When it comes to creating the perfect environment for your baby to drift off to sleep, it can feel like a challenging task! Baby sleeping bags are wearable blankets that keep your baby at a comfortable temperature during the night. You will not need a duvet or blanket, and your baby’s head will remain uncovered.
What is a baby sleeping bag?
The sleeping bag is essentially a wearable blanket for your baby. Designs vary across brands but in the end, your baby has a blanket style covering around its lets and upper torso that does not cover their head. It will either zip up the front, or wrap around the bottom and sides and clip at the top!
Reasons you should use a Baby Sleeping Bag
Baby sleep safety should be a priority when purchasing your child’s first bed linen. Numerous studies have found a connection between baby’s sleeping position and temperature and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), commonly known as cot death, and the risk is greatly reduced if your baby sleeps on their back in a sleeping bag.
A sleeping bag is a good option because it prevents your baby’s head from being covered by wriggling under the bedding, which increases their risk of SIDS. You can also purchase different tog sizes to suit the seasons to ensure the baby stays at the right temperature, plus choose the best size to suit their age.
The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) recommends no loose bedding or blankets in a baby’s sleep environment. The baby sleeping bag eliminates the risk of SIDs associated with loose blankets – even cellular blankets.
Loose bedding can easily cover your baby’s face, causing suffocation or carbon dioxide re-breathing. When it comes to safe sleep, the AAP guidelines are our gold standard, so if they warn against loose bedding, follow them. There is some variation among jurisdictions, but their guidelines are very comprehensive and the ones we recommend following.
They keep baby warm and snug (Temperature Control)
Many parents are concerned about their baby being cold at night. A baby sleeping bag helps to tick that box of doubt. The wearable blanket prevents your baby from being kicked off or from getting cold as they move since it stays with them while they move.
The recommended room temperature for babies is between 16-20 degrees celsius. If your little one gets too hot this can also put them at higher risk of SIDS. Sleeping bags can help to maintain the optimum temperature for your baby’s sleep environment.
Sleeping bags come in different togs across brands, so you can choose a weight that is appropriate for the weather at that moment. For winter, we recommend a 2.5 tog, and for summer, a 1 tog!
Helping to keep things nice and settled
When using a sleeping bag during the night, any tending to the baby is nice and relaxed. You can do everything while they are sleeping – including changing a nappy! However, if your baby needs to change during the night, we recommend that you look for sleeping bags that zip at the bottom and up the side, rather than up the front. After feeding, keep them in their bag, settle them, and cuddle them – then put them back into their sleep environment.
An important part of a bedtime routine
When it comes to helping a baby achieve family sleep goals, consistency is key. When you include a sleeping bag in their sleep routine, you are creating a stepping stone that they will recognize and will give them the signal that sleep is approaching.
If you’ve done your research you will know the first rule for encouraging sleep is routine. In addition to making them feel cosy and secure, sleeping bags can become an integral part of babies’ bedtime routines that signal that it is time to sleep.
Additionally, if your child will attend daycare or if you travel or stay in the hospital, then the sleeping bag will support the sleep routine and positive emotions that you have established at home.
They can assist in a baby sleeping through the night
For all of the reasons listed above! They tick a huge safe sleep box. They help keep your baby warm during sleep. Their soothing effects can help to keep nighttime tending nice and relaxed, and they can be an important part of a bedtime routine as well.
If all of these important areas are met, your baby is less likely to struggle to sleep and sleep more comfortably, and you are closer to achieving the family’s sleep goals.
What tog should you buy?
The tog rating or weight of a baby sleeping bag determines its thickness and how warm it is. The higher the tog rating, the warmer the sleeping bag, making it suitable for cooler weather. It is likely you will need a couple of bags, a standard 2.5 tog and a lightweight one for warmer weather. Although you can buy different togs, you will need to adjust the clothing your baby wears underneath – in very hot weather, he might just wear a nappy or short-sleeved bodysuit, whilst in colder weather, he might need a bodysuit and sleepsuit.
These are guidelines only; you always need to check your baby to ensure they are not too hot. If his neck is damp, he may be too hot.
- Room under 14 degrees: Use a 3.5 tog, with a cotton bodysuit and sleepsuit. It is unlikely you will ever use a tog of this thickness unless you are in a very cold climate.
- Room under 16 degrees: Use a 2.5 tog bag with a cotton bodysuit and sleepsuit.
- Room at 17-21 degrees: Use a 2.5 tog with a cotton bodysuit.
- Room at 22 to 25 degrees: Use a lightweight 1.5 tog with a cotton bodysuit.
- Room above 25 degrees: Use a 0.5 tog sheet or muslin bag and a short-sleeved bodysuit. These are ideal for very hot weather and summer holidays abroad.
When should we start using a sleeping bag for our baby’s sleep?
We recommend the use of a swaddle until approx 8-12 weeks. Swaddling is an excellent sleep aid that keeps your baby snug, while also combating the Moro reflex. When a baby is about to fall asleep, this reflex occurs. It looks like a startle and the baby feels like they are falling. This can disrupt their sleep and you will have to repeat the settling process.
Around 12 weeks (or 3 months) this reflex starts to fade out and this is the point that you should really start to look at transitioning to a baby sleeping bag. However, if your baby is beginning to roll before 3 months, we would recommend moving from the swaddle to the sleeping bag sooner. That is why we recommend using the swaddle to 8-12 weeks age range.