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Everything You Need to Know About Sleep Sacks

Got a question about sleep sacks? This is for you! All your questions from the benefits to TOG ratings to transitions in and out are answered right here. Keep reading to learn more!

What is a sleep sack?

Sleep sacks are basically zip on blankets often used as an alternative to blankets for added warmth during sleep times.

What are the benefits of using a sleep sack?

  1. Children under 12 months of age should not have any blankets in the crib, so a common safe alternative is a sleep sack. If you feel your child needs an extra layer for warmth while they sleep, sleep sacks are a great option!

  2. Sleep sacks are a great cue for sleep! Routines play such an important role in preparing your child’s body for sleep. The zip of a sleep sack is the perfect cue your baby that it is time for sleep.

Does my child NEED a sleep sack?

Sleep sacks are not a requirement for your child to sleep well. Many parents choose sleep sacks for added warmth, but you could also simply add an extra onesie underneath their PJ’s if needed.

Will my child sleep better with a sleep sack?

Not necessarily. Sleep sacks are a great tool, but will NOT solve all of your child’s sleep struggles. Healthy sleep hygiene is much more than what your child wears to bed. Temperature may be playing a part, but if you have been struggling with sleep for a while, there are likely other causes that need to be addressed as well.

How do I know if my child is too hot or too cold?

Check your child’s back, chest, and belly. They should feel warm and dry, not cold or sweaty. If they are cold or sweaty to the touch, consider dressing them differently by adding or removing a layer.

How do I choose a sleep sack for my child?

There are soo many sleep sack options out there! It really comes down to personal preference when choosing a sleep sack for your child. Some of my go to brands are HALO, Love to Dream, Zippadee-Zip, or for a cheaper option - carter’s 2 for $20 . Choose what will work best for your child and family!

One thing you may want to consider when choosing a sleep sack is the TOG or the Thermal Overall Grade. The TOG rating tells you how warm a sleep sack material will keep your baby.

Lower TOG = thinner material
Higher TOG = thicker material

Is it necessary to go by TOG ratings when choosing a sleep sack? Nope! But, it can be helpful if the temperature of your home fluctuates with the seasons. Our bodies sleep best at a room temperature between 68-72 degrees. It is generally recommended to consider 1) the outside temperature 2) how the outside temperature affects your child’s room temperature when choosing a sleep sack. Most brands will have their recommended temperature ranges posted on their site. These are helpful tools in gauging what would be the best option for your home and child.

When should I transition into a sleep sack?

A great time to begin using a sleep sack is when transitioning out of the swaddle, between 8-12 weeks. There are some sleep sacks that allow you to slowly transition with one are in and one arm out. The brands Love to Dream and the Zippadee Zip are great transition swaddles! Or you can simply go cold turkey with both arms out right away. You may have a few days of off sleep, but your child will adjust rather quickly to the change. You can read more here on how to transition out of a swaddle.

How long should my child use a sleep sack?

There really are not any hard fast rules for when is the best time to drop the sleep sack for good. A good natural transition time is when you make the move from the crib to a bed, closer to 3 years old. However, you can simply choose to stop using a sleep sack at any time.

How do I transition out of the sleep sack?

Keep it simple - just stop using it. Maintain your normal nap and bedtime routines, just remove the sleep sack. If your child is over 12 months or has already transitioned out the crib, you could add a blanket if needed for extra warmth.

Have more questions about your child's sleep? I would love to connect with you! Send me a message here.


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