BACKGROUND Thermal stress is a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Recently, baby sleeping bags have been recommended as a preventive measure against SIDS. The aim of this study was to describe in which way the use of baby sleeping bags might influence thermoregulation of sleeping infants and maybe the incidence of SIDS. METHODS Body surface temperature was recorded by use of infrared thermography in 15 infants (median age 49 days). Recordings were done twice: after sleeping for 60 min under a blanket and after sleeping for 60 min in a baby sleeping bag. Temperature was recorded and compared for defined sites of body surface. RESULTS Infants' mean body surface temperature as well as core temperature after sleeping in a baby sleeping bag did not show significant differences when compared to infants sleeping under a conventional blanket. CONCLUSION Under controlled conditions, core temperature and mean body surface temperature are comparable, equally if using a baby sleeping bag or conventional bedding. However, under the more uncontrolled conditions of baby care at home, sleeping bags might provide a more constant temperature profile, while other bedding conditions may lead to significant variations of temperature pattern.