When it comes to keeping your baby safe and well-rested, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends infants sleep on their back on a firm, tightly fitting mattress. The mattress should be covered by a fitted sheet with no other bedding or soft objects with care taken to keep them from overheating. To keep them cozy and safe, baby sleep sacks are key.
What are baby sleep sacks?
Baby sleep sacks, or wearable blankets, offer the comfort and warmth of a traditional blanket without the possibility of it ending up over their head or tangled around their body. They're also a great alternative to swaddling for babies who don't like being wrapped up or have transitioned out of it. With access to their hands and a dwindling moro reflex, sleep sacks allow little ones to use their hands as a way to self-regulate. They also can help prevent wiggly babies from getting their legs stuck in the slats of the crib. (Seriously, why do these tiny creatures always end up squished into the corner? There's so much room in there!)
What should you look for in a sleep sack?
According to Rachel Mitchell, Certified Sleep Specialist and founder of My Sweet Sleeper, the fabric, weight and breathability are most important. 100% organic cotton is most versatile across seasons, though fabrics like bamboo, wool and TENCEL are equally great for sensitive baby skin. When you start shopping around you'll also notice something called the TOG rating. TOG (Thermal Overall Grade) is a standardized unit of measurement that calculates how much warmth a textile provides. The higher the rating, the more insulation. The lightest TOG rating for sleep sacks is generally around 0.5 which is perfect for summer sleeping while ratings up to 3.5 would be used for super cold climates or camping.
When it comes to sizing, each brand is different, so be sure to check the measurements. Ideally you babe has room to kick and move more freely but still be somewhat restricted.
Related: Baby Sleep Guides & Schedules
No matter what style you choose, make sure to always check the inside (especially after washing) to be sure there are no loose threads that could get tangled around your baby's toes.
How long do babies use sleep sacks?
Since the AAP does not recommend loose blankets until after one year, you'll want to use a wearable blanket for at least that long. After that, it's really up to you and your toddler. Many brands make styles that fit well into toddlerhood, and if we're being honest, we've depended on them to keep our tot-sized jail breakers in their crib just a little longer. (Don't judge. Every minute of sleep counts.)
We've rounded up some of the coziest baby sleep sacks that get high marks from our sleep expert and mamas alike. From lightweight cotton sleep bags to quilted sleep sacks for chilly winter nights, they may be just the thing to help everyone get a little more sleep. And nothing's better than that.