What Do TOG Ratings Mean?
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If you’re shopping for a baby sleep sack or swaddle, you’ve likely noticed three mysterious letters popping up everywhere: TOG. Toasty Organic Garment? Trustworthy Overnight Gown? Tired One Garb? Nope. No. And not a chance! TOG actually stands for Thermal Overall Grade…and knowing what that means—and what your swaddle’s TOG is—can help you pick the best swaddle for your baby. Here’s what you need to know about TOG ratings.
What’s a TOG rating?
TOG stands for thermal overall grade and it’s a standard of measurement used by the textile industry to describe the warmth or “thermal resistance” of any given garment, including a baby swaddle or sleep sack. The higher the TOG rating or value, the warmer the swaddle or sack keeps your baby.
Why is TOG important?
The thing with babies is, they can’t tell you if they’re too hot or too cold! And because little ones are not very good at regulating their core temperature, it’s difficult for grownups to gauge what PJs or swaddles will keep their infant snug, toasty…and safe. And that’s super-important because infant overheating is dangerous, upping a baby’s chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In fact, research shows that a “high TOG value of clothing and bedding” contributes to a baby’s risk of SIDS. In short, knowing a swaddle or sleep sack’s TOG rating can make the process of selecting the ideal swaddle easier.
Does a heavier swaddle mean higher TOG?
Not necessarily. The TOG value of a swaddle blanket or sleep sack is not entirely based on how thick the fabric is, but the type of material it’s made of. Think about it like this: If you choose a 100% down comforter for yourself, it will likely be significantly lighter than a comforter with a synthetic fill…but the down comforter will be warmer. That’s because down has a higher warmth rating, so it requires less fill to achieve a warm TOG rating.
How do I use TOG ratings to select a swaddle?
The TOG ratings for baby swaddles and sleep sacks generally range from a 0.5 to a 3.5 rating. (According to the International Down and Feather Testing Laboratory and Institute, or IDFL, no baby should ever be in a swaddle or sleep sack that has a TOG rating of more than 4.) While the American Academy of Pediatrics and other pediatric and safe-sleep organizations do not have specific TOG recommendations, the general rule of thumb is: Look for a sack or swaddle with a higher TOG rating in the winter (without exceeding 4 TOG) and go for a lower TOG rating in the summer. But keep in mind, your baby’s bodysuit and/or pajamas also contribute to their overall warmth. So, choosing a super-high TOG and dressing your baby in, say, warm feetie pajamas may cause overheating. And remember, you are the best judge of how to dress your baby—your touch can tell you much more than a thermostat. (If your baby’s cheeks, ears, neck, and chest feel warm, they’re likely too warm! If they’re cold to the touch, they may need some extra bundling.).
How do I dress my baby for sleep using TOG ratings?
There’s more to keeping your baby comfortable and safe during sleep than TOG ratings! For instance, you want to make sure your little one is layered appropriately under their swaddle, wearing PJs or a bodysuit that are 100% cotton to ensure warmth and breathability. (Synthetic fabrics aren’t breathable, which not only can make babies sweat, it can increase your little one’s risk of overheating in their sleep.) To better understand what Baby should wear under a swaddle and which TOG rating is right for your baby, follow this guide compiled with the help of the Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services, one of the world’s leading consumer and technology product testing bodies. The temperatures listed below refer to the temperature in your baby’s room, not the weather outside—and of course, there’s a place for parental instinct, too. Feeling your baby’s skin can go a long way to let you know how to dress your little one!
TOG Temperature Chart
75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit: Use a swaddle that’s less than or equal to 1.0 TOG and dress Baby in a short-sleeve cotton bodysuit
69 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit: Use a swaddle that’s less than or equal to 2.0 TOG and dress Baby in long- or short-sleeve cotton pajamas
50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit: Use a swaddle with a 2.0 to 3.5 TOG and dress Baby in long-sleeve cotton PJs with or without a cotton bodysuit
What’s the TOG of Sleepea and SNOO Sack?
The original award-winning Sleepea Swaddle and SNOO Sack are perfect all-season swaddles, with a TOG value that ranges from 0.5 to 0.8. (Remember, your baby’s clothes will add to the TOG value.) Meanwhile, the new Comforter Sleepea and SNOO Comforter Sack offer a TOG rating of 2.0, which makes them ideal for cool to cold temperatures. Unlike warm swaddles and sleep sacks made from synthetic fleece, Comforter Sleepea and SNOO Comforter Sack feature 100% GOTS certified organic cotton shells lightly filled with 100% recycled insulation. That means your baby gets the added warmth and coziness they want, with the breathability they need.
How do I know if my baby is warm enough?
Simply touch your baby’s ears! If they’re cold, your baby is likely too chilly. Try some skin-to-skin snuggling to gently warm them up, change your bub into a lightly insulated swaddle, like Comforter Sleepea, and make sure their room is at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit. But if your little one’s ears feel hot, help make them more comfortable (and safer) by lowering the thermostat to less than 72 degrees Fahrenheit and consider removing a layer of clothing. A baby’s risk of SIDS increases during the colder months, likely because of overheating caused by trying to keep their babies warm, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Finally, if your baby’s ears feel neither too hot nor too cool, their temperature is exactly where it needs to be for safe and cozy slumber! For more help getting your baby’s sleepytime temperature right, check out our guide to the best bedding to keep your baby warm.
You May Also Be Interested In…
- How to Dress a Newborn
- Winter Care Tips for Newborns
- What to Do If Your Baby Breaks Out of the Swaddle
- When Can Babies Sleep with a Blanket?
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Warmth and Temperature Regulation
- An 8 year study of risk factors for SIDS: bed-sharing versus non-bed-sharing. Archives of Disease in Childhood. April 2006
- Consumer Reports: Choosing Between Synthetic Down and Natural Down for a Winter Coat
- International Down and Feather Testing Laboratory and Institute (IDFL): TOG Ratings, Warmth and Quality.
- National Childbirth Trust (NCT): Top tips to keep your baby warm in winter
- Red Nose Australia: What is a TOG rating?
- The Lullaby Trust: Safer sleep in winter
- Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services: Safety and TOG Testing for baby sleep bags
- US Department of Health and Human Services: Research On Other SIDS Risk Factors
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.