error along the way, you’ll very quickly be able to look at your baby and figure out the best course of action. It’s always best to check a baby’s temperature by placing your hand on their chest. If your baby is at a good, comfortable temperature, their body will feel warm but not hot.

Signs Your Baby Is Too Hot

In order for your baby to have a good night’s sleep (and therefore, for you to have a good night’s sleep), you need to make sure that your baby is at a comfortable temperature. If your baby is too hot, it’s likely that you will notice them fussing and looking unsettled. Your baby may also have flushed cheeks, become sweaty, start crying, and experience a rapid heart rate. 

If you notice any of these signs, comfort your baby and try removing a layer of clothing beneath the swaddle. Make sure you have also looked at the TOG rating of your swaddle to ensure it’s the correct thickness for the room’s temperature.

Signs Your Baby Is Too Cold

If you notice that your baby’s skin looks pale or that they are cold to touch, your baby is too cold and you will need to add another layer beneath their swaddle. Other signs that your baby is too cold include fussy and restless behaviour and sneezing. 

Again, if you experience any of these symptoms, it’s vital that you address the situation by comforting your baby and providing them with more layers. Check the TOG rating of your baby’s swaddle to ensure it matches the room’s temperature. 

felix wearing the ergopouch cocoon swaddle


Swaddling your baby can be an excellent way to ensure that they’re warm and comfortable at night time. As a general rule, your baby should be dressed according to the temperature of your room. For temperatures 16 – 18 ℃, a short sleeve bodysuit or vest and sleepsuit will keep them warm. For temperatures of 18 – 20 ℃, a sleepsuit should be adequate, and for temperatures 20 – 22 ℃, a short sleeve bodysuit or vest is best. Remember that these are guidelines and all babies are different.

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