How Do Baby Sleeping Bags Work, And Are They Worth It?

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Looking for a safe way to keep baby cozy while they snooze? Have a wriggly little sleeper? Moving baby from a bassinet to a full sized crib? A baby sleeping bag might be for you!

What are baby sleeping bags?

Baby sleeping bags are a type of bedding worn like pajamas, with the primary goal of making baby sleep more safe. They are intended to provide a more reliable sleep temperature for babies since they can’t kick off their blanket, and remove the risk of bedding covering baby’s face during sleep.

Babies are kept nice and snug without the risk of loose blankets or limbs getting trapped in them during sleep. They most commonly zip up the front, and come in a variety of styles. Some baby sleeping bags are a pouch at the bottom, where others have individual legs, some have detachable arms or none at all, and some have enclosed feet vs others which are open at the bottom of the leg.

They are made of a variety of materials, including cotton with a polyester filling for breathable warmth. The more expensive ones are made from natural fibers like wool or silk and have an inside layer to keep in body heat.

Are baby sleeping bags worth the money?

It may feel like sleeping bags are an unnecessary additional expense when babies have been using bottles and blankets perfectly fine for years. they are gaining popularity for many reasons though! Baby sleeping bags are worth the cost if:

  • Baby is a restless sleeper. Your little one kicks off blankets during the night, causing them to wake up cold or tangled in an uncomfortable position. (and waking you up to fix it!)
  • Baby likes to wriggle. Your wriggler can’t be contained with swaddles, or just doesn’t like feeling ‘restricted’ at all.
  • Baby can roll over, and are taking advantage of that fact! Because your baby can roll over they can no longer be swaddled, but they’re having trouble with blankets during sleep.
  • You need to be able to move baby when they’re sleeping. You’re much less likely to disturb baby’s sleep if their ‘bedding’ comes with them.
  • You need to change baby’s diaper overnight or during sleep. Many sleeping bags come with double-directional zips so that you can keep baby’s torso snuggly and warm by only opening the bottom of the sleeping bag for diaper changes.
  • Baby is cared for outside of your home. (Like a grandparent’s house, or childcare, etc) Sending a sleeping bag with the rest of baby’s items will not only make their sleep space more familiar when they’re away from home, but it will be convenient for those caring for your little one.
  • You’re trying to form a bed time routine. Getting in a sleeping bag can help add to the communication between you and your baby; if baby associates sleeping bags with their night time sleep, they’re more likely to settle in for a longer rest. (well fingers crossed, anyway!) Put your baby in their sleeping bag near the beginning of the routine so that your little one doesn’t associate the sleeping bag with having to leave your arms.

Many baby sleeping bags are designed in such a way that they are safe for use over a much longer age range than you might expect – certainly much longer than the newborn clothes you were gifted that your baby only got to where once before growing too big for! It is not uncommon to find sleeping bags suitable for 6 months to 2 years, and 2 to 4 years. If you have multiple sleeping bags you are more likely to have various TOG ratings (a unit of measurement or the warmth of a baby sleeping bag) than you are to have multiple sizes.

How to use baby sleeping bags safely

  • Pay attention to the temperature. A sleeping bag is attached to your baby – they can’t push it away or stick out a leg like you can in your own bed. Make sure you pick one which is appropriate for the weather, as well as any other clothing baby is sleeping in. Many brands have adopted the TOG rating to help you choose the right baby sleeping bag.
  • Use the correct size sleeping bag. Depending on the style of sleeping bag, and the size of your baby, you may find that you need to experiment with the age range recommended by the manufacturer for each sized bag. Ultimately you’ll want to choose a sleeping bag which fits comfortably on baby, but one where your little one isn’t swimming in – sleeping bags which are too big create a safety risk if baby can slip within the bag during sleep wriggles.
  • Choose an appropriate style. Apply the same SIDS recommendations to other bedding; do not place items on your baby’s head while they are sleeping. Any decorative onesies which have hoods should absolutely not be worn during sleep. (this goes for hooded jumpers / jackets, too)

How to choose the best baby sleeping bag TOG

To ensure you are placing your baby in the correct sleeping bag for the temperature, make sure to have a couple of options on hand. You can check what room temp is using a thermometer and then find out which type of sleeping bag would be best with that information.

Room temperature (Fahrenheit)Room Temperature (Celsius)TOG rating guide
60-63 degrees Fahrenheit16 – 17 degrees celsius2.5 tog plus one blanket
64-68 degrees Fahrenheit18 – 20 degrees celsius2.5 tog
69-74 degrees Fahrenheit21 – 23 degrees celsius1 tog
75 degrees Fahrenheit or more24 degrees celsius or more0.5 tog
A guide to baby sleeping bag TOG ratings

As you’re getting used to each new season, home, and baby (because some can sleep warmer than others!) you add a quick skin touch to the room thermometer to gauge the best TOG rating to put baby in. If baby’s tummy is hot to the touch at night they may need lighter clothes, and/or a lower TOG level sleeping bag. You’ll also need to consider if anything else could cause this issue such as sickness, or being overly warm to start with while snuggling under blankets during storytime before bedtime.

Why I love baby sleeping bags, and which one was my favorite

I used sleeping bags of various styles and toggle ratings with both of my boys, up until around three years old. at various times while sleeping they would wriggle, like to have their arms free, like to feel snuggly, and like to lay sideways in their bed. (or upside down!) both boys spent time with grandparents, and I spent a lot of time changing diapers overnight.

After a stack of research I ended up buying a number of baby sleeping bags for different situations, but my absolute favorites for versatility and value was the LOVE TO DREAM SWADDLE UP range until around six months old, and the ergoPouch Sleep Suit Bags from then until three years old.

The LOVE TO DREAM SWADDLE UP – Original – size 3-6 months

LOVE TO DREAM SWADDLE UP suits kind of emulated a womb in the sense that they were stretchy and flexible, while still providing enough resistance to baby’s wriggles that they didn’t feel completely constrained. my eldest son in particular didn’t like being swaddled from about four weeks old; he much preferred having his arms up by his head, and once we worked that out the whole household enjoyed much better quality sleep!

The ergoPouch Sleep Suit Bag – size 2-4 years

The best thing about the ergoPouch Sleep Suit Bags was that the bottom of the bag could either be used as a complete cocoon, or by changing the zipper configuration you could convert the sleeping bag into a suit that had separate legs; this meant that my sons could crawl, and later walk in their sleeping bags. configuring the bottom of the suit into separate legs also meant that I could sit them in a high chair or in their stroller and still be able to use the safety harnesses. The sleeping bags even went camping!

Will you buy a baby sleeping bag?

A baby sleeping bag is a valuable addition to your child’s bedding. It can provide a safer sleep environment for your little one, and as a result both you and your baby will get better quality of sleep. They may be an additional expense, but they come with so many fantastic benefits and are growing exponentially in popularity. With all these extra hours spent awake during the night worrying about my babies’ safety and well-being, they were absolutely no-brainer purchases for me. We talk more about zip up baby sleepers here!
What other must-have items do you think parents should purchase? Let me know in the comments! Thank you for reading!

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