I've been in the process of sewing some clothes for a newborn coming in the next few months. In looking at designs for sleep gowns, it seems like they almost universally go over a child's head, even though many people recommend avoiding that the first month or two of a child's life and look for something with a zipper or a side snap style - a preference these first-time parents I'm sewing for share. Is there some reason I'm missing not to put a zipper or buttons down the front of a sleep gown? Pros versus cons for zipper versus buttons?

  • 1
    Zipper should ideally start at the bottom, btw, so parents can access the "business" end of the baby without fully undressing him/her.
    – Jax
    Aug 28, 2016 at 13:55
  • Yup, that's the plan! Just can't figure out if there's a reason this isn't a thing. :) I would hate to make something that is totally unusable because I have no idea what babies wear. Aug 28, 2016 at 14:47
  • One more thing-do u really mean buttons? Or snaps?
    – Jax
    Aug 28, 2016 at 22:45
  • Yes, I meant snaps. Aug 29, 2016 at 22:17
  • Phew! Buttons are bogus in this application.
    – Jax
    Aug 29, 2016 at 23:46

2 Answers 2


For a newborn, hands down zippers are the ideal option over snaps, and snaps would be better than anything pull-over. There's nothing more confounding in the middle of a sleep deprived night than snaps. Trying to match them up in the dark while baby wriggles and your eyes are crossed from exhaustion is hell.

The only disadvantage to a zipper is the slight chance of zipping up baby's leg (or some other body part) in it. However if the sleep sack/gown is roomy enough (as it should be) this is less likely to happen than with, say, a "sleeper" (the one piece pajamas with feet) that are a little more close fitting.

  • Great, thank you so much for this! As a quick clarification, since I've been having such a hard time finding a sleep gown with a zipper to model mine off of, do these typically have some fabric on the inside to ensure the zipper doesn't rub against the baby, somewhat like the fly on pants/jeans? Even if they don't usually have that, would it be helpful? Thanks! Aug 29, 2016 at 22:19
  • Some do, some don't. I would skip it, because it's just one more thing that might get caught in the zipper.
    – Jax
    Aug 29, 2016 at 23:31
  • For an example of a great sleep gown to model yours off of, check out the Halo sleep sack. Those are my personal favorites, when I'm not using my wool (sleep sack + diaper cover in one).
    – Jax
    Aug 29, 2016 at 23:44

The reason commercial nightgowns don't do this is because of consumer product safety commission regulations requiring children's nightclothes to be either self extinguishing or close fitting to avoid burns. A zippered nightgown leaves the manufacturer open to lawsuit if the parents leave it unzipped and then drop a cigarette butt on it when they fall asleep and the child ends up burned.

That shouldn't be an issue when making a personal gift, especially if the parents don't smoke, so you're free to use or create a design with a zipper.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.