The first 12 to 18 months of an infant’s life are the trickiest for parents and the concerns are particular when a child sleeps. One of the biggest of these is SIDS, or Sudden Child Death Syndrome. When sleeping, suffocation is the main cause of SIDS for children seeing as their breathing is still shaking.
For a child underneath a year, it’s not safe to provide them with a full-fledged blanket. Instead, a sleep sack is a safer alternative that still provides them with the comfort and warmth they need, while reducing the risks of suffocation.
In this article, we’ll not only discuss the important features to note in your sleep sack options, but also recommend some of the better products available on the market today.
HALO SleepSack Swaddle
Baby DeeDee Sleep Nest Sleeping Sack
Nested Bean Zen Sack Classic
Burt’s Bees Baby Beekeeper Blanket
You may be interested in: Best Infant Pillows
Table Of Contents
- What is a Sleep Sack?
- — Size
- — Materials
- — Baby or Toddler Use?
- — Accessories
- What to Prioritize in Your Choice?
- Dangers and Precautions
- Best Sleep Sacks for Babies
- 1. HALO SleepSack
- 2. HALO SleepSack Swaddle
- 3. Baby DeeDee Sleep Nest Sleeping Sack
- 4. Nested Bean Zen Sack Classic
- 5. Burt’s Bees Baby Beekeeper Wearable Blanket
- 6. Woolino 4-Season Baby Sleep Bag Sack
What is a Sleep Sack?
A common mistake made by consumers is to confuse a swaddle and sleep sack for the same thing. In truth, they are not the same, and it’s important to know why. Though they may both be alternatives to a blanket for your youngling, they have different constructions.
A swaddle, being a sort of wrap for the child, is used typically in the first 3-5 months of infancy. After this, the swaddle can be replaced with a sleep sack. The sleep sack resembles a full body suit, allowing for greater mobility while still not placing the baby under suffocation risks a blanket would present.
This doesn’t mean that you must change to a sleep sack after using a swaddle, it is only a recommendation. There are some swaddles that can last your infant their entire first year while some sleep sacks are made specifically for newborns. It’s better to give both a shot and see which one your child prefers or sleeps in more soundly.
There are three determinants for size that can help you find the ideal sack for your baby; age, weight, and height. Some brands will measure only one of these, while others may use all of them. Before you start shopping, find out the weight and height of your child to save yourself time.
Materials are an important factor to consider. Some materials will only handle one season while others are made for the whole year. It’s also a good idea to consider how organic and anti-allergen the materials you’re purchasing are.
— Baby or Toddler Use?
There are different sleep sacks for toddlers and babies. Those constructed for babies will have a snug and compact wrap to ensure they’re comfortable and secure in place. These prevent your infant from moving around too much in their sleep.
A sleep sack for your toddler will have foot holes so they can be comfortable walking and trotting around in their sack. They’re more flexible and therefore more generous with how much your child can move.
Some sacks will come with additional features such as zippers, straps, and sleeves.
Sleeves can help promote a preferable sleeping position at an early age. Zippers can make changing and cleaning your sleep sack easier, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for quality and conveniently placed zippers that won’t bother your baby.
Finally, straps make the sack more versatile and customizable. They can prolong the life of your sleep sack and make your child’s sleep more personalized.
What to Prioritize in Your Choice?
Additional features and accessories can be really appealing but they tend to distract from factors that really matter.
- Comfort is a key feature in your child’s sleep sack. They need to be soothed to deep sleep.
- Many sleep sacks will keep in mind the startle reflex and try to prevent that with a cozy hug-like wrap. Others will have sleeves so babies can bring their hands up to their face.
- Some features like zippers might make your child uncomfortable if they’re placed inconveniently even if they do help you maintain the sleep sack.
Safety is also essential to consider. A stylish look or creative pattern means nothing if your child’s health is at risk.
- Avoid toxic or synthetic materials for fear of triggering respiratory issues. The sleep sack shouldn’t be too warm, too loose, or even too tight. There should be limited-to-no extra material near the face to avoid suffocation.
- Convenience is also a feature that should be prioritized, not only for you but for your baby as well.
- It should be easy to put on and take off, quick to clean, and relatively low maintenance to provide greater service and less nuisance.
- This can also include the lifespan of the actual sleep sack. Some are only made for newborns, while others are made for tottering toddlers. Find one that not only fits your child’s needs but will last your money’s worth.
Dangers and Precautions
There are some dangers to be aware of when choosing your sacks.
- Zippers or loose buttons can come off, which children can then choke on.
- Any additional fabric around the head could result in suffocation.
- Another common danger is overheating. This happens especially when you buy season-specific sleep sacks. If you want a winter sleep sack, then use it only in winter. It’s safer to simply use an all-year sleep sack, but some parents’ infants aren’t warm enough.
- It’s advised to not sleep on the same bed as your child. They are safer in a crib or bassinet with their own space, pillows, and blankets.
- Make sure all the zippers, buttons, and loose ends on the crib are sealed and fastened so your baby won’t get cut or bruised.
- Always keep an eye on the temperature in the baby’s room. They won’t be able to express if they’re cold or hot, so it’s up to you to figure this out.
Best Sleep Sacks for Babies
1. HALO SleepSack
HALO has a delightful sleep sack for your infant that comes in a variety of 27 different colors and patterns. It comes in sizes of small, medium, large, and X-large.
The sack is made of 100% cotton, making it ideal for warmer weather. If you want to use it in winter as well, there is enough space and flexibility in the fabric for you to bundle layers on your baby and still fit them in the sleep sack. Its double-knit construction makes it both soft and stretchy, ideal for a developing child.
The style of this sleep sack is recognized as ‘hip healthy’, with enough kicking space for your baby but won’t be kicked off through the night. An inverted zipper can be found on the front to make diaper changes easier. The HALO ‘back is best’ stitched on the front is a subtle reminder to place your baby on their back when putting them to sleep.
Who Should Buy This?
Seeing as this option is the best overall, it’s great for parents trying out a sleep sack for their child for the first time. It’s great for year-round usage, there’s enough space for your baby to kick and punch, with the additional freedom of being a sleeveless package. You can figure out if a sack style is right for both you and your child.
2. HALO SleepSack Swaddle
Best Sleep Sack & Swaddle Combo
HALO makes another appearance with a sleep sack that can double as a swaddle for your sleeping child. Made of 100% cotton, this sleep sack is soft and comfortable, a great warming blanket for mild to chilly days.
This sleep sack shares many qualities with its formerly mentioned relative, with plenty of kicking space to the inverted zipper located on the front of the sack. You can still bundle your baby up underneath the sack if you feel like they’re not warm enough for colder nights.
It also comes in the same variety of sizes as the SleepSack; small, medium, large, and X-large. What makes this model unique is the swaddle features it has. Though it’s a sleeveless jumper, it comes with two straps to wrap around your child’s arms and torso while they sleep.
This can keep them from turning themselves over on their back or scratching themselves while flailing their arms. If you want, you can release their arms from the straps and simply tighten the straps around their torso.
Who Should Buy This?
Want to have the best of both worlds? Then this sleep sack is right for you. Acting as both as sack and swaddle, your child can have a more secure and sound rest every night. Your infant can enjoy the warm comfort of the cotton sack while also relishing in the cuddling hug of the swaddle straps.
3. Baby DeeDee Sleep Nest Sleeping Sack
Best Winter Sleep Sack
The Baby Deedee Sleep Nest is a cozy and cuddly fit that keeps your child nice and toasty during the winter season. It has a 100% cotton exterior partnered with a 100% polyester interior for breathability and contentment.
An interesting feature of the Deedee Sleep Nest are the shoulder straps. It makes putting the Sleep Nest on your child much easier whether they are standing up or lying down. The straps also stay securely shut throughout the night, so the sack doesn’t fall off while the baby is sleeping.
It comes in a wide variety of colors, from Candy Pink to Sugar Plum, Khaki, and Peacock. It also comes in three different sizes; small which is ideal for infants 0-6 months old, medium made for babies 6-18 months old, and finally large which is for toddlers 18-36 months old. This sleep sack can only be machine washed cold inside out and tumble dried.
Who Should Buy This?
This is the right option for parents who feel like their child needs extra coverage during winter. It’s hard to tell if your child is cold until you catch them shivering or their leaks occur more often in the winter. Keep in mind, you’ll need another lighter sleep sack for the summers and springs.
4. Nested Bean Zen Sack Classic
Best Weighted Sleep Sack
What makes the Zen Sack a great choice for your child is the special little feature of it being weighted. Over the chest is a little light weight, so the baby feels as though there is a gentle hand patting them. It helps induce a longer and more restful sleep with every passing night. The padding is filled with non-toxic poly beads to the perfect consistent weight.
This sack comes in three sizes; small for 0-6 months, medium for 6-15 months, and large for 15-24 months. Both the small and medium sizes have the weight concentrated over the chest inside the chick design. The large, however, has it spread evenly over the entire chest for children who roll around more often.
It’s made with 100% cotton, free from BPA, toxins, and phthalate and is safe to place inside the wash and dryer. The Zen Sack also has a two-way zipper for quick and easy diaper changes in the night. The shoulder straps are adjustable so you can keep using this while your baby grows and secure them while they sleep. Thanks to the weight concentrated over the chest, it’s a great transition from swaddles to sleep sacks.
Who Should Buy This?
If your baby prefers to have a presence near them while they sleep, then the weight on the sleep sack creates the perfect imitation of a palm over their chest. It’s also a safe and easy to use option for parents who are keen on finding a product that maximizes convenience for them while still prioritizing the child’s comfort.
5. Burt’s Bees Baby Beekeeper Wearable Blanket
Best Organic Sleep Sack
If material is an issue for you, then the best choice for an organic sleep sack is the Burt’s Bees Baby Beekeeper Blanket. This sack uses 100% organic cotton and comes in three sizes; small, medium, and large.
It’s sized around the neck and shoulders to ensure the suit can’t be kicked off. It’s also sized to make sure your child has enough space to kick and freely move their arms around.
The zipper opens up from the bottom, so diaper changes are easy and won’t interrupt your child’s sleep. It has an interior zipper guard and zipper cover for additional safety.
The breathable material makes sure the blanket doesn’t overheat and doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. There are numerous patterns and colors to choose from when selecting a model Burt’s sleep sack for your youngling.
Who Should Buy This?
Parents who are material-conscious when it comes to what they give their infant will love this product. You can rest assured your child is sleeping safe from chemicals and suffocation with the Beekeeper Wearable Blanket.
6. Woolino 4-Season Baby Sleep Bag Sack
Best Wool Sleep Sack
Want a cozy warm sleep sack for your child for the whole year? Then the right choice is the Woolino Sleep Sack! The merino wool used to make this blanket will keep regulating the temperature so you can use it all throughout the year.
Being the winner of Creative Child’s 2018 Top Choice of the Year Award and the Mom’s Choice Award, the Woolino lives up to its achievements. The wool is 100% natural, extremely soft and hypoallergenic. There is also the fun feature of one size fits all! You can use this sack for newborns up to 2 months to toddlers 2 years old.
For even more convenience at your fingertips, this sack also has adjustable shoulder straps and a two-way zipper. If you need to transfer your child from the crib to a stroller or car-seat, then this sleep sack comes with closable seat-belt slots. There is a grand selection of patterns and colors to choose from.
Who Should Buy This?
Convenience and comfort are perfectly wrapped up in this bundle of wool. You can use it all year for 2 years with its two-way zipper, adjustable shoulder straps, and seat-belt slots. The material is hypoallergenic, 100% natural, and soft for a comfortable and relaxing sleep each night.
Young children shouldn’t be given blankets due to the suffocation risk. This is where options such as sleep sacks come in perfect use. They keep your child warm and comfortable, sleeping for longer hours in the night safe and sound. With the right decision, you can find a night-changing sleep sack for you and your child.