What is a baby sleeping bag?
Even the tiniest baby moves around in their sleep, meaning any bedding like blankets slip down, leaving babies cold and more prone to waking frequently. For someone uninitiated, a baby sleeping bag / sleep sack / sleep bag helps solve this problem. A sleeping bag is a wearable blanket that allows movement and comfort without the risk of the baby kicking off its blankets during the night. They are easy to use, fast to put on, and the perfect solution for keeping your baby covered and cosy all night long.
Benefits of using a baby sleeping bag
While it’s tempting to use the cute crocheted blanket your grandmother knitted you or a large duvet to tuck your baby into bed each night, sleeping bags give you the benefits of a blanket and so much more…
After a few months, many babies love to explore all corners of their bed (or yours if you co-sleep) as they toss and turn all night long. When wearing a sleep sack, they can move easily and their ‘blanket’ stays on top of them. Easy.
Keep your baby warm all night
Because babies will almost always kick their blankets off while asleep, a sleeping bag ensures they are covered all night long. This helps give parents peace of mind that their babies are comfortable.
As a parent you don’t want your baby to be at risk of suffocation or choking. Sleeping bags are the safest sleep option for babies. The sleeping bag cannot cover their face and it also keeps them a more consistent temperature when they cannot regulate their body temperatures themselves.
Saves money and time
Sleeping bags help keep things simple. There is less bedding to wash and sleeping bags also eliminate the need to keep tucking in your baby’s blankets or tidy their cot in the morning.
Helps to establish a sleep routine
Sleeping bags are a great signal to your baby that it is time to sleep. Therefore no matter if you are at home or out and about, your baby will know it is time to sleep.
What to look for in a sleeping bag
Baby sleeping bags aren’t as simple as they sound. There are numerous sleeping bag sacks on the market and unfortunately most of them do not comply with global safety standards. Below are some tips for selecting the best and safest sleeping bag for your baby.
Your baby’s skin is very sensitive. The best sleeping bags are made from natural materials such as organic cotton and wool. These fabrics can breathe and prevent your baby from overheating. Natural, organic fabrics are also chemical free, which reduces the chance of allergic reactions or skin irritations.
Appropriate weight/warmth (aka TOG rating)
One of the most crucial features that sleeping bags are supposed to provide for your baby is a comfortable sleep based on the season. Sleeping bags often have a TOG rating, which is the measure of how much warmth the sleeping bag retains. A summer sleeping bag usually has a TOG rating of 1.0, while the thickest winter sleeping bags have ratings of 3.5. A solid year round sleeping bag has a TOG of 2.5, however please pay attention to the manufacturer’s guidelines on the appropriate clothing to wear with the sleeping bag.
Sleeveless sleeping bags are best as they allow air to circulate more freely around the baby and allow them to cool down if they are starting to overheat. Sleeveless is safer as overheating is one of the main contributing factors to SIDS. You shouldn’t worry that your baby’s arms and hands will get cold. If the baby’s chest and core area are warm that’s ok. And you can add long sleeves under when the weather is cooler.
You probably already know this, but babies literally grow like weeds and to many seem like money pits. As a result, you may find yourself buying a new sleeping bag every season and every growth spurt. To help save some money, invest in a sleeping bag with domes so you can adjust the sleeping bag size to better fit your baby when it is smaller.
It goes without saying but choose a sleeping bag that is machine washable and quick to dry. On those nights your baby has a blow out or throws up, you’ll want a sleeping bag that is quick to clean and dry.
Choose a sleep sack with a simple design that works for you. Look for how the sleeping bag fastens. Some have a zip down the front side so you have to slip both baby arms into the arm holes. The other common method is to open shoulders and zip down the side of the sleeping bag. Some sleeping bags also have openings for seat belts. So if you’re out and about you can still use the sleeping bag in the stroller or the car seat and then transfer the baby straight to bed.
Free of ribbons, buttons, and extra accessories
While extra accessories like ribbons and buttons can make sleeping bags look cute and/or trendy, these types of accessories are unnecessary and can pose a choking risk to your baby. Only choose sleeping bags that use high quality zippers and/or domes.