Dressing Your Baby For Sleep – Understanding TOG Rating

tog rating
Alex Warrack

Alex Warrack

As a parent, I was and still am always worried about my daughter’s temperature when she is sleeping. 

Keeping our little ones cool and comfortable can sometimes be hard to do, especially in the hotter months of the year. And the reverse is how to keep our babies warm enough in the winter months, without overheating.

Thankfully, the textiles industry developed a rating system for the warmth of textiles and these ratings are now used to help us to determine how to dress our babies for sleep. This rating system is called TOG.

If you are anything like me when I first heard this word, you may be asking yourself…

What is TOG?

TOG (Thermal Overall Grade) is a standardized unit of measurement that calculates the thermal insulation or warmth of a textile. Another way to think about it is, TOG determines the weight of a garment. 

Why Is TOG Important?

After our little one transitions out of the swaddle, we normally recommend transitioning into a sleep sack.

Sleep sacks are given a TOG rating, which helps parents to determine the right sleep sack based on their specific circumstances.

This is especially important to know with our newborns because they are unable to regulate their body temperatures. 

A sleep sack for winter will have a higher TOG rating, while a sleep sack for the summer will have a lower TOG rating. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Overheating a baby can be a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It’s important to be mindful of the TOG rating for the sleep sack you are using, to not overdress your baby at sleep times, and monitor your baby’s room temperature.  

Tog Rating Chart

TOG RatingNursery TemperatureSleep Sack Weight
0.5 TOG74-78 F 23-26 CCotton Muslin
1.0 TOG69-73 F 21-23 CCotton
2.5 TOG61-68 F 16-20 CHeavier, winter sleep sack

Keep in mind

To determine the TOG rating for your sleep sack you need to know the temperature of your baby’s nursery. Most video monitors will display this or you can get a thermometer reader for your baby’s room. 

The ideal temperature for a baby’s room to sleep in is between 68-72F (20-22C).

0.5 TOG Rating

A 0.5 TOG sleep sack is lightweight and made of breathable fabric (like cotton muslin). This weight sleep sack is suited for warmer nurseries where there may not be A/C.

For a sleep sack with a 0.5 TOG rating, you would be dressing your baby in a short sleeve onesie or for warmer rooms, perhaps just a diaper. Our favorite 0.5 TOG sleep sack is the Bitta Kidda.

1.0  TOG Rating

A 1.0 TOG sleep sack is normally made of cotton. This sleep sack rating is best for use in homes that are able to control the temperature, with either heat or air conditioning, to keep the nursery in between 68-72 F, the ideal temperature for sleep. This is the middle of the road for TOG ratings. The sleep sack is usually of cotton material.

For a sleep sack with a 1.0 TOG rating, your baby will typically be comfortable wearing a one-piece sleeper with feet and/or long pajama sleeves and bottoms. This is the ideal rating if you can keep your baby’s nursery between 68-72F all year round.  Our favorite 1.0 TOG sleep sack is the Kyte Baby.

2.5 TOG Rating

A 2.5 TOG rating is for sleep sacks that have double layers and retain a high amount of body heat.  A 2.5 TOG sleep sack is best for:

  • A house where parents prefer a cooler temperature
  • Houses or rooms that don’t have sufficient heating
  • Babies that have a harder time keeping themselves warm or the home much heating.

For example, we use 2.5 TOG sleep sack for Addie when we go to our lake house in October. The temperature can fall below 68-72 F because the only source of heating is a wood-burning furnace.

For a sleep sack with a 2.5 TOG rating, your baby will typically be comfortable wearing a one-piece footed sleeper with feet and/or long pajama sleeves and bottoms with socks. You may find your baby may also need a short or long sleeve onesie underneath their pajamas. Our favorite 2.5 TOG sleep sack is the Kyte Baby.

Determining The Right Layers For Your Baby

TOG ratings and suggested clothing for babies at sleep times are just general guidelines, based on the average child. Keep in mind, every person feels temperatures differently.

For instance, I need to have a sweater, jacket, mitts, and a scarf on when it is 60F out. On the other hand, my husband only needs to wear a sweater. 

If your baby runs on the warmer side, they may sleep best with a cooler temperature or a lighter sleep sack or lighter pajamas.

If your baby runs on the cooler side, your baby may do best with a warmer temperature or a warmer sleep sack or pajamas.

Most importantly, watch and assess your baby to see how they react to different temperatures, TOG ratings and pajama combinations. The right combination will help your baby with developing healthy sleep habits.

If you need help figuring out how to dress your little one for sleep or to improve sleep overall, please reach out! One of our certified child sleep consultants would love to help you figure it out!

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