What is a TOG rating? TOG (“Thermal Overall Grade”) is a unit of measurement for warmth and insulation in clothing, especially in sleepwear. In short, the higher the TOG rating, the warmer the product. As blankets are not recommended for babies as they are a suffocation hazard for sleep, there’s an increased reliance on picking a sleep outfit that provides the optimal temperature for your baby.
I’ve seen TOG ratings on several brands of baby sleep products, including Nest Designs, a Canadian baby clothing company known for its thoughtfully-chosen materials, wide variety of hand-designed custom prints and seasonal collections, and fun collaborations (like one with Eric Carle).
Baby Sleepwear Styles
From Nest Designs, there are three stages of sleepwear: a swaddle sleep bag for the youngest ones, a transitional sleep bag, and finally, a sleep suit which I would recommend for 6 months and up (or as soon as your baby begins rolling).
We first discovered Nest Designs’ sleepwear when our baby was nine months old, comfortably rolling and just starting to army crawl. We skipped the first two stages of sleepwear, and have been in Nest Designs’ Sleep Suit style for night time sleeping since nine months.
- Swaddle Sleep Bag– A versatile wearable blanket to keep babies warm and help them sleep through the night by limiting the startle reflex. Easy to use velcro wings will keep them tightly bundled all night long.
- Sleep Bag – With sleep bags you won’t have to worry about babies kicking off their blankets in the middle of the night! Transition to stage 2 when your baby outgrows the need for swaddling.
- Sleep Suit – When your little one becomes more active, introduce a Sleep Suit, a wearable blanket with feet that allows little ones to move freely. Generally a safer option over a sleep bag once your toddler starts walking.
TOG Ratings Explained: What TOG should my baby wear?
To figure out the warmth of a sleep suit or sleep sack, look at the TOG rather than the thickness of the fabric. TOG always tells the true story of how warm a product is, where thickness may be misleading. Some fabrics may feel thicker but can come with a lower TOG rating than a thinner, but warmer, material.
Factors that influence the most appropriate TOG rating for your baby include the temperature of your child’s room, as it can vary between seasons, the clothing they wear at bedtime, and your little one’s overall temperature.
Here’s a chart from Nest Designs explaining TOG ratings:
For us, our apartment temperature is set to 21 degrees year round and we are very happy with having our baby wear a 0.6 TOG sleep suit . It has the thickeness and feel of a few muslin blankets, lightweight but offering a comfortable, insulated, and breathable barrier. Also, we co-sleep with our baby, so we find that the body heat of two parents helps keep him warmer than if he was alone in his crib. Should he be in his crib alone every night, we’d probably lean towards a 1.0 TOG sleep suit instead. For us personally, we never layer with other apparel – just bare skin and a diaper!
For 0.25 and 0.5 TOG options, these are definitely meant for summer weather or heatwaves. I remember the summer our baby was born, our city was going through a heatwave and we stripped him down to his diaper to sleep. It would have been nice to have a thin layer of lightweight protection over his delicate skin, even in the heat!
For the 2.5 or 3.5 TOG ratings, I can’t imagine a scenario at home where you would need something so warm for your baby – maybe in the winter if you live in a drafty home, or if you are camping in the Spring or Fall?!
Especially when you’re shopping online, it’s hard to guage the warmth of baby clothing. Understanding TOG ratings helps us dress our baby appropriately for sleep. For more information about baby sleepwear with TOG ratings, visit: nestdesigns.com/collections/sleep-suits.
Thank you to Nest Designs for gifting us these sleep suits to try.