What are Baby Sleep Sacks?
You might be wondering how to best keep your baby warm at night. As a new mom, this can be an overwhelming question but look no further as we've gone into detail about how best to outfit your baby for the best sleep possible. We've rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions to give you a crash course on sleep sacks. We hope that this will provide you with the best base to decide how to dress up your little one for a great night of sleep.
What are Baby Sleep Sacks used for?
Once your little one enters your world, you will only want what's best for them when it comes to their rest. Many new parents are introduced at this time to the baby sleep sack (or baby sleep bag) - but what is a baby sleep sack? A sleep sack is a blanket that your baby can wear that is a much safer alternative than just a baby blanket. The American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as the Canadian Pediatrics Society, do not recommend the use of blankets for newborns for fear of the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
As such, many new parents opt for the safer choice of using a baby sleep bag instead of keeping your little one warm and cozy during the night. Imagine a blanket-like bodysuit that can zip-up to keep your baby secure and warm at night. That is essentially how a sleep sack works to keep your babe's body covered while allowing for easy access for those late-night diaper changes. Our baby sleep sacks at Nest Designs come in a range of styles, sizes, colors, and prints. You can choose from either our soft-as-butter bamboo blend or our 100% organic-cotton sleep bags. Rest assured that your baby will be kept warm in a breathable and ultra-comfortable sleep sack throughout the night. We design and offer baby sleep bags that are sleeveless, long-sleeved for those colder months as well as sleep bags that have removable sleeves for added versatility and function. You can also choose from five different TOG (Thermal Overall Grade) ratings: 0.25, 0.6, 1.0, 2.5, and 3.5.
What is the difference between a swaddle and a baby sleep sack / sleep bag?
Swaddling, or sleep swaddles, with a blanket, is a widely known method in providing comfort to your baby when they go to sleep. It gives your little one the security and warmth it felt while they were still in your womb. That is why most new parents are taught to swaddle early on to help their baby sleep soundly during the first weeks and months of their life. Compared to the baby swaddle, the baby sleep bag works similarly to help your precious baby sleep in comfort. So, how are they different? A swaddle is a method in which you use a swaddle blanket to wrap your baby up snugly, so they resemble a baby burrito. Their arms and legs are bundled together, limiting their movements during the first few months of life. They are meant for newborns and infants to help your baby feel safe and contained as if they were still in the womb. A baby sleep sack or sleep bag is generally used during a later stage of your baby's development, usually around or after three months of age.
The sleep sack is generally made of a thicker material and does not require you to fold your baby up with a blanket. The sleep sack has a zipper to enclose your baby loosely, allowing for movement, which is a safer alternative. With a sleep sack, the risks for SIDS reduces tremendously as they do not restrict limb mobility if your baby were to roll onto their tummy. Overall, both the swaddle and the baby sleep sack are great tools to help your little one sleep better during their naps and nighttime rest. As a parent, you can rest assured that your little one is safe and comfortable with the use of a sleep sack.
When can I put my baby in a sleeping bag?
In the first few months of life, many parents love to swaddle their babies with a blanket for warmth and comfort. After that, it is really up to you and your baby when you would want them to transition to a sleep sack. While some babies don't like their little arms and little legs to be restricted in the swaddle, some just prefer the womb-like tightness of a swaddle. While some babies love to be swaddled tightly at birth, not all babies are alike. That's why, here at Nest Designs, we have sleep sacks that fit newborns up until 18 months of age that include sleep sacks with sleeves, without sleeves, as well as removable swaddle wings. Our sleep bags with removable wings are quite useful, especially when your little one is ready to transition from a tighter swaddle to a traditional sleep bag - simply take the swaddle wings away and you have a traditional sleep bag. Depending on you and your little one's preferences, you can swaddle up to six months and beyond. Some babies just prefer to be snuggled up tightly a little longer, and that's okay too. Just watch for the signals of when your baby wakes consistently or fusses when they are swaddled. You will know when to transition to give your little one the most comforting sleep they can get.
Are sleeping bags safe for babies?
Usually by around 3-4 months of age, your little one will want to gain more mobility and movement for their arms and legs. As such, sleep bags and sleep sacks are much safer alternatives than a newborn or infant swaddle or loose blanket. Sleeping bags are perfectly safe as long as your baby's arms are free so they can maneuver themselves if so needed. Sleep sacks provide the security a little one needs during their sleep, all the while keeping your baby's arms free for movement. Unlike loose blankets that could potentially risk SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), sleep bags are made so that materials do not inhibit your baby's mobility. Sleep bags are also ideal for maintaining your baby's body temperature since they come in different TOG ratings.
How long do you use sleep sacks for?
You can really start using sleep sacks at any stage. We offer sleep sacks that are suitable from newborn until 18 months - It all depends on your and your little one's preferences. Once your baby starts to become more active and move around a bit more during the night, it may be time to graduate to one of our baby sleep suits (which are essentially baby sleep sacks with feet). Watch for the signs, whether it's standing, jumping, or even trying to climb out of their crib. You will know when the best time is to move on from the use of a sleep sack.
What should a baby wear under a sleep sack?
Depending on the season and the temperature of your baby's room, you should dress your baby accordingly under a sleep sack. For cooler nights, light pajamas or onesies can be worn underneath. During warmer summer months, your little one can wear their onesie or just her diaper underneath their sleep bags. As our sleep bags are made of a soft-as-butter blend of bamboo or organic-cotton, they are super cozy right next to your baby's skin. Whether your little one is wearing extra layers, or very little at all, you can be rest assured that your baby will be kept warm in a breathable and ultra-comfortable sleep sack throughout the night. Keep in mind, what your little one wears underneath their sleep sack also depends on the TOG rating of the sleep sack you choose. For more information on what is a TOG rating and how to dress your baby best for the season and room temperature, check out our article here.
Are sleep sacks necessary?
Sleep sacks are by no means imperative, however they can be extremely helpful in aiding your little one with their sleep. All babies are different and have their own adorable little preferences. While some prefer to be snuggled in a baby swaddle, some like to have mobility for their arms and legs. Sleep sacks are made for those active little ones that do not like the feeling of being constrained. Many parents can agree, sleep sacks are a great choice because it gives you the peace of mind at night knowing that your baby is warm and cozy while in the safety of their sleep bags. Sleep bags are not necessarily a must when it comes to sleeping well, but they do give you the reassurance that your little ones won't overheat or be too cold when they are in their sleep sack. Our bamboo blend or organic materials are made with your baby's body temperature in mind. They are an excellent blanket alternative as your baby transitions from being a newborn to a mobile infant.
How do you choose what sleep bag is right for your baby?
So, you've decided on using a sleep sack for your little one now that they have outgrown their swaddle. But, what should you look for when you transition to the sleep bag from your baby's swaddle blanket? Here are a few items to consider:
When it comes to choosing the right sleep sack for your baby, consider the temperature in which your baby's room will be and the season. During warmer months in the summer, a lighter weight fabric with a lower TOG is better to avoid overheating – you can rest assured that your baby isn't too hot or cold. During the fall and winter months, when the weather outside is colder, it is better to choose a thicker material with a higher TOG rating. It is also essential to consider the temperature you set in your baby's room. If you usually run a higher temperature in the house, you will not necessarily need a sleep sack with a high TOG rating.
- Ease of Use
Our sleep sacks at Nest Designs come with our two-way zipper for easy diaper changes. Many of our customers have found this to come in very handy for those middle-of-the-night diaper changes.
- Style & Features
We have designed sleep bags in several different styles: sleeveless, long sleeve, removable sleeves, and sleeveless with detachable swaddle wings. These wearable blankets are made from either bamboo or 100% organic cotton, and are ideal for your little ones regardless of the season (just choose your appropriate TOG rating for room temperature). Choose from a vast selection of patterns, colors, and styles, with fresh prints being released for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter each year.
Consider safety when it comes to choosing the right sleep sack for your baby. Research recommends the use of a sleep sack versus a loose blanket because it reduces the chances of SIDS. The sleep sack helps regulate your child's temperature without overheating. It can also allow your baby to wriggle around as much as they need once they transition from a swaddle to their sleep sack, making it safe for your little one to sleep soundly throughout the night.
Lastly, the size of the sleep sack matters in terms of safety. We carry baby sleep bags that are suitable for up to 18 months of age. It is essential that your child can wriggle freely within their sleep sack. Ideally, their bodies should only take up about ¾ of the sleep sack, leaving the last quarter for their little feet to move around as they please.
Now that you have a good understanding about what sleep sacks are, browse our selection of sleep bags to find the right options for you and your baby. With Nest Designs, you can rest comfortably knowing you have invested in a quality piece for your little one that is designed with quality and functionality in mind.