One of the cornerstones of a baby’s wardrobe is the sleepsuit. As well as keeping your baby warm and cozy, it can also aid in the development of good sleeping habits and keep your baby safe while their tiny bodies grow.
For parents, we understand your frustration when it comes to choosing the best sleepsuit for your baby — there are simply so many options out there with a significant variation in style, design, material, and even what these garments are called.
Here’s a quick guide for finding the best sleepsuit for your baby that will tick all of the important boxes when it comes to dressing your child in something that is perfect for sleep and development.
What Is a Sleepsuit?
If you have ever asked this question, we can assure you that you are not the only parent. While some will already be familiar with what a sleepsuit looks like, others may be unsure what it is and how it differs from other child sleeping garments, like pajamas.
While the definition can vary from country to country, or family to family, a sleepsuit is generally a specially designed piece of clothing that has been created to support your baby as they sleep. This means taking into consideration their need for warmth, space to move, and comfort during the early stages of life.
Other names for baby sleepsuits include:
- Sleeping bag
A sleepsuit is a specially designed piece of clothing that has been created to support your baby as they sleep.
Most Important Criteria for Baby Sleepsuits
As the designs and styles vary between different brands so much, often the most practical way to find the best sleepsuit for your baby is to measure it against some important criteria.
Warmth and Breathability
You must ensure that your baby sleepsuit is both warm and breathable. In winter, you may be tempted to find the warmest thing you can find, potentially with a thick material that insulates your baby from chilly room temperatures.
While this is fine to an extent, you must also make sure that your baby does not overheat, which is a common problem that babies deal with — contributing to an increased risk of SIDS.
For this reason, we always recommend reading as many parent reviews as possible, or asking a friend or family member how a particular garment they have used holds up in this regard. It is also useful to consider how the baby sleepsuit will fare in your specific climate (e.g. hot vs. cold countries).
While a cotton (or a cotton blend) might be perfect in one part of the world, a thicker fleece-based garment might be necessary in a place where temperatures drop more significantly in the winter.
Comfort isn't just a nice-to-have when looking for the best sleepsuit for your baby. And it is always more important than the print or aesthetic of the item. This is because babies are extremely sensitive and may find it very difficult to get to sleep if they’re not comfortable.
Finding a baby sleepsuit that hugs your baby but doesn’t restrict them too much and is also soft to the touch, rather than stiff, scratchy or irritating, will make all the difference. Things like accessories, strings, or any unnecessary frills should also be avoided — as well as presenting a potential safety hazard, they can reduce the comfortability element of the sleepsuit.
Comfort isn't just a nice-to-have when looking for the best sleepsuit for your baby. And it is always more important than the print or aesthetic of the item.
With time, you will become attuned to identifying areas of impracticality when searching for the best baby sleepsuit for your child. Below is a brief cheat sheet:
- Avoid hand and feet cuffs that are too tight or loose
- Avoid any complicated fastenings or ties and instead look for simple clips, snaps or buttons
- Avoid materials that can’t be washed with your normal load of washing
- Avoid colours that are too light and will highlight stains from food and baby vomit
- Avoid any tightness or restriction in any particular parts of the sleepsuit, such as hips or legs (which is known to contribute to hip dysplasia in the case of swaddles that are too tight around the waist)
The best sleepsuits for babies should be safe for your baby to sleep in. One of the ways to achieve this is to ensure it fits your baby’s body well. Too much excess fabric can be dangerous — potentially causing a choking hazard or making it harder for your baby to breathe.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, all items of clothing for babies must be snug and not loose-fitting to avoid health risks such as suffocation.
Important Considerations - Style and Design Variations
You are free to choose a style and design that you like the look of when searching for the best sleepsuit for a baby, however, below are a few important considerations to make.
Some sleepsuits will come with openings for your child’s hands and feet. Some parents like this as they can add their own socks and mittens, while others prefer to have an all-in-one piece that can be used without any accessories.
As things like hats, socks and mittens can also cause a potential choking hazard, it might be prudent to avoid these until your child is older. With this in mind, a footed baby sleepsuit is the best option to go for.
These garments essentially contain all your baby's body parts (apart from their head of course) in an all-encasing suit of comfort. The added benefit of this is that it is also easier to keep warmth locked in during winter months.
For more information on baby clothing styles and options, consider reading our guide: The Ultimate Guide to Buying Baby Clothes Online
At Sleeping Baby, we chose to design our Zipadee-Zip sleepsuit for babies to keep both the hands and feet enclosed. This was done for several reasons, including the benefits this can have on children who have just stopped swaddling.
For these babies, the fact that hands and feet have a kind of barrier built into the suit offers a restrictive comfort that is close to the experience of being in the swaddle, offering more freedom of movement without removing the sense of security and closeness that children love so much.
Where to Find Baby Sleepsuits
The search for the best baby sleepsuit for your child can involve one of several activities, including searching online, visiting child clothing stores, or even visiting large department stores and supermarkets that have clothing sections for children.
Depending on your budget, spare time, and location, one of these might be more preferable to you. However, below are some notes on what these different options can offer.
Simply searching Google for something like ‘best baby suits for baby’ or ‘recommended baby suits for babies’ should yield a high volume of results. However, this is both a good and bad thing, depending on how you look at things.
If you are in the process of simply researching and getting inspiration for your baby’s wardrobe, having plenty of options to browse through can be great. If you want to buy something ASAP though, this can be a little frustrating. Combined with the fact that you won’t be able to handle the products by hand and check them for quality, you will find yourself reading through a long list of reviews.
Amazon and Ecommerce Platforms
Admittedly, Amazon and other ecommerce platforms can offer you a quick solution to buying a baby sleepsuit. As well as organising all relevant products into one scannable search result (albeit organised into multiple pages), there is a reliable review and rating system that can help you make a quick and relatively informed decision about what to buy for your baby.
Amazon and other ecommerce platforms can offer you a quick solution to buying a baby sleepsuit for many parents.
Shopping Directly with Baby Clothes Retailers
Shopping from a specialized or niche baby clothes retailer has several benefits. If you have had a recommendation from a friend or family member, you can benefit from purchasing your garment directly from the company itself and learn more about the story behind the product.
For instance, at Sleeping Baby, we like to inform potential customers about the science behind our products and why they were created. As a brand, we also like to give our parents peace of mind that they’re always getting something 100% suitable and reliable for their child, as well as offering a fantastic range of patterns and designs.
Through the process of getting to know a brand, it can be easier for you to make shopping decisions for different stages of your baby’s development as most companies will have a full range of options from 0 to 24 months and above — simplifying the process for you as well as guaranteeing that you're always getting a certain standard of quality.
Shopping from a specialized or niche baby clothes retailer has several benefits for parents looking for the best sleepsuits for their babies.
Reading Parent Reviews
As mentioned previously, reading parent reviews can be a great way to find the best sleepsuit for your baby. In fact, it’s pretty much an indispensable activity if you’re buying clothes online, which you will have to verify in some way in terms of quality, safety and practicality.
Always approach reviews with a healthy amount of skepticism and understand that different people have different preferences. Also, be mindful of climate variation. A product may get very good reviews in locations where the temperature is mild, but will they hold up well in colder countries?
Once your child has stopped swaddling or is currently transitioning from the swaddle as we speak, there’s no doubt that the baby sleepsuit becomes one of your most important tools as a parent. It will help them to sleep better, stay warm, and generally keep healthy and happy.
It may be a time consuming task if you’re not familiar with baby sleepsuits, but it’s worth spending the time on getting this right so both you and your baby can benefit. Good luck!