What Do TOG Ratings Mean?
If you are shopping for a baby sleep sack or swaddle, you have 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 is what you need to know about TOG ratings.
What is a TOG rating?
TOG stands for thermal overall grade and it is 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 cannot tell you if they are too hot or too cold! And because little ones are not very good at regulating their core temperature, it is difficult for grownups to gauge what PJs or swaddles will keep their infant snug, toasty…and safe. And that is 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 sleeping bag’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 is 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 is 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 sleeping bags 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 National Childbirth Trust (NCT), Red Nose Australia, and other safe-sleep organizations do not have specific TOG recommendations, the general rule of thumb is: Look for a sleeping bag 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 pyjamas also contribute to their overall warmth. So, choosing a super-high TOG and dressing your baby in, say, warm feetie pyjamas 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 are likely too warm! If they are cold to the touch, they may need some extra bundling.).
How do I dress my baby for sleep using TOG ratings?
There is 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 is 100% cotton to ensure warmth and breathability. (Synthetic fabrics are not 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 is 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
24 to 27 degrees Celsius: Use a swaddle that is less than or equal to 1.0 TOG and dress Baby in a short-sleeve cotton bodysuit
21 to 23 degrees Celsius: Use a swaddle that is less than or equal to 2.0 TOG and dress Baby in long- or short-sleeve cotton pajamas
10 to 20 degrees Celsius: 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 is 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 cosiness 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 are 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 20 degrees Celsius. But if your little one’s ears feel hot, help make them more comfortable (and safer) by lowering the thermostat to less than 22 degrees Celsius 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 research. 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 cosy slumber! For more help getting your baby’s sleepytime temperature right, check out our guide to the best bedding to keep your baby warm.
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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. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.