As a parent it’s important to feel that you have done your utmost to secure the best night’s sleep for your little one. Let’s face it, the more your baby sleeps, the more you as a parent will too, which is equally as important for both of your health and well-being.
There are many options to help make your baby sleep better – a swaddle, mosses baskets and cribs alone. These are often fine for babies who have little to no trouble sleeping, but for babies who do struggle to sleep well or for long durations, baby sleeping sacks offer a real and popular solution.
What is a Baby Sleeping Sack? And Why Should You Choose One?
Before we examine some of the better sleeping sacks available out there, let us discuss exactly what they are, how they work and why they have become a popular option for many parents.
In simple terms a sleeping sack is basically a wearable sleeping blanket that functions in the same way as a traditional baby blanket. The key difference is that it allows them to continue using their arms and feet throughout the night and many parents feel that it is a more comfortable and safer option.
For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics provides the following guidance on how to reduce the risk of SIDs:
“Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads.”
Therefore, once you have stopped swaddling (typically done at the 3-6 month stage), the baby sleeping sack is a very safe method to ensure a comfortable and secure night’s sleep for your little one. This removes the risks associated with a blanket, such as getting sheets trapped on their face as they roll over or getting stuck between pillows or entangled in a variety of different ways. Even though baby sacks are not tight fitting they are tested and designed in order to avoid any of the blanket material going anywhere near your baby’s face.
It’s probably worth noting that a sleeping sack is probably not required in warm climates where the temperature can increase throughout the night. As a general rule of thumb only use one if you as a parent also sleep with a blanket at night. If this is the case, then a sleeping sack is a good idea and is sure to promote a healthy night’s sleep.
What to Consider when Choosing a Sleep Sack
Child Age – the ideal time to transition from swaddling to using a sleeping sack is from the age of 6 months, but all children develop differently, some not making the change until 12 months old. It’s also important to consider the age and size of your baby, you will find sacks designed for babies and ones designed for toddlers too. Therefore, ensure you check the age that the sack is intended for, as it’s very common for people to purchase the wrong sizes sack and be disappointed.
Material used – like all bedding and things made from fabric, the type of material they are made from can make a huge difference – baby sacks are no different. Polyester fabrics are better at providing insulation and trapping heat, while cotton is more breathable and merino does both! Therefore, when choosing a sack for your little tyke, consider the climate you live in, time of year and your own preferences.
Toddler vs. Baby – if you baby has recently started attempted to go from crawling to walking then it may mean they might attempt to stand up. If you think this might sound like you, then you would be best opting for a toddler sleeping sack rather than one designed for babies, otherwise, accidents might occur.
Thermal ability – as mentioned above it’s important to consider temperature control, you may want a sack that will keep your baby nice and warm during the cold weather. Equally, you may want one more suited for the warm summer months. If this is an important factor for you then make sure you check the TOG, which is used as an international standard measurement for thermal effectiveness. This ranges from 0.5, perfect for warmer climates to 3.0 best suited for cold climates.
Our Top Picks
HALO Cotton Sleep Sack
We think this is one of the best sleeping sacks we’ve seen. Not only is it reasonably priced, its design seems to be the most well thought out, which is reassuring for parents seeking peace of mind.
For example the top of the sack fits like a normal baby top, while the lower portion is roomy and provides plenty of movement room for restless baby legs. This is beneficial since it means the there is plenty of room for them to wiggle but it also means that the snug fit around their top half will prevent it moving up and causing any potential issues. Some designs out there are tight fitting throughout and while you can understand why parents may prefer this, babies need room to move their lower half throughout the night.
Another positive of the Halo sleep sack is the zippers safe and easy open design. It’s common to find zips to be at the back or to start at the mid-portion of the sack, yet the zip starting at the bottom and front means you can quickly and easily unzip your baby during the night. This is ideal for diaper changing and perfect for during the night when fuss-free opening is preferred by all sleep parents and kids.
Woolino Sleeping Sack
The Woolino baby sack is the perfect solution for parents who want to transition away from swaddling. Moreover, this sack has been a best seller in Canada in the states for several years and has won the “Mom’s Choice Award”, so it must be good?
Just like the Halo sack we’re a big fan of this sacks design, it allows good mobility for the arms, while at the same time ensuring it remains sung around the abdomen and neck. While the bottom half provides the same comfort and movement that a normal baby blanket would. Perhaps one of the best points about this sack in particular is the hypoallergenic material it’s made of – Australian wool (merino), which also feels fantastic and washes well.
The Woolino is ideal for babies under 2 years of age and will keep them nice and warm during the winter months and equally help regulate their temperature during any month of the year to promote a good night’s sleep. The zipper for this design is at the side as opposed to the front, which some parents prefer due to concerns about babies pulling and opening zips that are found at the front.
Shark Baby Sack
The shark baby sack is the perfect solution for younger babies and is sure to help mothers get some much needed rest. Of course the shark design is cute and sure to make your bundle of joy look even sweeter, but practically it provides a secure place for your baby to rest. The blanket-style is perfect for parents wanting to transition from waddling, but not quite ready to make the leap to a proper sleeping sack. Your baby’s arms will still have a good level of mobility, while their legs will be more secure than they would in a normal blanket.
The zip design means that it can be easily removed from the baby without any disturbance or unnecessary tugging. The sack is made from a polyester material, which is comfortable to the touch and will provide a good level of warmth and comfort, all while keeping your baby comfy.
Our Favorite Baby Sleeping Sack
We prefer the Halo cotton sleep sack due its superior design and comfort, and we have to say that the price is also very reasonable for such a high quality sleeping sack. During our examination we noticed that similar designs often had a considerably higher price, so this is something worth noting. Overall, we recommend this sleep sack for any baby that has grown out of the swaddle and is ready to progress.