FAQ Regarding Sleep Sacks

Sleep sacks - image is of a baby in the crib taken from one end so all you see is their head and arm and toes. Baby is resting on their back and it looks like the camera was set on the mattress for the image.

As sleep consultants, we get lots of questions about sleep sacks. So here are some of the most common FAQ questions.  

What Is a Sleep Sack? 

A sleep sack may be called by a few names including a wearable blanket, a sleep bag, or a  sleep pouch. It can be used on your baby or toddler.  A sleep sack is a safe alternative to having a loose blanket in a crib or bassinet.  It allows a baby to have full movement of arms and legs while keeping them covered and comfortable without having loose fabric in the crib or bassinet.    It also moves with the child so that they don’t get tangled up or stuck in any given position. If you are worried about your baby getting cold at night, a sleep sack can safely ease your mind.

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What Are Some Advantages of a Sleep Sack? 

A sleep sack is great for many reasons! We often recommend it. It is a comfortable option to keep your baby or toddler safe and warm during both naps and night sleep in their crib or bassinet.  

Here are some reasons why we like sleep sacks at Good Night Sleep Site:

  • It can help a baby or toddler feel comforted by having full coverage, making your child feel safe, warm, and cozy. 
  • It can help keep a climbing toddler in their crib safety.  
  • It can be apart of the sleep routine to cue baby it is time for sleep if offered consistently

When Can You Start Using a Sleep Sack?

A sleep sack can be used from birth. It is also often used by many parents to transition from a swaddle. This is often what we recommend when parents ask how best to make that transition.  Check below for tips on how to make the transition.  

Are Sleep Sacks Safe?

According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) safe sleep guidelines,  we follow the ABC’s of safe sleep.  Baby should be: 

A-Alone-only baby, a firm mattress, and a tight fitting sheet over the mattress.  This is where a sleep sack can be used.  Since a baby should not have a blanket in the crib with them, a wearable blanket that is properly fitted to the child is a safe way to keep your baby comfortable without the risk of a blanket going over their face or being wrapped around them.  

And of course, here are the other recommendations for safe sleep: 

B-Back-Alway place baby on their back when putting them in the crib or bassinet. 

C-Crib-offering sleep in a crib, bassinet or pack and play for a safe sleep environment.  

Check out the updated safe sleep information 

It is also important that you make sure the sleep sack your choice fits your child properly.  You do not want to get one that is too big for your little mover and shaker.  If it does not fit properly, it can cover their face making the sleep sack a risk for suffocation.   

It is important for safety that your baby doesn’t get overheated.  So you will want to make sure your baby is not too warm in the sleep sack that you choice.  Babies can’t tell you if they are warm or cold, so how do you tell?  The first thing you want to do is make sure your baby’s room temperature is comfortable.  It is recommended to be set between 19-20C / 68-70F.  Every baby is different, some babies run cold and some run hot.  So if you are still not sure I suggest putting your hand down the front or back of your baby PJ’s and touch their skin. If their skin feels cold, then a heavier sleep sack or extra layer.  If their skin is sweaty, then a lighter sleep sack or less layers. 

Also be sure to check the thickness of the sleep sack for what is the best option for the time of year and the temperature of their bedroom.  Sleep sacks have what is known as a TOG rating to help you pick the right thickness.  

What is a TOG? 

TOG stands for “Thermal Overall Grade.” It measures the warmth of the sleep sack so that you dress your baby for the right season and temperature to avoid overheating or being cold.  You will find that for colder seasons the TOG rating is higher and for warm seasons the TOG rating is lower.  You want to make sure that your baby is not overheated as this puts them at a higher risk of SIDS.  

TOG ratings are averages, so determine what is best for your baby if they run hotter or colder.  

TOG                                                                          TEMPERATURE 

.5 TOG                                                                     74-78 degrees F/23-26 degrees C

1.0 TOG                                                                  70-73 degrees F/21-23 degrees C

2.5 TOG                                                                  59-70 degrees F/15-21 degrees C

How to Transition from a Swaddle to a Sleep Sack? 

Do you have a baby that loves their swaddle and you are not sure how to do the transition to either asleep sack or pj’s.  As mentioned above a sleep sack is a great transitional piece of clothing from a swaddle. The AAP recommends doing this transition at 2 months of age. You want to make sure your baby is able to have control over their arms and legs when they begin to show signs of rolling.  There are two ways that you can do the transition.  

1. The Just Do It Method-You could go cold turkey and just stop the swaddle. This method should be used ASAP if your baby has shown signs of rolling. 

2.  The Slow and Steady Method-You could do the transition slower by taking out one arm for a few days and then take out the other arm for a few days.  After that you would get rid of the swaddle all together.  There may be a bump in sleep until your little one gets used to the new found freedom.  But time will help your child get used to sleeping without the swaddle. 

Do You recommend any Brands?

There are so many brands out there. Find one that you like! There are so many cute patterns and styles.  The AAP however recommends it not to use sleep sacks that are weighted as these are not safe to use for babies. These products can restrict a baby’s ability to get out of an unsafe position.  You can get more in for regarding weighted swaddles and sleep sack on the link above for the updated information from the AAP.  

If you have any other questions regarding sleep sacks, email me at lynn@goodnightsleepsite.com.  Using a sleep sack is an individual option for dressing your baby as they sleep.  If you decide is a good option for your baby, you will have many colors, patterns and designs to choose from.  

Good Night Sleep Site Consultant
Good Night Sleep Site Consultant

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