A common problem when we put babies and infants to sleep is what sort of clothing to put on. In Greece the usual practice, especially in winter, is to wear full-body or sleepsuits. The logic is that so, even if it is uncovered at night, the baby will stay warm. We should, however, have some things in mind about the sleeping conditions of children (of all ages).
The first, and most important, thing is that we have to make sure that the temperature of the child’s sleeping room is constant and varies between 20-23 degrees Celsius. With this as a given, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that we do not overdress the infant for sleep. The rule is to wear a garment more than we would wear to sleep (see here in detail). This means that very thick and warm sleepsuits may not be appropriate, especially in warm climates such as Greece. Overdressing is likely to cause sweating and discomfort to the child during the night and to cause it to wake up crying, having the opposite effect than the one we were seeking.
Moreover, for the above reasons, as well as the skin health of the child, we should always check the materials the sleepsuit is made of. Synthetic materials such as fleece and fiberglass are basically unsuitable for sleeping, as they make the baby sweat and distress. In addition, through sweat synthetic chemicals can pass into the child’s skin. Sleepsuits should definitely be made of 100% cotton. The optimum is of course that they are made of organic cotton that is softer, completely clean of chemicals and impurities, thus the most suitable material for contact with sensitive infant skin. Nowadays it is easy and affordable in Greece to find organic children’s clothes for every need.
Concluding, the warmest is not always the best. Night sleep is one of the most important stages of infant development; let’s try to ensure the best possible conditions for our baby.