As a new parent, there is nothing quite as comforting as the thought of your little one wrapped safely in their cocoon, sleeping the night away peacefully. After all, this means you too get to enjoy a good night’s rest!
Unfortunately though, for many new parents, this is a fleeting feeling. One that is constantly being chased as you struggle to keep your newborn on a consistent sleep schedule. What if we told you that the key to unlocking consistent, restful sleep for you and your child was a lot easier than you ever imagined?
It’s true - and it can be as simple as adding a baby sleep sack to your parenting arsenal. Wait - what is a sleep sack for babies? More specifically, what is the purpose of a sleep sack?
Maybe you’ve seen this term used in parenting forums or perhaps you’ve heard your friends mention it as their saving grace, but never put too much thought into it. Or, maybe this is your first time discovering the world of bamboo sleep sacks.
Whatever the case, you’re in for a real treat today. Join us as we unwrap the mystery behind these popular baby sleepwear items. From their purpose to their differences with swaddles and, most importantly, tips to find the perfect one for your little star.
By the end of this article, not only will you become a sleep sack connoisseur, but you'll also be eager to introduce this magical sleep aid into your baby's bedtime routine. So, what is a sleep sack for babies?
What is a Sleep Sack for Babies?
A sleep sack, sometimes referred to as a wearable blanket, is a cozy, cocoon-like garment designed to keep babies warm and comfortable during their slumber.
Shaped somewhat like a mini sleeping bag with armholes, it zips up the front, allowing your baby to sleep with their arms free but their body snug and secure. It's footless, meaning your baby's feet can't get tangled up, and it provides a generous amount of room for those adorable little legs to kick, move and stretch.
This clever sleepwear invention comes in different materials, colors, designs, and sizes to fit your baby as they grow, from newborn stages up to toddlerhood. Each sleep sack is designed to prioritize your baby’s comfort while abiding by essential safety standards.
From its appearance, you might think it’s simply a cute accessory for your little one. But the sleep sack is more than just a charming baby garment. Its purpose and benefits are plentiful, extending far beyond its stylish look. So, what is the purpose of a sleep sack?
What is the Purpose of a Sleep Sack?
The purpose of a sleep sack is multifaceted, delivering a host of benefits that align with both baby's comfort and parents' peace of mind. Everyone wins with sleep sacks - and here’s why…
- Safety First: The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against loose blankets in your baby's crib for the first year of their life due to the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). But are weighted sleep sacks safe? Yes! They eliminate the risk of SIDS, providing a safe alternative to toddler blankets that can't be kicked off or cover your baby's face.
- Temperature Control: Maintaining an ideal temperature for your baby is crucial for their comfortable and safe sleep. This goes beyond using the best crib sheets for baby and keeping your thermostat set. Sleep sacks are designed to keep your baby at a comfortable temperature throughout the night without overheating, which is especially important since babies can't regulate their body temperature as well as adults.
- Consistent Comfort: Babies, like adults, appreciate consistency, especially when it comes to their sleep environment. The familiar snugness of a sleep sack can signal to your baby that it's time to sleep, aiding in the establishment of a healthy sleep routine. When you put them in their sleep sack, they’ll start winding down for the night as they realize it’s bedtime.
- Freedom of Movement: While baby swaddle blankets are designed to mimic the womb's snug environment, some babies prefer more freedom to wriggle and kick. And as we’ll discuss below, these swaddles are only safe up to a certain development milestone. Sleep sacks offer the best of both worlds, keeping babies cozy while allowing them the freedom to move their legs safely throughout the night.
- Longevity and Value: Unlike many baby items, sleep sacks are not outgrown quickly. They come in various sizes that can accommodate your child from the newborn stage through toddlerhood. This longevity offers excellent value, making them a cost-effective choice for parents.
- Versatility: Whether it's summer or winter, there's a sleep sack for that. They come in different TOG ratings (we'll explain this in a moment) and materials to suit every season and climate, ensuring your baby is always comfortably dressed for bed.
All things considered, there are no shortage of reasons to invest in a sleep sack for your own parenthood journey! We’ll help you pick the right one in just a moment. First, we want to compare the sleep sack to the other popular newborn sleepwear item you’re probably considering…the swaddle wrap.
What is the Difference Between a Swaddle and a Sleep Sack?
At first glance, the sleep sacks and swaddles might seem quite similar. Both are cozy, sleep-promoting tools designed to keep your baby comfortable and secure.
But while they may serve a similar overall purpose, there are distinct differences that set them apart. Mainly it comes down to use and design.
While a bamboo swaddle blanket is great for newborns early on as it restricts the startle reflex, your child will quickly outgrow it. At a certain point, the swaddle wrap becomes a hazard. Your baby will eventually have the ability to roll over within their swaddle - and when they do, they could suffocate if their arms are still trapped within the swaddle.
This varies, of course, but it generally is around the 3-6 months mark. At this point, you need to ensure your child has freedom of movement so they can support themselves if they do roll over at night.
And as you may have guessed, that’s where the sleep sack comes in. While it still serves the same purpose as the swaddle, your baby’s arms are outside the wrap - meaning they can prop themselves up if need be. Still, the sleep sack provides the warmth and comfort necessary to ease your little one to sleep - safely.
We encourage you to learn more about how to swaddle a baby step by step in our blog. We also have resources on questions like - do babies wear anything under swaddle? How long should you swaddle a baby for? When can a toddler sleep with a blanket?
If you decide to use a swaddle and then transition away from it, we have three resources in particular that will prove especially helpful. These are our guides on how to transition from swaddle to sleep sack, when to use a sleep sack for baby, and how to get baby to sleep without swaddle.
Now, before we bring this conversation to a close, we want to offer you a few tips on finding the perfect sleep sack for your child.
Tips for Finding the Perfect Sleep Sack For Your Child
Just as with finding the best baby blankets or the best swaddles for newborns, harnessing all the benefits that a sleep sack has to offer comes down to careful consideration as you start shopping. In order to help you find the best sleep sacks for babies, we’ve put together a four-step guide below.
What is TOG Sleep Sack?
TOG stands for ‘Thermal Overall Grade’. It's a unit of measurement used to gauge the thermal insulation of a product, in this case, a sleep sack.
A higher TOG means more warmth, while a lower TOG indicates a lighter, cooler fabric. Depending on the room temperature or the season, you may want to choose different TOG ratings.
For instance, a low TOG rating is perfect for summer, while a higher TOG is ideal for winter. At Caden Lane, we clearly mention the 1.0 TOG rating on all our sleep sacks, helping you make the best choice for your child's comfort. This is ideal for 69-73˚F ambient temperatures.
But beyond the insulation side of things, you need to consider the actual fabric itself too.
Fabric Matters Too
The fabric of the sleep sack is crucial as it directly influences comfort, breathability, and safety. At Caden Lane, we use only the finest, baby-safe fabrics that are gentle on your child's delicate skin.
Our sleep sacks are crafted from premium, hypoallergenic materials that provide the right balance of softness and breathability. They're designed to keep your baby cozy without overheating, promoting a safer, more restful sleep.
Just as with finding the ideal crib sheet size or dimensions, the size of your sleep sack is not something you can take lightly. And unfortunately, many parents get this wrong.
While it might be tempting to buy a larger size for your baby to grow into, it's essential that the sleep sack fits well to ensure safety and comfort. A sleep sack that's too large can pose a risk if your baby slips down into it, while one that's too small might restrict movement.
Caden Lane offers sleep sacks in four different sizes ranging from newborn babies to 18 months old. And, we’ve incorporated adjustable shoulder straps that offer room for your little one to grow.
Finding the Right Design
Last but certainly not least, you'll want to consider the design of the sleep sack. Beyond just the aesthetic appeal, the design can also influence functionality. Look for sleep sacks with easy-to-use features like zippers for quick diaper changes.
At Caden Lane, we believe that practicality doesn't mean compromising on style. We offer a delightful range of sleep sacks in charming colors that your child will love as much as you do!
Final Thoughts on What Sleep Sacks are Used For
You came here with a simple question - what is a sleep sack for babies? Or, maybe you were specifically wondering - what is the purpose of a sleep sack? Either way, we hope this conversation has provided you with complete clarity on what these are and why you need them in your life as a parent.
They’re the key to unlocking a consistent sleep schedule so you and your little one both sleep soundly night in, night out. And at Caden Lane, the perfect sleep sacks are just a few clicks away.
While you’re at it, grab all the other newborn baby accessories you need to keep your little one safe and happy. We have zip up pajamas, baby blankets, soft baby crib sheets, bamboo pjs, newborn gowns, and more.
For now, though, it’s time to start by harnessing the power of sleep sacks in your life. Whether you’re just getting ahead of things and preparing for baby’s arrival or you’re currently struggling to make the transition out of a swaddle, the sleep sack is the missing piece from the sleep schedule you’ve been dreaming of!