We all want our little ones to sleep snug as a bug in a rug. But unless you have the swaddles skills of a ninja, wrapping them up at night can be tricky. They love to wriggle about and toss off their covers, leaving them freezing on a cold winter’s night. But wrapping them in too many layers can also leave them sweating on a summer’s day.
Love to Dream sleep bags and swaddles take the stress out of wrapping your bub, and they’re also great to keep on your tot when they’re a bit older and flip-flop about the bed all night. But there is a trick – you need to get the right one for the temperature and dress your squirmy worm to suit. That’s where the TOG rating comes in. But what is it?
Depending on where you live, you might think about togs as something you swim in, or you might not have ever heard the word before. We’re here to help you understand exactly what a TOG rating is, and why it’s so important when you’re dressing baby for sleep.
What does TOG mean
TOG is an acronym. It stands for ‘Thermal Overall Grade’. And is a measure of thermal resistance of a unit of area, also known as thermal insulance. Put simply, it is a measurement that shows how much a particular fabric insulates – basically how warm it will be.
What is a TOG rating?
Baby sleep bags and swaddles are given a TOG rating based on the warmth they provide. They are given a number from less than 1 to 3.5 to indicate the level of insulation they give.
While a TOG value is related to weight and thickness of a fabric, a thicker or heavier fabric doesn’t always mean it will be warmer. So, while based on touch and feel, a sleep bag or swaddle might feel like it should be warmer than another, it’s the TOG rating, or measure of thermal resistance, that will tell you if it actually is.
And because sleep bags and swaddles are designed to be used without the need for additional bedding, they help take the guessing game out of wrapping your baby at night – you know whether they’re covered properly for the temperature based on the TOG rating.
How does the rating system work?
It’s a small and simple rating scale – the higher the TOG value, the warmer it is, because of the greater thermal insulation it provides.
To understand which sleep bag TOG values are right for different room temperatures, you can follow a simple set of guidelines:
< 1.0 TOG – room temperature 24 °C to 27 °C
1.0 to 2.0 TOG – room temperature 20 °C to 23 °C
2.0 to 3.5 TOG – room temperature 10 °C to 20 °C
Why it’s important
It’s important to keep your baby warm, but overheating can be dangerous.
TOG ratings are there to help prevent babies from overheating during their sleep. They were introduced in an effort to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, known as SIDS or ‘Cot Death’.
Choosing a TOG
It’s always good to have a number of sleep bags with different TOG ratings on hand so you can always pop your tot in just the right bag at night.
Check the temperature
To understand which TOG is right, you need to know what the temperature is. When measuring the temperature, be sure to look at the inside or room temperature, not the temperature outside. A small thermometer in your little one’s room will help.
Dress baby to suit
Like a blanket, a sleep bag is just the outer layer of your bub’s sleep attire – they should still be in pyjamas or a bodysuit underneath to suit the season.
Check out the handy guide below for how to dress your baby in a Love to Dream swaddle or sleep bag:
(Images via Love to Dream)