Baby sleeping bags are wearable blankets that can be worn over sleeping clothes in place of unsafe loose blankets. The Lullaby Trust recommends the use of sleeping bags as it reduces the risk of blankets and sheets being kicked off and covering baby’s head. They also prevent entanglement, while helping maintain a constant temperature throughout the night. Babies are able to move freely without kicking them off unlike loose blankets, which can be dangerous.
There are many options to choose from, and you can even choose different TOGS for seasons to help keep your baby at the right temperature. All in all, sleeping bags help promote a restful and safe night’s sleep—but that doesn’t mean that all sleeping bags are one in the same.
Here’s what to consider before making your next purchase.
Sizing Baby sleeping bags are sized by age and weight, and it’s very important to adhere to correct sizing by weight. They are not one size fits all and babies should not “grow into” a larger bag. It’s best to use a swaddle sleeping bag for newborns, as they prefer to feel secure and tucked in and helps with the startle reflex. Discontinue use of swaddles when baby shows signs of rolling over.
Correct Fit Since sleeping bags are generally loose, it’s important to check the fit by openings. Arm and neck holes should be snug enough (but not tight) to where your baby cannot get their hands or head inside the bag. Wearing a sleeping bag that is too large (even if the sizing should be correct) can be very dangerous for baby as they could slip down into it during sleep.
Temperature TOGS The TOG rating determines the thickness, or weight of the sleeping bag. The higher the TOG rating, the warmer the bag. You’ll most likely want a few levels of TOG sleeping bags, just as we use different bedding depending on the season. Always check the temperature of the room your baby sleeps in using a dedicated room thermometer and select appropriate sleeping clothes. The Lullaby Trust advises that the ideal sleeping environment should be between 16-20 degrees Celsius.
0.5 TOG: Room Temperature: 25 – 28 °C 1.0 TOG: Room Temperature: 21 – 23 °C 1.5 TOG: Room Temperature: 20 – 22 °C
Sleeping Clothes The HALO® SleepSack® sleeping bag is suitable for a wide range of temperatures by adjusting the clothing worn underneath. Keep in mind that each layer of baby’s clothing add 1 TOG value each, so if you dress your baby in HALO® SleepSack® with a TOG of 1 over a cotton bodysuit also with a TOG of 1, the total TOG value is 2. The Lullaby Trust recommends checking baby’s temperature by touching the chest or the back of their neck, because baby’s hands and feet will usually be cooler. If your baby’s skin is hot or sweaty, remove one or more layers of bedclothes.
Safety Standards The Lullaby Trust recommends that all bags should conform to the new British standard for baby sleeping bags (BS 8510:2009). Simply put, if a product complies with a standard it should be stated on the product, its packaging or website.
Product Design When we say design, we don’t mean pattern or color. Some sleeping bags have design features such as hoods or sleeves, but these are not recommended because they pose the risk of your baby overheating.
Zipper placement on the front encourages safe sleeping position, as well as easy nappy changes. All openings should have smooth seams and zips should be covered. The HALO® SleepSack® wearable blanket features an inverted and covered zipper for this reason, along with our signature “Back is Best” embroidery—a gentle reminder to always place baby in the recommended sleeping position.
Materials There are such a wide plethora of materials to choose from when it comes to sleeping bags that it is often best to choose based on your own personal preference. As long as the above factors such as TOG and stated safety standards have been considered, you should choose the material that you think is best for your baby. And since you’ll most certainly be needing more than one to accommodate for accidents and seasons, you can’t go wrong with having a wide variety to make every sleep the best sleep.