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What is TOG and How TOG Rating Helps with Baby’s Sleep

Learn all about what TOG Rating is when it comes to baby’s clothing and how TOG Rating can help you feel confident in dressing your baby for sleep!

baby swaddled in TOG rating 0;5 TOG rating swaddle

Have you ever heard of TOG rating for babies? Yah, I hadn’t either!

There is SO much information out there for new parents when it comes to bringing a baby into the world: feeding, bathing, sleeping, and baby care!

One thing that could have saved me a lot of stress and overwhelm was understanding TOG rating. A few simple letters and numbers on the tags of your baby’s swaddles and sleep sacks can be a powerful tool.

It turns out that knowing what a TOG rating is could have saved us a lot of stress. It could have saved us some money, too!

Let me tell you about TOG ratings and how they can make a big difference in helping your baby sleep better!

what is TOG rating

What Does TOG Stand For?

So what is the TOG meaning anyway?

TOG is short for “Thermal Overall Grade” and it is a unit of heat measurement. On a scale of <1 to 3.5, a TOG rating measures the insulation—or the amount of warmth—a fabric provides.

The higher the TOG rating, the warmer the fabric.

A TOG rating changes based not only on the thickness of a fabric, but the type of material it’s made from. Your hands can’t always tell how warm a fabric will be just by touching it, which is why a TOG rating comes in handy.

Sometimes a baby garment will feel thicker to the touch, but it will have a lower TOG rating. That’s because it’s made from a more breathable, cooler material.

TOG ratings were introduced to baby clothing, swaddles, and sleep sacks to improve sleep safety for babies.

Because overheating can lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), TOG ratings help parents pick the safest fabrics to keep their babies at a comfortable and safe sleeping temperature.

Knowing how to dress your baby for sleep safely doesn’t have to be difficult, but there are many factors impacting sleep safety. TOG ratings help to standardize sleepwear for babies and make their sleep temperature easier to control.

TOG rating for baby's sleep sack

What TOG Should Baby Sleep In?

You can find TOG ratings listed on the packaging or tags of many baby textiles, including sleep sacks and swaddles. Paying attention to the TOG rating on your baby’s swaddles and sleep sacks can take some of the guesswork out of dressing them comfortably for bed.

Whether your baby is still being swaddled or you’re ready to transition out of the swaddle, TOG ratings will help you easily decide how to dress your baby for sleep and guide you how to keep your baby warm at night.

Each swaddle and sleep sack manufacturer may offer a variety of products with different TOG ratings. Most commonly, you’ll see TOG ratings from 0.2 all the way up to 3.5.

The good news is that you have many options to hit that temperature sweet spot for your sleeping babe, regardless of the season.

One of my favorite swaddle brands, Aiden + Anais, offers three different TOG ratings for their sleep sacks. They range from 1.0 to 2.5 TOG, giving you options for warm summer naps and chilly winter nights.

They also make it easy to choose which sleep sack or swaddle is right for you with their TOG rating chart.

If your baby still needs a snug-fit swaddle but you’re looking for something cool, there are plenty of options. The Love to Dream swaddles come in a TOG rating range between 0.2 (Swaddle Up Lite) and 1.0 (Swaddle Up).

Another good lightweight and snug swaddle option is the SwaddleMe, which has a 0.5 TOG rating. We liked this swaddle because it had all the benefits of a traditional blanket swaddle with the ease of hook and loop closures. It was also cool enough to allow some flexibility with what our daughter could wear underneath it.

The great thing about TOG ratings is that you have a precise measurement of warmth. You don’t have to guess how the temperature will feel to your little one—just take a look at the TOG!

I was obsessed with the temperature in our baby’s room, so understanding TOG would have been a huge relief to me in those first six months!

baby swaddled in higher TOG rating swaddle

What TOG Rating Do I Need?

Of course you are probably used to hearing “Every baby is different!” by now, but it’s true even when picking an ideal TOG rating.

The first thing to consider is the temperature in the room where they sleep. What is the ambient temperature? You may find it helpful to keep a thermometer near their crib for the most accurate reading.

The warmer the room, the lower TOG rating you’ll want to use.

For example: if your baby’s room is 75 degrees (F), you should choose a sleep sack with a TOG between 0.2-0.5 and dress your baby in a short sleeve onesie underneath (or maybe even just their diaper).

Likewise, if the room where your baby sleeps is colder than 64 degrees (F), you’ll want to bundle them in a 2.5-3.5 TOG sleep sack paired with a long sleeve onesie or even footie pajamas.

This visual guide from SlumberSac is very helpful for considering how to pair a sleep sack’s TOG rating with clothing underneath it:

TOG rating chart

Please note that these are guidelines and not hard-and-fast rules.

The table above is a good place to start. However, the next thing to consider is what you know about your baby. Do they get cold often or overheat easily? Do they frequently sweat when they sleep?

Some babies run naturally warmer or colder. The TOG rating that works best for your friend’s baby might not be the same for yours.

Understanding your baby’s typical sleeping temperature will help you pick the right TOG rating and clothing combination for them. To keep your baby a safe temperature while they sleep, you should also know the signs of when your baby is too hot or cold.

Signs that your baby is too hot include sweating, red cheeks, and/or increased breathing and heart rate. If your baby’s neck, chest, or tummy are cold to the touch, then they are probably too cold.

Remember that it is always safer for your baby to be cooler rather than hotter when they sleep. You may want to start with lower TOG ratings first before building up to higher ratings.

I hope this has demystified TOG ratings for you and helps you make informed purchases based on your baby’s needs.

I recommend having multiple swaddles and sleep sacks on hand with a range of TOG ratings so you’re prepared for different types of weather and are ready if you need to travel to a warmer or cooler climate.

Amy Motroni

Calm A Fussy Baby with the 5 S's - The Postpartum Party

Friday 21st of May 2021

[…] you’re unsure of how to dress your baby for sleep, you can learn about TOG and what it is. It’s essentially a guide to helping you know how warm to dress your baby for […]