What Should a Baby Wear Under a Swaddle (Quick but Detailed)

baby covered a green blanket

Swaddling your little one is probably one of the best ways to mimic the safety and comfort they felt in the womb. When babies feel comfortable, there’s always less fussing and a better chance of falling asleep. To make sure your baby is swaddled correctly, you might be wondering about what your baby should wear under the swaddle?

Essentially, a swaddle is just a simple blanket that is folded around your baby to keep them warm and comfortable. It also keeps them soothed from the noises outside the womb. Knowing how to dress your baby under the swaddle will prevent them from getting too hot or cold.

Factors influencing what a baby should wear under a swaddle

When you’re deciding what your little one should be wearing under their swaddle, there are a few factors that will make the choice so much easier. The most important factors are listed below. 

1. Season

The first factor depends on the season. Cooler weather will require warmer clothes and possibly even two layers, one of which should be footed. In warmer weather, you can get away with lightweight onesies or even just a diaper. 

2. Nursery Temperature

Baby nurseries should usually have an average temperature of 65 degrees F. Anything cooler will require warmer clothes. 

3. Swaddle Fabric

Some swaddles are warmer than others. If you’ve opted for thicker, warmer materials, you will need to dress your little one in cooler clothes. Always opt for natural fibers such as cashmere, wool, silk, cotton, and linen. Read my article comparing swaddles to muslin blankets for a comparison of different options and fabrics. 

4. TOG Rating

The TOG rating is used to measure the thermal insulation of various fabrics. This rating tells you how thick the swaddle is and how much insulation it offers. Most packages have the TOG rating listed on the packaging. 

For the most part, follow this guideline:

  • TOG 0.2 – suitable for use in room temperatures of 75°F and 81°F
  • TOG 1.0 – suitable for use in room temperatures between 68°F to 75°F
  • TOG 2.5 – suitable for use in room temperatures between 61°F to 68°F
  • TOG 3.5 – suitable for use in room temperatures below 61°F

What do babies wear under a swaddle in the hospital?

Hospitals are temperature-controlled so it’s not necessary to dress babies in thick clothing under the swaddle. For the most part, a simple snap shirt and diaper work well. However, remember to pack a few warmer options for when you take your little one home. You might also want to read my article about how many swaddles are needed.

What your baby should wear under a swaddle in summer

Most babies are quite comfortable wearing a simple cotton onesie or even a lightweight sleep sack. If you live in very warm climates, and depending on the type of swaddle, your baby might be more comfortable in just a diaper. 

What your baby should wear under a swaddle during winter

In cooler winter months, your baby will need clothes that cover their arms and legs. Footed onesies, pajamas or even sleep sacks are popular choices for winter. Always remember the layer plus one rule if you live in cold areas. Babies that are too warm or too cold can be at risk for SIDS.

How to dress your baby under a swaddle

Dressing your baby under a swaddle depends mostly on the temperature of the room the baby is in. You can add layers of clothes under the swaddle to keep your baby warmer. For the winter months, opt for clothes with sleeves and footsies. 

Cooler months will require lightweight clothes and sometimes even just diapers. What clothes are better suited for your little one to wear under their swaddle? I’ve compiled a list to make finding the right outfit so much easier! 

Here’s a short clip to show you how to swaddle your baby to keep them comfortable! 

Types of clothes to put on your baby under a swaddle

  • Footie pajamas
  • Long-sleeved onesie
  • Short-sleeve onesie and mittens
  • Sleepsack
  • Short-sleeve vest
  • Sleep-suit

Rule of thumb

I’ve mentioned the baby clothes rule a couple of times. If you’re not entirely aware of what it is, I’ll recap. 

The general rule of thumb for dressing your baby is as follows: Always dress your baby in one more layer than you would an adult. So, if you are comfortable in one layer of clothes, dress your little one in two. 

The first layer would be a simple vest (short or long-sleeved, depending on the weather) and the second layer would be warmer footed pajamas or a lighter onesie. This will ensure your little one is always warm.

Signs your baby is too hot or cold

Wrapping your baby in a swaddle might leave you wondering if your baby is getting too hot or too cold. To keep yourself a little comfortable, it’s important to know the signs of being too warm or cool. 

Too Warm

  • The baby feels warm to the touch
  • Baby’s skin is red
  • They don’t a fewer but may be sweating
  • Baby starts vomiting for no reason
  • Baby seems dizzy or confused

Too Cold

  • Babies neck and face feels cold
  • Baby shows signs of shivering
  • Breathing seems slower
  • Skin is pale and might be turning blue around the lips

If your baby is prone to feeling cold, you might benefit from reading about whether your newborn should wear a hat.

Types/brands of swaddles and recommendations by parents, manufacturers

While there are many different types of swaddles on the market, they aren’t all the same! I’ve compiled a list of the more popular brands and what your little one should wear under them. Keep reading to see what your little one should wear under your favorite brand. Note that I’ve gone into details on HALO Swaddle versus SwaddleMe products in case you are undecided about which one of those two to go for.

Under SwaddleMe

A SwaddleMe Original Swaddle will easily keep your little one warm in a temperature-controlled room. For the most part, footie pajamas or a long-sleeve onesie will be quite sufficient.

SwaddleMe Original Swaddle – Size Small/Medium, 0-3 Months, 2-Pack (Sleepy Forest)

Under Halo swaddle

Since the Halo Sleepsack Swaddle Ideal is great for use at any temperature, babies can easily wear anything underneath it. Depending on the weather, your little one can wear only a diaper, a cotton coverall or even a long-sleeve bodysuit. 

Halo Baby Sleepsack Swaddle Wearable Blanket, 3-Way Adjustable Infant Sleepsack , TOG 1.5, Ideal Temp, Heather Grey/Aqua, Newborn, 0-3 Months, 6-12 Pounds

Under love to dream swaddle

In warmer weather, a diaper and a singlet will keep your baby comfortable. Cooler weather might require a lightweight jumpsuit and even a singlet under the Love To Dream Swaddle Up which I compared before with HALO Swaddle.

Love To Dream Swaddle UP, Gray, Small, 8-13 lbs, Dramatically Better Sleep, Allow Baby to Sleep in Their Preferred arms up Position for self-Soothing, snug fit Calms Startle Reflex

Under Ollie swaddle

Like most other swaddles, what your baby wears under their Ollie swaddle depends on the temperature. Some babies are comfortable with a simple diaper while others might require a jumpsuit as well. 

The Ollie Swaddle -- Helps to Reduce The Moro (Startle) Reflex -- Made from a Custom Designed Moisture-Wicking Material (Sky)

Under SNOO swaddle

The Happiest Baby SNOO Sleep Sack can easily be worn with or without extra clothing. I’ve found that a light onesie works well on warmer days, while long-sleeve pajamas are better for cool winter nights. For all the details I wrote a guide on what a baby should wear in a SNOO.

Happiest Baby SNOO Sleep Sack - 100% Organic Cotton Baby Swaddle Blanket - Doctor Designed Promotes Healthy Hip Development (Graphite Planets, Large)

Under Velcro swaddle

On warmer days, a simple diaper is sufficient to ensure a Velcro swaddle such as the Cuddlebug Adjustable Baby Swaddle Blanket doesn’t make your little one too hot and fussy. If your little one isn’t getting too hot, a short-sleeve onesie will be enough. 

Cuddlebug Adjustable Baby Swaddle Blanket & Wrap (Spots & Stripes), Pack of 3 (Small/Medium 0-3 Months Old)

Under muslin swaddle

Since Muslin swaddles such as the Meracorallo Muslin Swaddle Blanket are designed to envelop babies in a womb-like environment, a simple short-sleeve onesie will be sufficient. If the room is warmer than usual, or your little one seems uncomfortable, then stripping them down to a diaper will provide relief. 

Meracorallo Muslin Swaddle Blanket Silky Soft Receiving Blanket Neutral Swaddle Wrap for Baby Boys and Girls, 47 x 47 inches, Set of 4 Solid Color

Under fleece swaddle

Fleece swaddlesNewborn Hooded, such as the Newborn Hooded Swaddle Blanket are sometimes warmer than some other types of swaddles. A short-sleeve onesie is more than adequate to wear under these types of swaddles. As with other swaddles, you can resort to just a diaper if the baby becomes fussy from getting too warm. 

Newborn Hooded Swaddle Blanket - Baby Warm Rabbit Fleece Swaddle Wrap Receiving Blanket Sleeping Bag Sack for Newborn Girls Boys (Pink)

Under gro swaddle

A Grobag baby sleep bag is ideal to be used over a long-sleeve bodysuit. If your little one seems cool, you can add long-sleeved pajamas. With Gro, the layer plus one rule usually applies.

Under nested bean swaddle

Nested bean recommends dressing your baby in a Zen Footie or bodysuit. Zen Footie is designed to mimic the parent’s touch, making it very soothing. The Nested Bean Zen Swaddle will keep your baby snug and soothe them to sleep, no matter the time of day. 

Nested Bean Zen Footie PJs - Gently Weighted Footie, Baby: 6-9 Months, Cotton

Conclusion

Swaddling mimics the closeness of a mother’s womb. When your little one feels that familiar snug feeling, it’s easier for them to fuss less and fall asleep. Part of creating that comfortable feeling involves dressing them in the right type of clothing. 

This prevents them from getting too hot or cold. Be sure to consider the answers I’ve provided for your popular swaddling questions. With the right swaddling, your little one will be snug and happy!

Last update on 2022-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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