What is a Baby Sleep Sack and Should You Get One?

Baby sleep sacks come in various shapes, textures, and materials. However, there are a couple of things to note, and we will explore them in the following paragraphs.

What Is a Baby Sleep Sack?

A baby sleep sack is a blanket/duvet that the baby wears. It provides them with a pleasant atmosphere for sleeping throughout the night. 

If you use a sleep sack, you won’t need any additional cover, and your baby’s head will always remain safe; there is no danger, as with a blanket, of the baby’s head being covered.

What Are the Advantages of a Baby Sleep Sack?

What is a Baby Sleep Sack and Should You Get One?
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A good baby sack provides the baby with a constant temperature and won’t cause sudden shifts in temperature or comfort. This gives the baby a peaceful night of good sleep and helps avoid overheating.

A top-notch baby sleep sack is tight enough so that the baby can move inside it, turn around, and wave its legs. Baby sacks are easy to use, and if you need to breastfeed or feed your baby during the night, you won’t have to take it out of the sack.

When using the sack, no additional covers are needed, and your baby will not be exposed (which often happens with traditional bedding options).

The bags encourage restful sleep and help your baby associate their sleeping sack with rest and a good night’s sleep, making them great for travel.

Suppose your baby sleeps restlessly or tends to get tangled in the blanket and wakes up upset in the middle of the night. In that case, a sack is the ideal solution because you’ll be sure that the child is covered and cozy. In addition, if they’re used to sleep in the sack from the first months, babies will start associating it to the routine of going to the crib, which may sometimes make it easier for them to fall asleep.

How Safe Is a Baby Sleep Sack?

It may sound counterintuitive, but putting a baby to sleep in a baby sleep sack is one of the safest ways to put a baby to sleep.

Baby sleep sacks were not invented to be the next cute thing for Instagram. However, they have a significant role in preserving your baby’s safety and are far more than just making a fashion statement.

Consider it more as an additional layer of defense. Pediatricians and sleeping experts published research that confirms that baby sleep sacks “are as safe, if not safer than other bedding” when it comes to reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

What Is TOG and How Does It Relate to Baby Sleep Sacks?

When buying a baby sleep sack, you may notice a label that says “TOG.” TOG stands for Thermal Overall Grade. This mark shows how thick and warm the bag is. The higher the TOG, the warmer and more suitable the sack is for cold weather.

You’ll likely need several different bags, at least one standard 2.5 Tog and one lighter for warmer weather.

Whichever value of TOG you choose, you’ll always have to adjust your baby’s clothes — in warmer weather, a diaper and a bodysuit with short sleeves may be enough. However, long-sleeved bodysuits, beanies, and socks will probably be needed when it’s colder.

Which TOG Value Should I Use for Baby Sleep Sacks?

What is a Baby Sleep Sack and Should You Get One?
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When the temperatures drop, parents wonder how to adequately warm the baby. The younger the child, the more questions there are because the newborn cannot articulate whether it’s hot or cold.

There is often a mismatch between what pediatricians say to parents and what grandparents tend to give as advice. A pediatrician will always advise you not to keep the child too warm. At the same time, the grandparents always insist that you cover the baby with more layers. For sure, this has caused many headaches for you.

Here are some basic recommendations for dressing your baby while sleeping in a sack. Several factors influence which TOG value you should use, and remember to use them only as a guide:

  • The place where you live – air humidity, temperature.
  • The temperature of your home and the baby’s room (is there any heating?).
  • What the baby wears to sleep inside the baby sack.
  • Your baby’s health (does it have a fever or is unwell?).

General TOG options are:

1. 3.5 TOG Baby Sleep Sack

These are winter baby sleep sacks for cold rooms with a temperature of 60.5 F (16 degrees Celsius) and below. The baby would do well with a cotton bodice underneath. A sack of this thickness is used in winter, in a house that does not have good heating and where it is sometimes freezing.

Winter sleeping sacks are made of two layers of cotton, between which an anti-allergic filling is placed. These sleep sacks are available with or without sleeves and can be made of one or two layers of cotton. They are suitable for the cold winter months, as they’ll provide perfect warmth for your youngest family.

2. 2.5 TOG Baby Sleep Sack

These are mild winder baby sacks for rooms where the temperature is between 60.5 F (16 degrees Celsius) and 68 F (20 degrees Celsius). The baby can sleep in a long-sleeved cotton bib or a short-sleeved bib with a thinner base.

3. 1.0 – 1.7 TOG Baby Sleep Sack

These are baby sleep sacks for the transitional period (warmer spring and autumn weather) and for rooms where the temperature is between 69.8 F (21 degrees Celsius) and 73.4 F (23 degrees Celsius).

Sleeping bags for spring and autumn are made of two layers of cotton but are not filled. They can also be with or without sleeves. The material is light enough not to overheat the child and warm enough not to be cold.

4. .2 – 0.5 TOG Baby Sack

This baby sack is ideal for warm weather and warm rooms between 75.2 F (24 degrees Celsius) and 80.6 F (27 degrees Celsius). A short-sleeved top underneath is enough, and sometimes when it’s boiling, just a diaper.

Made of fine muslin, breathable, and light summer material, summer sleeping bags will ensure the baby’s coziness and comfort. The material allows for the unhindered circulation of air and moisture and is perfect when the temperature exceeds 24 degrees.

Can I use a Cover and a Baby Sleep Sack at the Same Time?

What is a Baby Sleep Sack and Should You Get One?
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Absolutely. Baby sleep sacks are designed to be very comfortable, providing the baby with a sense of security and much-needed warmth, especially during the winter.

Many parents freak out and are afraid that their child is cold, but the baby sack eliminates this from the equation.

Baby sleep sacks ensure that the baby in the cot does not lack comfort and warmth, so using a cover or a blanket with the sleeping bag may cause your baby to overheat. If you buy a decent baby sack, you should be confident using extra layers.

How Do I Determine Whether the Baby Is Overheating?

The only thing to pay constant attention to is the temperature in the room. The child mustn’t be overheated. The best way to determine whether your baby is overheated is by looking at the back of its head. Also, always check whether the baby’s neck is sweaty. If you notice signs of sweat, then you can be sure that the baby is too warm.

If it’s hot and humid, it means that the room is too warm, you bought a sack that is too warm, or you have too many layers under the bag. It’s entirely normal for the baby’s hands to be colder, and you don’t have to worry about freezing.

Buying a bag is best determined by the seasons and the room temperature. That’s why there is a TOG guide (Thermal Overall Guide) which indicates the thickness of the sleeping bag, and you will mostly see it on the label.

Will the Baby’s Hands and Feet Get Cold in the Baby Sleeping Sack?

Most likely not. Creating the perfect environment for your baby to go to dreamland can seem daunting, especially if it is the first child in the house. The only honest advice is always listening to the child’s needs, learning, and growing together.

Baby sleeping sacks usually have wider openings around the arms and legs to allow air to circulate and to avoid overheating babies.

The hands and feet of small children are often cold during the night, but this does not necessarily mean they’re cold. On the other hand, this might be due to poor blood circulation in small children.

The optimal temperature in the sleeping room is 64. 4 F (18 degrees Celsius), so be careful before adding extra clothes. The fact that babies’ hands and feet are cold is unlikely to wake them up or cause any discomfort.

What Size Baby Sleep Sack Does My Baby Need?

You must always choose a baby sack that matches the age and weight of your baby. Unfortunately, not all models of sleeping sacks are suitable for use from birth. Which one you choose depends on how big and heavy your baby is.

Don’t be tempted to buy a big sack thinking that babies grow fast. In fact, if it’s too big, the baby can pull out its arms, get stuck in it, and run out of air. Instead, choose the size according to the child’s age and height.

Make sure that the openings for the arms and head are not too large so that the baby can’t quickly get out of them. Be sure to avoid sacks that have hoods. Pediatricians advise not to use caps or any other coverings for the baby’s head during sleep due to the possibility of overheating and the SIDS above syndrome.

The sacks usually come in three sizes: 0-6 months, 6-18 months, and 18-36 months, but the exact size depends on the manufacturer.

What Are the Quality Standards for a Baby Sleep Sack?

Although there are sacks with sleeves and a hood, they aren’t recommended for sleeping during the night because there is a risk that the baby will overheat.

The size of the opening at the shoulder should be just a little wider than the circumference of the arm under the armpit so that the baby can’t insert its hands into the sack through it. Smaller sacks have additional hooks to reduce this volume if necessary.

The neck opening shouldn’t be so large that the baby’s head can fall into the sack, but it shouldn’t be tight either.

Sleeping sacks must not contain separate or small parts that a child can separate, put in their mouth and swallow. In addition, the baby must be able to breathe if the sleeping bag covers their face during sleep. All openings should have smooth seams with edges that cover zippers, buttons, etc.

What Else Should I Pay Attention to When Buying a Baby Sleep Sack?

What is a Baby Sleep Sack and Should You Get One?
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You can find baby sleep sacks made of various materials and colors and designs. However, there are still some crucial things to keep in mind before buying a baby sack.

  1. Consider buying a cotton baby sack

You should get a baby sack made of cotton because it is the thinnest and safest out of most materials. Before buying a cotton baby sack check whether your baby is allergic to cotton (or any other material, for that matter).

  1. If you travel frequently, get a baby sleeping sack for travelers

If you’re a frequent traveler, many baby sack sellers offer travel models with a two-way zipper and a slot to adapt the sack to a car seat. 

When it comes to zippers, you should avoid buying a baby sack with buttons that have to be undone because this takes longer and is not ideal during a late-night wake-up call or when you need to urgently change the diapers.

The zipper on the whole lower part of the sack is practical due to its easy opening, so you can easily change the diaper without removing the child from the bag.

  1. Avoid buying baby sleep sacks with buttons

Keep in mind that many baby sleeping sacks with buttons often come undone during the night, so ensure that you get a baby sack that will not leave the baby exposed during the night.

  1. Oversized baby sleeping sacks can cause discomfort

If you can, avoid buying an overly long baby sack because it can disturb smaller babies and cause discomfort. And you know what that means – more discomfort – more restless nights.

Some babies will struggle to adjust to baby sacks, especially those after nine months. After a while, consider changing the baby sack and getting one with leg openings so the baby can walk around in the crib, which will help reduce the baby’s frustration.

Regarding size, sleeping sacks are available for newborns up to 2 or 3 years of age.

  1. When ordering online pay attention to product deviations

Depending on where you are from and when and how you use baby sleeping sacks, you may encounter the product having minor deviations. This is important for you to note, especially if you order the product from a country where baby sleep sacks’ thickness and other product standards might differ. 

A good rule of thumb is to read the product description carefully to avoid ordering the wrong product.

Final Thoughts

Suppose you decide to buy a baby sleep sack. In that case, you will need to have two different ones for your climate. Remember that it‘s always good to have a spare if the diaper leaks during the night and you have to change everything, including the sack and sheet.

But don’t buy too many “in advance” or take baby sacks that are too big, expecting the baby to “grow” into it quickly. A baby can crawl into a too big sack, accidentally pull it over its head and make it difficult for it to breathe or get tangled up. Instead, ensure that the head opening is adequate so it cannot be pulled over the head when the sack is appropriately fastened.

Most babies are restless sleepers, and a baby sack might be just what you need. We hope this article cleared some things up and helped you make an informed decision about buying a baby sleep sack.

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Easy Sleep Guide

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