Sleepsack 101 for Babies and Toddlers
Updated: Jun 9, 2020
As a sleep coach I am often asked the same question "What do you think of sleepsacks?", so I decided I'd write an entire blog post dedicated to why I recommend sleepsacks to all my clients!
I'll share my personal favorites and why I used them with my own little ones!
It Keeps Them Warm and Cozy
This might be the obvious reason a sleepsack is a great choice. A sleepsack is great for babies as they transition out of the swaddle. Not only does a swaddle help calm the moro reflex newborns have, but it also helps keep babies snuggly and warm.
Using a sleepsack is a perfect way to safely ensure your little one is at an optimal temperature through the night and even during naps without the use of loose blankets. Keeping your baby at the ideal temperature during sleep is important for many reasons.
Body temperature plays an important part in how well we sleep, so to prevent some of those unwanted nightttime wake-ups make sure to dress them comfortably.
Cool temperatures can promote longer sleep periods and even help your baby to sleep more soundly.
Helps Little One Recognize When it's Time for Sleep
Once the sleepsack is on, Mama means business! But in all seriousness, using a sleepsack is a perfect way to help your child recognize that it's time for sleep.
When a sleepsack is part of your nap and bedtime routine your little one is going to anticipate it and that helps create security.
Part of why routine is so important for babies is because it creates structure and security.
When a child knows what comes next it helps ease uncertainty and anxiousness. Is there something you do or something you need so that you can sleep better? Maybe a pillow between your legs? You need a certain blanket or pajamas in order to 'feel' comfortable?
Many children start to recognize the sleepsack as their "something" that helps them sleep better.
Drowsy but AWAKE
If you're one of the many parents struggling to get your baby to fall asleep independently, I'll let you in on a little secret of mine!
It can be challenging to break the habit of nursing or feeding to sleep. If nursing or feeding to sleep is working for you, great! If it helps get your child to sleep but then they're up all night needing that same crutch to fall back asleep, it might not be working so well for you.
Pro Tip: During your bedtime routine nurse or bottle feed then put your baby in their sleepsack. YES! You read that right, put them in the sleepsack after they eat.
This is a tool I use to wake baby up just enough to know they are going down awake, yet are still relaxed and drowsy. This is key when working toward falling asleep independently.
My personal favorite sleepsacks are the ones I've used with my own children. There are a lot of great products available and it can be overwhelming to narrow it down! I could share a number but I will stick to a select few and share others on a separate post.
The Halo SleepSack Swaddle
This is an excellent option for newborns through transitioning out of the swaddle. You can swaddle both arms down, one arm out, and then both arms out.
One of my favorite features about this sleepsack is that you can securely swaddle and even my houdini children usually couldn't wiggle their way out of it.
I also love that once baby is no longer swaddled, you can wrap it under their arms to give them a feeling of being hugged while they sleep.
This was the one we used for our second son. He absolutely loved it. In fact, we went through a few of them because he self soothed by sucking and chewing on the hands.
Babies will do all kinds of funny things to soothe themselves! The Zipadeezip is a great choice for those babies who want the extra comfort of feeling secure but still are able to use their arms. It adds a little extra warmth as it keeps the hands and feet inside of the sleepsack, but is still lightweight.
The Halo Sleepsack Early Walker
Halo makes great sleepsacks for all ages. I like a number of them but I've really tried to narrow it down for this post.
The Early Walker is a good choice for when your little one is beginning to walk because it has holes for their feet. Or if you have very tall children who are growing out of other sleep sacks this one gives them extra room.
Both of my boys slept comfortably in this one. There are different material options for warmer and cooler weather.
I was on the hunt for a sleepsack that would offer a little more warmth during the cold months. We live in Texas, but my sons bedroom tends to be the coldest room in the house. I have been very happy with the Tealbee Dreamsuit.
It is very soft and cozy. My son even asks to leave it on some mornings when I go in to get him out of his crib!
Tealbee offers a number of sleepsacks with different Tog ratings based on room temperature. If you are unfamiliar with Tog ratings and values you can read up on it here.
This sleepsack, like the halo, also has holes for your babies feet so they can more around comfortably especially if they are a walker.
Sleepsacks are a safe alternative to loose blankets in your childs crib, and a useful tool for gentle sleep training. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping loose objects and bedding out of your infants sleep area to reduce the risk of SIDS. If you aren't already using a sleepsack these are some great options to choose from. There are several on the market and many excellent choices. I encourage you to do your own research and find the one that is right for your child.